13 October 2007

Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder

48-50 Bridge Rd, Richmond
Sun-Thurs 8.30am - 5.30pm
Friday-Sat 8.30am - 6pm
Breakfast served until 3pm
(03) 9421 2808

ONE of the best things to happen to Richmond was the opening of Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder by legendary restaurateur and food writer Stephanie Alexander.

That was more a decade ago and it cemented Richmond Hill as the special corner of the old suburb that it is.

A stone's throw from the MCG, a hop step and jump from grand East Melbourne and across the road from legendary Vlado's restaurant, the "hill" was an inspired spot.

Alexander and co-owner cheese wholesaler Will Studd have been out of the business for more than five years. But the neighbourly RHCL remains a firm favourite despite it's non-Richmond prices.

We popped by for a quiet brekkie on a Thursday morning so I could farewell my bloke before he jetted off to the Rugby World Cup in France - without me.

Appropriate, as RCHL is French inspired with French/Italian rural menu, comfy wicker seats, al fresco pavement seating facing and Melbourne's first humidity-controlled cheese room stacked with artisan cheese.

By 9.30am it was buzzing with suits, ladies-who-lunch and other relaxed couples.

Exemplary service saw our water glasses refilled within minutes of finishing, and coffees and dishes whisked to and fro with aplomb.

My scrambled eggs topped with flat leaf parsley on Phillipa's extra grainy multi grain toast ($9.50) was sublime. Next time I'll ask for no butter as the toast was smothered with old-fashioned lashings - the devil for maintaining one's figure.

The bloke had two poached eggs on sour dough (9.50) with bacon ($3.50) and roast tomatoes ($3). Serves were generous and admittedly flawless.

On previous visits I've loved the bircher muesli with seasonal fruit ($8.90) or rhubarb and geranium compote ($7.70) with Meredith Dairy yoghurt. Divine. Freshly squeezed blood orange juice is unbeatable. $4.40.

A brunch, lunch or afternoon tea with a menu featuring simple dishes from local seasonal produce is recommended.

Produce can be purchased from the larder, including olive oils, both Australian and imported; local wine vinegars and verjuice, preserves, breads and other treats.

The cheese room is so special it deserves its own blog.

The larder is a treat. 8.5/10

- Kate


Anonymous said...

Mmmmm, I was in the oh-so-stinky but oh-so-lovely cheese room just the other day, getting a slab o'cheese for my birthday. I had the candles in my cheese, rather than a cake. Suits me any day! Never eaten in though, so after reading this review I must put this one a bit higher up on my to-do list!

kate and zoe said...

It was a while ago now, but the cheesecake I had there for afternoon tea was to die for. As are the Baghdad eggs for breakfast.

kate and zoe said...

I just went to RHC&L again and can confirm the bircher for breckie is indeed divine. And the service, top notch.
- zoe