It takes a brave operator to set up camp across the street from a pre-existing competitor – in this case, sandwich shop Bon a Manger – yet hospitality first-timer Kerrin Rattray is taking on the challenge, armed with little more than enthusiasm, a savings account and a desire to squish the finer things in life between two pieces of bread.
At new city eatery Larder Section, Rattray has created a stylish space with a minimalist sensibility that draws on both mod-Brit and Danish touches: wooden stools, clean lines, slate floors and a wall adorned with framed retro recipes giving sage advice (‘use butter – not imitations’). The emphasis here is on takeaway trade and seating is limited. Those who eat-in have a communal table or window bench indoors and an attractive white lacquered setting street-side.
The menu is a rollcall of revered producers. For breakfast think La Madre fruit toast with house-smoked butter or toasties with Otway ham and Warrnambool cheddar. Lunch options are sandwiches or salads. We suggest the poached Tasmanian salmon served with slivers of pickled cucumber, sweet potato ‘crisps’ and a minty pea sauce between an organic sourdough bun or in a wide silver pan with fancy lettuce ($11.90).
In traditional sandwich bar style, you order and pay at the counter here, so you’ll have rejoin the queue for a second coffee (with beans currently supplied by Brunswick roasters Wide Open Road and milk from Jonsey’s). But looking this sharp from the space to the menu, it seems Larder Section is off to a fine start. Add this one to your lunchtime list.
37 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
(03) 9939 6064
Mon to Fri 7.30am–3.30pm