Captains of Industry

Freshly Shucked!

Words by Lena Kamysheva
Pictures by Guy Lavoipierre

Barbershop. Shoemaker. Tailor. Café.

Step into the light filled space that is Captains of Industry, and get instantly whisked back in time to the charms of old world with a feel of the roaring 20s. Located upstairs in a laneway off Elizabeth Street with windows overlooking the historic GPO building – this hidden gem seems to have it all covered.

Part bistro, part barber, part tailor and shoemaker – the venue is decorated with vintage ornaments and paraphernalia – industrial furniture, old weighing scales and a refrigerator, Singer sewing machines nesting on rustic wooden tables, black and white photographs and art deco hanging lamps. The bar staff and patrons alike ooze a certain cool like rapscallions of the Depression era. I feel like we have stepped onto the set of the ‘Boardwalk Empire’. Myself – Bonnie and my dear friend – Clyde instantly feel at ease, as we draw in the ambience of this ‘effortlessly trendy’ quintessential Melbournian.

The Bistro offers a brief but alluring menu with a few mains and a number of side dishes to choose from. Both lovers of the red – we start with a bottle of Barossa Valley Merlot. Crunchy sourdough drizzled with olive oil is brought to our table by an attentive staff. We order our mains. My Ocean trout confit is a work of art. Tender pieces of cured trout are presented on a plate with carefully selected ingredients – baby cos, endive, chives, enoki mushrooms, thinly sliced radish, orange segments and micro herbs – Heaven. My partner in crime devours juicy pieces of grain fed steak with grilled cos and celeriac, complimented by a side of Pomme Mousse. Not a bad start to the weekend.

Living in Melbourne and being spoilt for choice – I am very fussy with my coffee and, once again, The Captains do not disappoint. Serving up a high grade Arabica blend supplied by Bailey Coffee in North Melbourne, the sweet and bitter notes leave a lasting finish. Quality is the word.

Unable to resist, we order rich chocolate ganache with crushed cardamom for dessert. Meanwhile, the barber works his magic on a stylish gent next door. The Tailor is busy cutting patterns, and everything seems right in its place. As the afternoon slips away, I wonder if Clyde and I shouldn’t kick back for a couple more hours to enjoy fresh shucked Coffin Bay oysters at $2.50 a pop while listening to live jazz – on every Friday from 7pm. ‘I can resist anything but temptation’.

Words by Lena Kamysheva
Pictures by Guy Lavoipierre
Originally published 25 September, 2012
Captains of Industry 
Level 1, 2 Somerset Place
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
T. 03 9670 4405

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