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Published February 17th 2013
A taste of France in North Melbourne
One very hot day, I decided to go out to get lunch at Maison Ama Lurra. The very first time I saw it a few weeks back, it was closed, and from the outside, peeking in, I thought it was one of those really cool, swanky furniture stores - big, comfy couches scattered around, industrial-type lighting hanging from the ceiling, and big worktables surrounded by steel chairs. That was, until I saw the menu plastered on the glass door, and I decided then that I had to come back to try the food.
Maison Ama Lurra is one floor of expansive space and high ceiling, and the minute you step in, you get an irresistable urge to go up to the counter and get something, and find a corner where you can hang out for a while.
They serve breakfast and brunch/lunch dishes - mostly toasted sandwiches and tartines (open sandwiches) - but do not look for a typical ham and cheese or a club. They have an extensive list of French-inspired choices that are far from typical. I ordered the Pate Tartine (duck and orange pate, with chicken and mushroom pate, with salad and condiments) and it came served on a cheese board with sourdough bread that looked too good to eat. Of course, it was delicious.
And with the iced coffee, it was the perfect lunch for a hot day. If you prefer to round out your meal with dessert, they also have a lovely assortment of pastries to choose from. They have a specials board that's worth checking out, as well, especially if you can't decide what to get on the menu.
The special feature of this shop is their Ama Lurra specialty coffee and Mariage Freres teas. I found their coffee mild and flavourful, with no bitter aftertaste. And their tea is served in lovely pots that are also sold at the counter, if you would like one of your own.
They open early, so it is the perfect place to pop into for takeaway sandwich and coffee on a weekday. Unfortunately, they are closed on weekends (except for special events), so a Saturday or Sunday brunch here with friends is not an option.