The Bond Store, which is located near Eureka Tower, behind the Southbank Promenade on Riverside Quay is named after the bluestone vaults of Customs House where back in the good old days, imported goods were historically held in bond until the customs duty had been paid. Now the old warehouse has been turned into a quality café that is popular meeting place for the corporate lemmings that work in Freshwater Place and the area in general. With the exposed brick walls and high wooden ceilings, the venue is a portal into the local history of the area in a bygone time where tourism, gambling and the ubiquitous McDonald's had not encroached on the serenity of the area in general.
I met my clever friend here for a morning catch-up knowing that if we convened before the clock struck twelve and concluded our business, we would not be tempted to get into either the alcohol supply on offer in the café or kick on to other places in the area and enjoy the liquid hospitality over a long and boozy lunch.
We started with the coffee which was decent. Although a breakfast menu is available until 11:30 AM, I waited until precisely that time so the lunch menu was released to order a Reuben sandwich. A good Reuben is hard to find in Melbourne so I was rather excited to find one on offer. Technically what the café was advertising was a bastardised Reuben as their concoction was described to have pastrami and dijon mustard, substituting for corned beef and thousand island dressing, which is what a tradional Rueben would have in between rye bread. Still, there was a good quantity of pastrami of average quality, which made it a good sandwich with a fair amount of rocket on the side.
Service was under pressure from the fair amount of patrons serving coffees and given that we were there during a transition period between menus where they were preparing for the lunch rush, I could understand why they were not as attentive as you would expect. Still once you caught their attention, the process kicked into overdrive.
The Bond Store
1 Riverside Quay, Southbank VIC 3006
(03) 9686 9007
no web site, no Twitter feed
My Rating: 12.5/20
Value For Money: 3/5
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com
At the time of this post, 96% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon also like The Bond Store.