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The Robot Bun Factory Cafe

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by MaggieVP (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in serendipity: the art of finding wonderful things by accident or sagacity. Comments and suggestions always welcome!
Published January 24th 2017
Mechanical Men March into Midland
According to LiveScience, in 2016 robots performed eye surgery and solved Rubik's Cubes. Drones and driverless cars also featured in the news. Yet when most of us think of robots, it's the square, mechanical 1950s types that come to mind, followed perhaps by the humanoid characters from the early Star Wars films. These are the friendly beings that greet customers at one of Midland's newest cafes. The Robot Bun Factory Cafe is home to dozens of robots from a life-size C3PO to miniature salt and pepper shakers. It's also home to delicious breakfasts, sandwiches, coffee, sweet treats and their specialty, bao buns.

Robot Bun Factory
image courtesy Robot Bun Factory

From the outside the Robot Bun Factory is an ordinary shopfront but inside is a different world. The black walls are decorated with colourful murals by local artist Cody Lehman that depict the mishaps of café mascot Ollie as he struggles to help. The polished black concrete floor set with silvery grey colour chips suggests a starship journey and there are robots of all sizes and shapes. Bright couches add to the comfortable retro industrial vibe which is exactly what owners Neil and Lesley had in mind.

Robot Bun Factory Cafe

Their idea for the Robot Bun Factory grew out of a visit to Lesley's hometown in Taiwan where they ate at a well-known restaurant that featured antique toys. They had planned to open a café but wanted something different. Rather than a collection of toys, they decided to concentrate on vintage robots.As Neil said "People that grew up playing with robots, it pulls on their heartstrings, it brings them back to when they were children," but since not everyone had that experience perhaps the Robot Bun Factory could bridge that gap.

Robot Bun Factoy Midland

The café is open for breakfast and lunch offering a small menu with very good coffee made from Fiori beans. Breakfast includes the usual pancakes and egg dishes along with some more adventurous selections like Brisket Benedict. There's also the tasty East-West fusion bacon and egg bao bun and a full vegetarian breakfast.

For lunch, customers can choose from a menu that ranges from burgers, chips and salads to pineapple chicken panini and four types of bao buns: pork belly, braised beef, spicy fried chicken or teriyaki fried chicken. All the buns are baked at the café and made in the authentic Taiwanese-style but Neil and Lesley are open to experimenting and are currently thinking about bao bun desserts.

Catering is also available. Ring them for more information and to discuss your requirements.

Midland Robot Bun Factory Cafe
image courtesy Robot Bun Factory

In the near future Neil and Lesley hope to host live evening events such as comedy, music or spoken word performances. The café is BYO, has a modular stage and audio equipment available so if this would suit your group, give them a ring. Meanwhile, take some time to enjoy a meal or coffee in this unique venue.

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday
6:30 am to 5:00 pm

7:30 am to 3:00 pm

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Why? Fun cafe featuring vintage robots and good food
When: open Monday to Saturday
Phone: 9274-8856
Where: Shop 6, 306 Great Eastern Highway, Midland
Cost: varies
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by Suze C on 25/01/2017
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