Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder – Richmond – Saturday 31 May 2015 – Breakfast

Home style baked borlotti beans with smoked ham hock and tomato ragout with gratinated Taleggio and basil pesto with toasted soldiers

Home style baked borlotti beans with smoked ham hock and tomato ragout with gratinated Taleggio and basil pesto with toasted soldiers

There is a pattern. It can never be too long between visits to Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder. The pattern is some months of absence before a distinct requirement for excessive cheese consumption like last September. Next comes the very grown up breakfast experience which reminds you that you must return for cheese, and lots of it!

RHCL has been a favourite from the first time I stepped in as a tourist. It is those visits, the professionalism of the staff, the cheese room, and the atmosphere, that sets it apart as an experience. Today it is about breakfast.

We have come at the right time. There is a table for two in the window which is by far my favourite spot inside and it is ours. I’ve indulged in the cheesy toast many times but today I feel like something a bit more sophisticated to pair with my sparkling shiraz.

Smashed avocado toast with Meredith goat’s feta, cherry tomatoes, chilli, basil & lemon infused olive oil

Smashed avocado toast with Meredith goat’s feta, cherry tomatoes, basil & lemon infused olive oil

The baked borlotti beans with ham hock seem perfect as we come to the threshold of winter in Melbourne. What I didn’t expect was the judicious use of taleggio over the top, oozing over the beans, but still showing the gorgeous rind that is a treasure in itself. That surprise was the highlight. Although the beans are flavoursome, they could be richer and personally I’d like the space to be able to place the beans on top of the toast so it soaks in the juices. A good dish but not as good as the cheesy toast.

Catherine enjoyed the RHCL’s version of smashed avocado, feta and cherry tomatoes. This is a dish that is on every second cafe menu, and for good reason. This one has good focus on quality ingredients, but with some accompaniments that enhance the dish beyond what most people could dish out at home.

It is easy for time to pass here as you chat, watch the foot traffic go by, and try to guess what the various gatherings are talking about, and where they have come from. There is that happy and satisfied atmosphere that is difficult to create in a restaurant, but seems like it now belongs.

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