Red Door Corner Store

This post is well overdue… and I have to apologise to my faithful readers, because I do have a backlog that I will attempt to power through over the next few weeks.  After all.. Paris is only 43 sleeps away – and there’ll be plenty to report on once we’ve arrived on the continent. 🙂

So, I had heard a few things about Red Door Corner Store – in particular, that they had a French Toast, come Fried Brioche, that was worth trying.  So, well before great friend Row, from SheRidesCycling flew over to start her new life in Perth – we jumped into the Rav4 and headed out to the burbs.  I say the burbs because this little corner store is nestled deep into Northcote’s residential neighbourhood – almost like a secret jewel waiting to be discovered.

The place is very cute – and first impressions are that you can’t help but be jealous of the locals for having such a brilliant café to call their own.  It has a lot of ambience and plenty of quirky little touches.  I especially loved the display of old cake stands next to the front door, and the great brown glass pharmaceutical jars on the top shelf.  It’s attention to detail that I like to see – it adds character and a stamp of personality onto the place.

What I particularly appreciated was the little dedication to all their suppliers at the front of the menu – not the back, where many restaurateurs acknowledge the brilliant producers who supply them with quality products every day and week – but at the front.  Kudos!

Ahhh… coffee!! According to Melbourne Coffee Review these guys use The Maling Room coffee.  It was good.

Brioche French Toast, Poached Pears, Salted Caramel Sauce, Crème Fraiche

And here it is… the much anticipated Brioche French Toast….  As you are all aware – I have a particular fondness for Hardware Societé Fried Brioche.  To me, Hardware Societé is the gold standard of all French Toast / Fried Brioche.   Alas, while the description of the Red Door Corner Store dish promised so much – the delivery fell well short of that gold standard.  Let me start with the salted caramel sauce – it wasn’t so much a sauce as a sticky, fudgy toffee.  You had to scrape it off the plate to get it – which is not what I think of when I think “sauce”… and the quantity was fairly underwhelming.  As for the brioche itself – you can see from the photo that this is quite an eggy custard which means the dish is more like a standard French toast than a remarkable reinvention of the classic.  The poached pear was fine – but was stone cold. All in all – Rowena and I (we both had the same dish) left feeling unsatisfied.

My summary of the experience – Red Door Corner Store is probably a great hangout for locals, and I’m sure once you found your favourite on the menu, it would be hard to drag yourself further than the block or so required if this was your neighbourhood.  However, it’s certainly not what I would call a destination café.  Enjoy yourselves locals (as can be seen in the photo below) – but for those of us who are further afield there are riper and richer playgrounds to discover.

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