It’s not often that I visit the inner-northern suburbs. Despite being relatively close and having an abundance of great places to eat, it just so happens that these suburbs aren’t particularly easy to get to from Richmond by either public transport or car. As a result it’s taken me nearly two years of blogging to write about a single place in Northcote.
Red Door Corner Store is tucked away down a quiet residential street off bustling High street. It has a kitchen-cafe feel, with walls adorned with teapots, pans and other kitchen paraphernalia. Decorative light fittings consist of bulbs shaded by translucent, re-purposed milk bottles and shelves are laden with homemade jams and relishes.
Classic beef pie
Bob’s beef pie was quite an attractive one, with a decorative spiral of pastry sealing the lid to the base. The buttery, crisp pastry gave way to a flavoursome minced beef filling. The house-made kasundi had just enough sweetness and acidity to complement the pie, without that cloying effect of commercial tomato sauce.
Spring vegetable and pearl barley risotto
I ordered one of the specials, which was perfect for that day’s warm-but-excessively-windy transitional spring weather. This normally heavy rice dish was given a spring makeover with the use of pearl barley, bright green vegetables and fresh, punchy gremolata crumbs. The vegetable serving was generous and cooked perfectly; the broccolini and asparagus were just tender, while still presenting some dental resistance. The creamy broth was well-seasoned, with generous amounts of parmesan and olive oil adding a touch of richness to the otherwise very healthy dish.
Sticky date pudding
There were a number of tempting sweet options in the front cabinet. We settled on the sticky date, which was served warm with butterscotch sauce. Upon its presentation I thought that perhaps a little cream wouldn’t have gone astray, although as soon as I started eating it I forgot all about that. It was rich, moist and had just a hint of ginger which gave it a bit of oomph. Wish I had the recipe!
Unfortunately the coffee machine stopped working just after we arrived, so I can’t comment on the quality of their coffees. We both ordered tea instead and for some reason or other mine turned up but Bob’s never did, despite asking for it twice. The second time, which was after we had finished our mains and well after we had ordered, the waitress replied with a rather curt ‘it’s coming!’. She then however returned a few minutes later with tea for our neighbouring table who had only just been seated. Not sure what the hold up was with regards to putting some leaves in a pot with water.
Service hiccups aside, the food was good enough for me to want to return. There was a garden area out the back which I can imagine would be lovely in warmer weather. Maybe I should head north more often?Red Door Corner Store 70 Mitchell Street Northcote