Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder

Richmond Hill Café and Larder @ 48-50 Bridge Road, Richmond
27 December 2010

Richmond Hill Café and Larder, or RHCL as it is otherwise known, is situated towards the Punt Road end of the bustling Bridge Road in Richmond. Boasting a vibrant and buzzing café, a mini gourmet store and an impressive fromagerie, there is no denying that this tripartite establishment is wholeheartedly dedicated to food and quality produce.  Dench bread, Meredith Dairy cheese, Western Plains pork and Glenloth Game chicken are just some of products on the menu with which you may be familiar.  

Breakfast drew us to RHCL on this occasion. RHCL’s “famous” grilled cheesy toast with spicy RHCL eggplant and chilli pickle was pleasant, but failed to live up to the expectations generated by its self-proclaimed accolade. The mysterious melted cheese – the melange included four different cheeses, the identities of which are kept “secret” – was certainly more complex in flavour than your typical cheddar or tasty varieties, but in saying that, it was not especially remarkable. While the spicy eggplant relish embellished the cheese with warmth and piquancy, on the whole, the combination of flavours was embarrassingly reminiscent of home-made nachos, absent the corn chips.

Our tailored big breakfast was an assembly of high quality produce. With the exception of the overcooked chorizo, the dish could not be faulted – the scrambled eggs were moist and fluffy, the home-made spicy sausage was substantially meaty, the bacon was decadently porky and the smoked salmon was delightfully fresh. However, sporting a price tag of almost $30, it is the second most expensive big breakfast we have sampled in Melbourne to date, only inching behind Salvatore Malatesta’s Outpost. With cafes such as Three Bags Full, Liar Liar, APTE and Proud Mary offering similarly outstanding big breakfasts for a fraction of the price, RHCL’s gratuitous premiums are certainly discouraging.

RCHL is an establishment that proudly pays homage to quality Australian produce, as is successfully reflected in its dishes. The breakfast offerings at RHCL are respectable but not perfect. Unfortunately, in light of the wealth of cafes in Melbourne offering comparable and even superior breakfast dishes at more economical prices, it may be a while before I return to RHCL for a morning meal.

Rating: 3/5 (Good)


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