A new year, a new Women of Letters, and a new Women of Letters venue! Having moved from the Thornbury Theatre to the glorious disabled-access friendly Regal Ballroom, our WoL trip this month meant that we were moving our pre-brunch from Thornbury to Northcote. But with the vegan and gluten free requiring Maddy in our party, would we be able to find a cafe to cater for her hungry needs?
After doing some extensive research, I decided that it was high time to pay Red Door Corner Store another visit. Not only is their food comforting and delicious, but by the look of their website it seemed as if they would be able to cater handsomely for Maddy’s needs.
Being a bright sunny day, we snaffled ourselves a table in the courtyard out the back, which occupies a pleasing prospect bursting with flowers and overhanging trees, with a spread of astro-turf under foot.
Since I had passed over them last time, I figured this was the perfect chance to finally try the renowned coconut crumpets served with jam, honey and Myrtleford butter. Two huge rounds of crumpet appeared on a wooden board, just lightly golden in colour yet piping hot, surrounded by pots of condiments. I made sure to divide up the crumpets so that I could enjoy equal quantities of condiments because, you know, anal-retentive.
While the promised coconut flavour wasn’t really at the forefront, these were still really decent crumpets. Big and fat without, moist and spongy within, all that I require from a homemade crumpet. The condiments was where the dish really kicked up a gear – there was a mixed fruit jam (most probably a mix of plum and berries) that was sweet, rich, and threaded through with nice fat chunks of fruit; a lovely floral-noted honey, thick and sweet; and best of all, the perfect round of Myrtleford butter. You don’t want to know how much butter I eat (the fact I don’t eat meat is probably the only reason my cholesterol isn’t through the roof), but Myrtleford butter is something else – rich, creamy yet with a hint of salt, obscenely yellow, it’s like the Godzilla of butters, stomping in all over every other flavour and roaring “Bow before me, King of Butters, and DESPAIR!.” I want to live in a vat of it.
Maddy had a few options to mull over, thankfully, and the staff were lovely in happily checking with the kitchen to see what she could eat. She ended up building her own brekkie toast with homemade gluten-free bread, fresh avocado, roasted tomato and the house baked beans (apparently always made with oil, not butter). We had been particularly taken with the note on the menu that Red Door’s gluten-free bread supplier’s products are frequently mistaken for their gluten-packed brethren, something of a miracle when it comes to gluten-free breads. Maddy’s delighted cry of “It tastes like real bread!” upon her first bite proved it was not just idle boasting. The plate was wholly devoured, leaving a very satisfied Maddy.
Muffin went with Red Door’s baked eggs. I shamefully did not take much note of them, other than noting that the dish was slicked with a very good, thick looking tomato-based sauce, with little islands of white egg floating about.
Once again, Red Door proved that they are one of the most reliable brunch providers north-side, and will happily cater for those with dietary needs with dishes of equal high standard to everything else on their menu. Good to see!
Red Door Corner Store
70 Mitchell Street, Northcote
Ph: 9489 8040