Saturday, May 06, 2006

NewYorkTomato Cafe, Richmond

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"



Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is another section upstairs that fits a lot of eaters. i think I saw Eddie there once....!

16/5/06 15:45  
Blogger Greg said...

Have to agree about the bacon ... not exciting at all. I had the "open BLT with avacado and poached egg". I found the egg a little runny and the yolk was very washed out and bland - probably a result of being free-range.

There was no chance of getting inside, so during wet or even cold weather you'll be miserable stuck outside. Service was okay once it got going, but we were told the kitchen was "on hold" for 45 minutes and not taking orders (this is at 10:30am on Sunday). However, the waiting staff were taking orders from people who arrived after us ... but perhaps they were regulars. If that kind of thing shits you, then be warned.

My fellow diners were disappointed at the lack of a comprehensive multi-part breakfast option. While hollandaise sauce was available on one salmon/capers dish, strangely eggs benedict and florentine were absent.

The other dishes - especially the eggs in napoli - looked and (apparently) tasted great. The coffee was fine, though a little tepid.

The significant capacity constraints and lack of nearby alternatives (meaning you're locked in) probably rule out a repeat visit. I wouldn't recommend this place for those looking for a hearty-style or traditional brunch - but if you want to peck at something tasty and a little novel and don't mind lingering in a sheltered courtyard, it is fine.

18/6/06 12:59  
Blogger Niki said...

We have rehearsals in the conservatorium of music over the road every Saturday morning, so this is our coffee place during breaks. By the time you finally get your coffee the break is over! Speedy service is not the order of the day, but lunch after we finish (about 1pm) is much quieter and better organised.

20/11/06 12:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richmond lacks cafe retreats for locals (maybe Chimmy's on Bridge, but good luck getting a seat!).

NewYorkTomatoCafe is my favourite local place to have brunch. It's a lost oasis in an otherwise routine street; I love the cappuccinos; I love the understated courtyard; and sitting in the sun reading the weekend newspaper really puts me in a good mood. The staff are always lovely too (side note: a friend who I took there asked if it was a prerequisite for the staff to have piercings).

Oh! Oh! And people bring their dogs.

29/11/06 14:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the new york tomato has been a favourite of mine for some years now, so much so that i even travel from the other side of town to go there.. coffee is excellent and you can't go past the weekend breakfast specials which are usually a poached and scrambled masterpiece made up of delicious ingredients like roasted pumpkin, asparagus, chorizo, pesto, fetta etc etc...
yes sometimes there's a wait on your food but that's because the place is so popular and busy, so what you gonna do?? it's worth the wait i say..
a hidden melbourne gem

26/1/08 10:49  
Blogger xofro said...

NYT is my work local and it's a godsend. I think their breakfasts are fine (I've never been on a weekend) but their lunches are amazingly good - try the specials if something appeals - they do miracles in that tiny kitchenette! I'm not a salad person, but I never want theirs to stop, and they've completely converted me to beetroot...

If you are breakfasting there, my favourites are the Belgian waffles - yum :) Otherwise, try their sister cafe Min Lokal in Fitzroy, which is a wonderful place to breakfast.

16/10/08 22:17  
Anonymous HUNGRY said...

I really liked the set-up of NYT and was sitting outside on a beautiful sunny day.

I was disappointed with my order of poached eggs on toast though. While the eggs were fine, they were balanced on Melbourne's smallest piece of toast.

Order something else if you're looking for a big hearty serve of eggies. The coffee was great.

16/11/09 10:20  

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