With an exciting menu of 20 filled bagels, ranging from classics like Lox & Smear to the genuinely inspired Little Italy – fat with meatballs and more, Bissel B. is bringing superb sandwiches to the city end of Bridge Road, Richmond and now also Elsternwick.
Location: 111 Bridge Rd, Richmond, VIC 3121 Ph: 0413 534 531 & 312-314 Glen Huntly Rd, Elsternwick, VUC 3185 Ph: (03) 9523 0326
Is Bissel B. home to Melbourne’s definite bagel menu?
Given that bagelries are popping up all over our city at the moment, separating the good from the excellent isn’t easy. Especially in Richmond. This is a suburb blessed with some of the best sandwiches in Melbourne, including Mile End Bagels over in Burnley Street and vegan-champions Sable down in Cremorne.
But Bissel B. is a serious contender.
This shrine to torus rolls is the baby of Jess & Ryan Kurban. And homage to the New York origins of so many adored filling combos is paid through the names of their creations. Here, you can indulge in a Central Park ($17) – Grilled Halloumi, Olive Tapenade, Tomato, Baby Spinach & Caramelised Onion – whilst sipping your morning coffee. Or perhaps get your day started with their Wall Street ($17). A true breakfast-on-the-go featuring Fried Egg, Bacon, Sausage Patty, Hash Brown, American Cheese & House Green Tomato Relish.
Be honest. Your mouth is watering, isn’t it?
Let us tell you more.
For the purposes of this review, we’re focusing on the Richmond store.
Situated at the (currently) quieter end of Bridge Road, next to the Epworth Richmond Private Hospital, Bissel B. bagel shop is an oasis of calming teal green and cream.
A window opens out onto the street and it’s clear that many passersby are lured over by the pretty pastel pink coffee machine sat proudly on display.
Inside, it’s a space of 2 halves.
To the left, there’s a service counter fronted by a cabinet of tempting baked treats. Behind is an open food prep area. A bank of impressive-looking metallic ovens and more run along the back wall. To one side, there are a number of workstations, where the genial staff are blending fillings and constructing bagels.
Meanwhile, over on the right, there’s a rack of bagged bagels and a high countertop running the length of the far wall. If you wish to dine in, you can hop up on a stall and eat in situ. However, most people appear to perch just long enough for their sandwich to be ready and then head off.
Richmond also has some brilliant Vietnamese fare. For our take on the Best Banh Mi in Melbourne (Including a couple of Richmond stars), check out our article
Bagels of a quite overwhelming variety.
First up, there’s the basic ringed rolls themselves. Do you want Plain, Sesame, Poppyseed or Everything? Are you in the mood for a sweet version, like the cartoon-hued Blueberry or fragrant Cinnamon & Raisin? And if you have a dietary requirement to consider, no worries. The team at Bissel B. can sort you out a Gluten Free Bagel or a fully Vegan Alternative for +$3.
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Admittedly, that’s the easy part. Now comes the complex task of deciding what you want in your sandwich.
The East Village ($12.5) almost makes the cut. It’s a fresh, Middle-Eastern influenced concoction of Homemade Spring Onion Labne, Red Onion, Sliced Tomato, Zaatar & Fresh Mint. Another appealing vegetarian-friendly offering is the Times Square ($15). This beauty comes with slabs of Portobello Mushroom, Smashed Avocado, Swiss Cheese & a sprightly Seeded Mayo.
Whilst we almost succumb to the pull of the Harlem ($17) – Roast Pork, Nonna Ham, Swiss Cheese, Homemade Dill Pickles & Dijon Mustard – we manage to resist. Though it’s a close run thing.
Instead, we opt for the Little Italy ($17). And it proves to a be revelation. This fat, juicy bagel is packed with Homemade Meatballs in Napoli Sauce, Bechamel Sauce, Fresh Basil & Buffalo Mozzarella. Seriously, it’s fantastic. We’re left wondering why meatballs aren’t plonk instead 2 slices of bread more often.
It’s also a wonderfully messy eat. But who cares when lunch tastes this good?
If you prefer a dessert-take on a bagel rather than a savoury one, Bissel B. does a PB & J ($12) to die for. Slathered in Crunchy Peanut Butter & Homemade Raspberry Jam it’s simple, but great. However, the standout sweet bagel is their Apple Crumble ($12.5). This delight brims with Apple Compote, Crumble Topping & Cream Cheese and smells like grandma’s kitchen.
Now in our enthusiasm for the baked good available we’ve forgotten to say that the full name of this Richmond cafe is Bissel B. – Bagels & Coffee.
So not surprisingly, the Coffee is good. Especially when drunk with a bagel in hand.
If you consider yourself a connoisseur of the bagel, you need to make a pilgrimage to Bissel B.
Although we are spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning sandwiches in Melbourne, few cafes offer the range that this place does. And those generous fillings are stacked into fresh, light, flavoursome bagels.