The Red Door Corner Store cafe is one of those places that I’d happily go out of my way for. Set up in what was once an old milk bar, the simple interior has a relaxed, home-style feel. Odds and ends from the kitchen, vintage crockery, bakeware and the like, adorn the white walls and hang from the ceilings, and the brilliant, fire-engine red of the main entrance is cleverly carried through to the interior with their choice of furniture and crockery. As befitting a local cornerstore, there is a pantry stocked with teas, coffee and preserves for sale, along with home-made sweet treats and pastries, and you can also pick up a paper and loaf with your coffee.
Chef Shannon is dedicated to serving wholesome, healthy food, and the breakfast and lunch menus are filled with hearty dishes featuring fresh local produce; Alan and Shelly Green’s free range eggs, free range meats from Largo, Melbourne City Rooftop Honey and organic Dench sourdoughs.
T and I stopped by for lunch one sunny Sunday afternoon. Coffee by Proud Mary to start – never fails to hit the spot. The Panama Don Pepe Bourbon single origin was sweet and syrup-y, good with less milk in a magic.
From the breakfast menu, T chose grilled semolina topped with portobello mushrooms, poached egg, wilted spinach, taleggio and parmesan cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil, with an added side of Harris’ double-smoked salmon. The semolina was charred and crispy around the edges while soft in the middle, forming a nice neutral base for the rich, earthy flavours of the mushrooms and spinach.
I had a steak sandwich from the lunch menu. Juicy Hopkins River beef, bacon, roasted tomatoes, been shoot salad, caramelised onions, creamy aioli and sweet beetroot jam on crusty, seeded Dench sourdough; all the things you want in a well-rounded, healthy sanga.
For something sweet to finish, we decided to get gingerbread to share. The house-made ginger bread was spongy and strongly spiced, balanced nicely with mulled blackberries (sweet but with a lingering hint of tartness), creamy whipped orange ricotta, cinnamon, and hazelnut and sesame ‘dukkah’.
We left very satisfied and energised for some window shopping on High Street. I’m on the lookout for another excuse to head to Northcote; would love to try the house-made coconut crumpets and have also heard that the coronation chicken sandwich is fantastic.