A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published January 28th 2015
Red alert - this cafe is highly recommended
Meeting a friend who lives in the northern suburbs for a recent Sunday brunch dragged me away from my usual eastern suburbs haunts and over to Northcote. Looking for somewhere that was out of the main High Street strip, I suggested the Red Door Corner Store Cafe, which is located at 70 Mitchell Street, Northcote. Figuring that it was likely to be busy at 11am on a Sunday, I rang ahead, and was pleased to find that I could reserve a table.
As the name suggests, the cafe is located in a former corner store
It looked busy as we walked up to the cafe, with many people hanging around out the front. Inside, the cafe was as full as you'd expect any decent cafe to be at that time on a Sunday. We were shown to a table in the back section of the cafe which was a little quieter. To be fair, I did not find Red Door an overly noisy cafe, especially given that it was fairly full.
I instantly liked the ambience of Red Door. There are slightly rustic looking decorations on the walls, such as a mural made from framed cutlery, and another featuring lanterns. The service was great, and our first round of coffees quickly appeared.
I liked the ambience of this cafe
In my view, Red Door offers an impressive menu. While still recognisably breakfast-y in nature, the menu items generally have a bit of a twist, that make them sound both interesting and appealing. I'll give you an example. Omelette is of course a breakfast favourite, but this is the first time I've seen spanner crab omelette on a breakfast menu ($17.50). Even the old standard French toast sounded amazing: Brioche French Toast, slow-roasted peach, strawberries, orange custard, cinnamon, pistachio, vanilla crème fraîche ($16).
It took some deliberation before we settled on our choices. As is often the case, I didn't opt for a cooked meal, choosing instead the Bircher muesli: natural muesli, poached apricot, fresh berries, coconut yoghurt, vanilla & lemon verbena, granola crunch ($12). It might seem a bit of a gimmick to serve a dish like this in a screw top jar, but in this case, it worked well. Once you remove the lid, there is an inviting treasure of a dish underneath. And it really did taste as good as it looks!
Bircher muesli - delightful to look at, wonderful to eat
My friend Mel went for the grilled semolina, baby king oyster mushrooms, asparagus, cherry tomato, Meredith Goat Cheese, truffle oil, shaved pecorino, poached egg ($15.50).
Grilled semolina with king oyster mushrooms and poached egg
Dave chose the gin, citrus & cucumber house-cured ocean trout, potato rosti, sautéed ornamental kale, red sorrel, poached eggs, hollandaise, trout roe - the dearest dish on the menu at $18.50.
House cured trout with rosti - pretty as a picture
We all loved our meals, and declared a return visit to be in order.
To summarise, the service was great, menu selection impressive, food thoughtfully presented and delightful to eat, and it was good value for money.
Based on our experience, I would highly recommend the Red Door Corner Store cafe.