Red Robyn, Camberwell

Next on the shortlist of cafes to visit in my temporary new location in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne is Red Robyn. I read an article on Red Robyn last year in The Age and had taken note of it as a place to visit. I excitedly set off from home and after a quick ten minute walk through the beautiful tree lined streets, I found it amongst a nondescript strip of older shops in Camberwell Road, away from the traffic thoroughfare of the Junction.

Walking into a large, light filled room with white walls, high ceilings, industrial design lighting and sunshine from the shop front windows, it was difficult to know where to sit as both of the main dining areas were warm and inviting.

Red Robyn predominately caters for food intolerances and allergies, therefore the menu had variety and lots of interesting combinations of food to choose from. After a couple of read throughs, it was a toss up between the Sweet Potato Rosti and the Dukkah Eggs. The Dukkah Eggs won.

Dukkah Eggs - chickpea pattie, prosciutto, poached eggs, house-dried tomatoes, labna and pepita seed dukkah - Red Robyn, Camberwell
Dukkah Eggs – chickpea pattie, prosciutto, poached eggs, house-dried tomatoes, labna and pepita seed dukkah – Red Robyn, Camberwell

The presentation of the Dukkah Eggs dish was visually spectacular. So much so, that when my breakfast arrived, a couple who had just arrived and were seated near me, were staring at my plate and both ordered the same dish.

Looks aside, there were a lot of elements on this dish with varying degrees of distinctive flavours and according to my palate, not all of them blended well together. The large chickpea pattie dominated the plate, so that was where I started. Cooked well on the outside, the chickpea mixture was tough and dry on the outer layer, with a soft and mushy centre. The pattie didn’t seem to have any particular flavour or seasoning and at one point, it reminded me of eating sawdust. The labna would have made a nice accompaniment, but it was primarily served with the cooked tomatoes on another part of the plate. The labna was tart with a sharp natural yoghurt taste but was edible when eaten with either the pattie or the tomato. I presumed the prosciutto would be cooked, but sadly no. Trust me but cold, cured salted meat with labna and cooked chickpeas isn’t a new taste sensation. The dukkah, poached eggs and tomatoes were beautifully cooked and stopped me from abandoning breakfast altogether.

Coffee though was excellent, as is the service and ambience. Though I didn’t particularly appreciate what I ordered, I am thinking of going back to try the Sweet Potato Rosti with salmon and haloumi, and I did I mention that there are three different varieties of French Toast on the menu?

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