Friday, December 30, 2011

Richmond Hill Café & Larder - (Melbourne)

  Stephanie Alexander,  a Melburnian cook and renowned writer has together with her daughter and a cheese wholesaler Will Stuff opened this all day café,  before retiring her higher-end Stephanie’s restaurant which was held with high respect back in the 90’s.    Truth be told I’ve never really thought much about Richmond Hill Café and Larder.   I thought their cheese room wasn’t really up to international standards and the food were good rather than great.   But that is probably because I’d previously taken it for granted too much,  as a recent revisit convinced me that this is a place that you naturally tend to underestimate…   One cannot find this standard of a cheese room and café easily anywhere else,  even though there are already better alternatives within Melbourne itself.    Come to think of it,  I’m starting to miss here a lot.




In Richmond,
Very close to the city and accessible by tram.


A variety of Imported and Local Cheeses -
There are better Cheese shops in Aust,  but this shop is quite decent indeed…



Cheese Room -
Great by Australian standards,
but missing a few selections compared to the best in the world.



Strong Caffe Latte (Genovese Super Brazilian) -
This is a coffee blend which I am super familiar with,  I am pretty sure I have drank at least 2,000 cups of this over the many years (well,  I used to sell this too).  It is probably one of the best commercial coffee blends in the world.   It needs to be ordered as strong however as it is by default a little weak, so a double-ristretto base is usually the way to go.   This coffee was very well layered,  sweet yet hazelnutty with milk chocolate and just a tinge of earthiness and black fruit.   Sounds simple enough,  but try finding this cupping quality in Hong Kong.  Totally impossible!  The standards aren’t even on the same scale.  Little wonder I’ve quit coffee these days Sad smile There is simply nothing like it to be found here,  this is as addictive as it gets when it comes to milk based coffees   ~   9.5/10 




Corn and Coriander Fritters, with Smoked Salmon, Poached Egg, Spinach and Tomato and Capsicum Relish -  AUD $18
There are many signature dishes here (check the menu’s photo),  this was ordered on our visit because my mom loves eggs and I suggested to her this corn fritter,  which was slightly too sweet but fried well.   The poached egg was a little overcooked however,  which is rare to find as most shops cook them spot on in Melbourne.  This was nothing special but think again -  who even does such a dish in HK?  Absolutely nowhere to be seen…   ~   7/10


Wurrook Farm merino Lamb Ragu, with hand cut Pappardelle,  Red Wine,  San Marzano tomatoes, Meredith Goat’s Cheese and fresh Marjoram with grated Parmesan-  $27.5
The pasta was cooked perfectly.  I am sick and tired of excuses  that fresh pasta aren’t meant to be al dente -  nearly every shop in Italy and Australia I’ve visited cooks them to the right state.   It is funny reading that Westerners think Asians have preference over ‘textures’,  yet when they work in HK they try to convince the locals that fresh paste are meant to be soft.  Don’t really think so.  The lamb ragu was lovely,  so was the sauce and the goat’s cheese with the fresh herb.   I could eat this everyday.   ~   9/10




Grated Parmesan from Italy -
Sorry for being greedy but I emptied half the bottle Smile



Portuguese Tart - 
This was more floury and custardy thick than light-eggy,  which makes it more Portuguese than Macanese-Portuguese.  The pastry was done very well too.  I think these should be served warm rather than stone cold like here,  which will bring out it’s full potential.    We asked for this to be reheated and it was much better in the end.     8/10


Interior -




Ambitious Recipes -
Not everything is perfect,  but this is a place that is truly beyond a normal café’s scope,
I already regret that I didn’t revisit this place a few more times before leaving …
Next time !

Price: AUD $30 to $35 person
Food:  ♕♕♕♕♕

Opening Hours -
Sun to Thurs -   8.30am to 5pm
Fri to Sat      -    8.30am to 6pm

Address: 50 Bridge Rd Richmond, Melbourne, Victoria 3121
Ph: (03) 9421 2808


  1. from your post, you seem to pine for the melbourne coffee scene....



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