Sensory Lab Rialto
Sensory Lab's first store opened in David Jones in 2009 and focused on design alongside coffee. In 2016 Sensory Lab opened a coffee shop - its third - [akin to a retro-futuristic diner]https://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/food-and-drink/sensory-lab-opens-collins-street), with no wood or tiles in sight. This outpost from the coffee specialist at the base of the Rialto is a beaker-free space with suspended bunches of bay leaves and recycled-timber parquetry floors. It was designed by Studio Esteta (Lune, Workshop Brothers). It's warmer; furnished with tan leather, burgundy panelling and bronze finishes alongside Sensory's trademark white-marble countertops.
The grab-and-go counter offers bowls of muesli topped with cubes of fruit; rows of breakfast sandwiches ready for a toasting; and 5 & Dime bagels with symmetrical smears of whipped maple ricotta, and blueberry and apple jam.
At lunchtime there are six sandwich options, and bowls of salads, such as the cheeseburger salad: ground beef, grilled onion, crispy cheese bits, pickles and lettuce with Thousand Island dressing.
Coffee focuses mainly on filter brews and espresso, with filter beans rotating seasonally. And the tea selection has expanded thanks to a tea buyer who travels to China and other parts of Asia to source leaves.