There are tens of apartment blocks going up in Richmond at any one time; all the time. That is not necessarily a good thing. On the flipside, the almost comparable number of cafes with good looks, sharp service, and great food, is a far more attractive element.
Given a moment to think, one could very quickly reel off half a dozen new cafes that have begun life in Richmond in the past year. Jethro Canteen, on Burnley Street, at the back East end of this great suburb, is the latest to be born.
There are some nice differences in the fitout that set it apart from many others in recent times, but it is still the clean minimalist look associated with this era in design. I particularly like the flourishes of green, and the exposed brick, in this wide rectangular double fronted old shop. Naturally with the length, the windows allow a lot of light through to fill the cafe with brightness.
As you would expect, on this first Friday of operation the cafe is full at lunch. We wait for a larger table of blokes to leave and our turn comes not long after arriving. If the wait time is too long, there is always Friends Of Mine a few minutes around the corner, or even better, Penny House just down the street.
Instantly there appears to be a go-to dish in the form of the Jethro chilli dog. In fact, all three of the gentleman on our table instantly order it. I have a lower heat tolerance than Graeme and Ralph, so I use less of the jalapenos provided, but there is hot mustard on top of the brioche bun, and flecks of chilli in the frankfurter sausage, that gives the right amount of zing. It’s good, and I would go back for it again, but I would equally go for the fried chicken in charcoal brioche!
The coffee is good too. And I’ve been back twice to make sure! Each time there have been a surprising amount of staff, which is a great thing if it keeps up, because the crowds are already hitting up the cafe all times of day.
All I can say is keep the great new cafes coming, but please halt the number of new apartment blocks!