Local Food Guru, Stephanie Alexander and Cheese Expert Will Studd are responsible for the creation of the Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder. While they have moved on to bigger and better things, RHCL continues to pay homage to its “foodie” founders by giving dinners a premium gourmet experience.
Without a doubt, the Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder is my favourite brunch spot. There is so much on offer. Decadent breakfast and lunch options, awesome coffee, an impressive wine list as well as stylish, yet well priced cocktails on offer. And did I mention their unbelievable cheese room?
Situated perfectly in Richmond, on shopper’s paradise Bridge Road it’s just a 10 minute tram ride from the city. The pavement cafe is very French and leads into the cafe that has a little providore as you enter selling bits and pieces of kitchen equipment and interesting condiments. Tucked further in the back corner is the walk in fromagerie that is temperature controlled complete with humidifier and petite French gentleman eager to guide you through the selection the room offers. All the big French, Italian and Swiss cheeses are on hand as well as some rarer varieties, and of course a splattering of local favourites.
Once seated you are spoilt for choice. The menu changes seasonally, with lots of delectable specials, but there are fixtures that don’t budge, and for good reason. All the items on the menu are well thought out and while upon first gaze seem pricey, the food is worth every penny.
The soup of the day changes obviously, and is always superb, wholesome, hearty yet chic. The Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with White Truffle Oil served with crusty baguette that I enjoyed last time was earthy and decadent. The cheesey toast is something they are well known for. Generous melted gruyere lavishly coating Dench bread is fancied up by the accompaniment of a spicy eggplant and chilli pickle.
The charcuterie board is to die for. Apt for up to four people to snack on for a lazy arvo with posh cocktails to wash it down. A bit of chicken liver parfait, terrine, homemade sausage, selection of cured salumi (prosciutto, bresola, capicolo), cornichons, relishes, toasted brioche and a side serve of toasted baguette. The chicken liver pate is the absolute hero of the board – smooth, silky and rich. The terrine of chicken, pork, apricots and pistachio wrapped in prosciutto is the perfect balance of sweet, savoury and substantial meaty goodness. I highly recommend the Bloody Mary’s as well as the Breakfast Martinis which is a blend of freshly squeezed blood orange juice, vodka and a house made marmalade.
Talking mains, the pork belly is everything one could ever hope for with that tender fatty section of meat. Crispy skin, yielding to perfectly cooked meat – moist and perfumed with star anise and sticky plum sauce.
They almost always have a tart on the menu, the specifics change but it is always spot on with subtle flavours paired with the delicate short, crumbly pastry. Hard to go past this one, you will be sorry.
On the whole there is so much great food stuff going on within the RHCL’s four walls it is hard not to get carried away. I usually come away having eaten my way well through the menu, a piece of cheese in tow for later, and a cheeky smile plastered on my face thanks to their delicious cocktails. Add to their list of impressive food achievements the RHCL run wine and cheese matching classes once a month and is definitely worth investigating. I know I will be attending soon…
Ambience What’s not to love? You feel like you are transported to Europe minus the jetlag. It really can’t get much better than that can it…
Service On the money. Offers prompt and precise professional service with great knowledge of the food and wine on offer.
Food Impressive menu that is constantly evolving and changing with the seasons. Execution of the meals is perfection making the dining experience a truly wholesome, enjoyable one which is greatly anticipated and met with great satisfaction time and again.