Variously described as a "hidden gem" and "out-of-the-way local", you do indeed need local knowledge to find the newyorktomato cafe & bar (that's how they write it), Corner New and Yorks Streets, Richmond, Tel +61 3 9429 0505. Unless, perhaps, you barrack for Collingwood
, in which case you might catch a glimpse of it out the train window on the way to Victoria Park. Then again, if you barrack for Collingwood, you're probably too busy vandalising the carriage to notice. You can never have too much "Eddie 4 Prezident" graffiti, after all.
My breakfast was a case study in how little things can make a big difference. I ordered poached eggs on sourdough with a side of fresh avocado. So far so good. Not great, but good enough. I also ummmed and aaahed about whether to get a side of beans or bacon. In the end I got both. Had I got just beans, I would have been very impressed. The beans were very good, with caramelised onion, pine nuts and a thick tomato sauce lifting the dish well above average. Had I got just bacon, I would have been miffed. The bacon was not good. It was a bad combo of stiff, dry and oily, without any real crispiness. By getting both, the beans neutralised the bacon, and I walked away pretty happy with the meal.
A few of the other menu items caught my eye. Oat pancake with saffron poached pears and a pistachio maple butter and syrup, for example. Or roasted mushrooms with basil, sweet corn and fetta on toast. They also offer a wheat-free toasted muesli, and 100% dark rye toast, for those with gluten issues. The beans are vegan, too.
Coffee and service were both good, and the venue feels a bit like eating in someone's back yard. Indeed, the courtyard accounts for about half of the total seating, which makes me wonder what happens if (when) it starts pissing with rain?15/20
"v is for vegan... beans"