Mon – Fri: 7am – 4pm
Sat – Sun: 8am– 4pm
Coffee: Maling Room, Single Origin
“Milk bars were once the beacon of convenience to adults and a lolly heaven to kids. With shopping centres closed on the weekend (yes this did occur!), our much-needed food supplies were sought from the local milk bars. It created a little community where people would have a friendly conversation with the owner as you picked up the newspaper, milk, bread and a lolly for the little one. However, these day milk bars are a dying breed with the introduction of more supermarkets and longer shopping hours. With this turn of events some fantastic real estate and great cafe locations became available on the market. One noticeable addition was the Red Door Corner Store in Northcote.
Northcote is often overlooked as it’s quite close to the very hip and indie Brunswick. However, for the locals and people in the ‘know’, Northcote is a well and truly buzzing suburb. Red Door Corner Store is just one example. Situated off High Street, this cafe has a modern, funky design which retains a little bit of the milk bar vibe. There is a clever red theme throughout the cafe with random red chairs, waiters donning red aprons and red cafe decanters. You can get your coffee and paper – and if you’re in the mood for some impressive brunch dishes. There are various seating options to suite the mood – in the cute courtyard at the back, in the front of the cafe or outside on the footpath. Upon arrival the vibe was cool and relaxed. There was no need to wait around to put your name on a waiting list as you could sit anywhere that took your fancy.
The Red Door Corner Store house blend is by Maling Room, however on this occasion I wanted a defined Single Origin bean. The bean suggested was the “Peru El Gumbo- Organic”. I am a big fan of single origin beans as it captures the true flavours. The coffee had a beautiful softly coloured head which was reflected in the taste. It was initially a lovely, sweet honey flavour with a noticeably acidity left on the palate. It wasn’t an ‘in your face’ taste but it was definitely an acquired taste.
It was meal time, and my choices were endless. Reading from the paper bag menu, I had noticed that duck was on the menu – Duck confit, off the bone, with cream spinach, roasted field mushrooms, topped with a poached egg & sourdough croutes [$17.0]. Duck has always been one of my weaknesses and to have duck for brunch seemed like a no-brainier.
The duck was cooked extremely well and had a tasty chewy texture with no sign of dryness. It was cooked in a sauce which had a prominent salty flavour and the baked mushrooms carried the same theme. The poached eggs and the spinach helped to dilute the taste, however at times the saltiness was overpowering and a little off-putting. With that said, the overall quality of the dish was unique and lovely. The poached eggs went well with the duck and I quite enjoyed the rye bread which was toasted perfectly. The sesame seeds were a perfect combination with the duck and mushrooms.
Red Door Corner Store delivered a great brunch dish and coffee to the suburban doorsteps of Northcote. It’s not a cafe which is ‘conveniently’ located to attract customers attention. Rather, the customers come to them. This alone is an achievement, but also being in the suburbs makes the brunch experience relaxing and exciting. Suburbs can be cool, they just need cool cafes.”
“Mr LB and I have been to many brunch places over the years, before we even decided to start this blog. Every now and then, we crave to go somewhere new. A place we had heard of vaguely, mentioned once somewhere along the grapevine that hadn’t been covered much by the blog circuit. Enter Red Door Corner Store – a charming little cafe in the unsuspecting suburban streets of Northcote.
I was surprised in my post-brunch research to find that this place had not only been visited by The Age Cheap Eats Guide but also Masterchef guru, Matt Preston, who raved about the friands that used to be served there.
We positioned ourselves outside and were handed menus that were printed on brown paper bags and served water in 1980s styled milk bottles – simply adorable.
When I wandered around the cafe snooping for photo opportunities, I couldn’t help but notice how delicious the Bircher trifle layered with natural yoghurt & a rosewater berry compote [$9.5] looked. My stomach, however, was craving something substantial and I opted for the boring choice of the Breakfast roll with a free-range fried egg, tomato kasundi, double smoked free-range bacon, avocado, rocket & aioli [$10] along with a soy latte which was presented on a beautiful saucer.
The bread of my burger was dense and difficult to cut through, but very delicious. I ended up pulling off the top piece in order to get a better handle on cutting through my meal – a little unfortunate because the aioli had attached itself to that slice. The bacon was beautiful – there was just the right amount of fat attached to it which added the perfect amount of salt to the overall dish.
The fried egg was cook purposely to be thick – almost half a centimetre. Unfortunately, it was overcooked. Perhaps that was intentional, but I would have liked even just a little bit of yolk to mix in with the rest of the dish.
The avocado was wonderfully fresh, melting in my mouth and mixing beautifully with the egg. The tomato kasundi was magnificent – it zapped through the burger and created excitement in the dish. By the end of it all my beast of a belly was well and truly satisfied, without feeling like I had over-eaten.
Red Door Corner Store was more of an adventure – a cafe experience which I enjoyed. I really enjoyed the old vs. new elements of the store, the extremely friendly and helpful staff and the various dishes on offer. I would definitely love to come back and try some of the more exciting things on the menu – mostly the Sticky black rice pudding with pineapple, lychee, kaffir lime & coconut cream [$10.5]. This is a place that is both innovative and yet offers standard dishes – a place that you can bring your friends to and hear no complaints about the food.”
Final thought: “The perfect combination of old vs. new”