A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published February 21st 2014
Red Cup's Cup Runneth Over
My mother and I visited Red Cup Cafe last year for lunch and enjoyed it very much. My mother liked the 'chia crusted salmon' she ordered last time so much that she was hankering for it again. We drove past Red Cup in January in the hope that it may have re-opened from its Christmas break, but alas, like many other cafes at that time, it was still closed. Yesterday, we successfully managed to return, and I'm glad we did.
Red Cup is a bit of a gourmet island location wise, that is, there are no other cafes in close proximity. Mind you, it's only a hop, skip and a jump from Box Hill's busy Station Street strip, so there's no shortage of competition elsewhere in the suburb. But I can well imagine that Red Cup is a hit with local residents. It's in a quiet location along Whitehorse Road, not far from Middleborough Road, and, unlike Station Street, street parking is not a problem.
The exterior to Red Cup is fairly plain, but that is soon forgotten when one walks inside. The friendliness of the staff made me feel instantly welcome. Sue, the barista, whom I later learned is the sister of the cafe's owner, radiates a warmth and energy that seems infectious.
A warm welcome from Sue, who also makes great coffee
As the chia salmon was still (fortunately) on the menu, there was no question as to what my mother was going to order, but I had a scan of the menu and decided on 'velvety pâté presented with orange salad and hot toast fingers' ($16.50). The pâté was rich and creamy - delicious. If I had one criticism of my dish it was that there was too much pâté. There was a mountain of it on my plate, more than I'd have thought anyone could manage in one sitting. Mind you, I ended up taking the leftovers away with me, so it didn't go to waste. I'd rather be complaining about too big a portion than too small.
Velvety pate with orange salad and hot toast fingers
Other options included ricotta and zucchini fritters, or a fresh mango chicken salad. It's not the most extensive menu I've seen, but there were a number of appealing options, so it was difficult to make a choice. There are always several daily specials, that change with the seasonal availability of produce.
My mother was again very happy with her chia crusted salmon ($21.50). The salmon was perfectly cooked, the skin beautifully crispy.
Chia crusted salmon
All the food I saw looked fresh and appealing.
We rounded off our meals with coffees ($4.20), which were as good as I'd expect following such a lovely meal.
Red Cup is also open for breakfast, and had some mouth watering muffins on display. On its website, Red Cup boasts of 'legendary homemade hot scones with lots of double thick cream & jam we make'. I'm yet to try them, but it sounds like a good excuse for a return visit.
Red Cup is open from 6.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 7.00am to 4.30pm on the weekends.