The Old Barber Shop, Richmond

Coming home on the tram after last weekend’s breakfast adventure, I spied a busy little cafe within an old home near Bridge Road and remembered that was another place that I wanted to try out. After a little investigating on Urbanspoon, I found out the name and address and made a beeline for The Old Barber Shop.

A friend of mine told me that the kitchen was not quite equipped as other cafes so I knew that my beloved French Toast wasn’t going to be on the menu, but that gave me the opportunity to explore and try something new.

After reviewing the menu, I selected the Croque Madame. I’ve had a Croque Monsieur in Paris but this was a whole new ball game for me. I’m slightly fussy with my eggs, as my friends and family well know and when ordering I will ask for my eggs to be hard poached or avoid them all together!

Croque Madame - The Old Barber Shop, Richmond
Croque Madame – The Old Barber Shop, Richmond

When my dish arrived, I nearly had heart palpitations when I saw the form of the “fried” egg. It distinctly didn’t look fried whatsoever but sending it back to the kitchen didn’t appear to be an option … more on that later.

I’ve had beef tartare with raw egg, so it was time to toughen up and eat. With much trepidation, I started on the outskirts of my meal and dug in. The bread was thick with molten cheese and tender succulent ham and was absolutely delicious … but I was eating closer to that egg and I didn’t see any chance of escape. The underneath of the egg was well cooked and letting my egg rest was a good decision, and was not quite so liquid when I was prepared to eat it. Runny egg or not, my dish was delicious and deceptively indulgent and I almost sighed when there was nothing left to eat.

Maybe Jamie Oliver is to blame but I’m starting to enjoy food served on wooden boards, and I enjoyed the pleasure of physically tearing away at my breakfast and the thick toast and hardening cheese with only the brute strength I could muster on a Saturday morning, without the clink and clunk of steel on china.

Croque Madame - The Old Barber Shop, Richmond
Croque Madame – The Old Barber Shop, Richmond

Now dare I mention the service … something is not quite right when you have to ask for the menu; to call an attendant over to ask for another coffee, and then watch them walk away while your empty plate and original drained coffee cup remain on the table before you; and then walk to into the cafe some ten minutes later and remind the same person that you are only standing there so you can pay for what you ate … and it’s not all that busy!

Putting that aside, the ambience of sitting on the front verandah, the delicious coffee and indulging in warm bread, ham and cheese was a wonderful start to my weekend.

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