New York Tomato

May 1, 2011

6 New Street, Richmond

NYT: New York Tomato. All I can say about the location of this place is that it’s somewhere in Richmond, and that it’s on the corner of two narrow back-streets, New St and York. I wasn’t the one driving there on this occasion, and from the minute we turned off Bridge Rd, it was just a labyrinth of one-way streets, train-line underpasses and no through roads. Finally we parked, and walked the last stretch to this residential corner, to NYT, a courtyard-cum-carport style cafe through a roller door and underneath a sail. Looking in, I like the place already. It’s quinessentially Melbourne, semi-warehouse style, bustling outdoors area, pot-plants, everyone drinking coffee and looking cool.

I had a latte and N had a chai, which was adorably presented with a teapot, cup and little dish of honey with a wooden spoon to mix into the tea. I think I’ll order this next time: my latte was creamy and at the right temperature, but nothing to write home about.

For lunch, N went with the Quesadilla with refried beans, sour cream, spiced tomato salsa, parmesan, jalapenos, coriander and a poached egg. It looked and tasted (I was lucky enough to have a bit flung at me) great. We even braved the jalapenos, although I must say there were plenty piled on the plate! The only thing about this dish for me is the coriander, which I find has a soapy taste. As N exclaimed, “you’re one of them!”, so if anyone’s ever wanting to do a scientific study on taste-bud chemicals and coriander-receptors, look no further.

I had trouble deciding what to order, my decision changed almost every minute between the waitress handing us the menu and coming back later to take our order, quite literally, which meant that the whole time I was eating my dish, I kept on cycling through all the other ones I’d considered. I suppose the only solution is to come back here again, how tiresome! I ended up choosing the clay pot of pancetta, basil, spiced chickpeas, preserved lemon, eggs and toast.

Despite my indecision, I really enjoyed my dish, although it was perhaps a little too salty. But I loved those two eggs, coddled among the pancetta, and those spicy, lemony chickpeas. These were really good baked eggs, no trace of tin-iness about the taste. And preserved lemon – I LOVE lemon. I love lemon so much, there’s simply got to be something healthy about it (oh yeah, vitamin C….I remember that one). So there, fulfilling my daily vitamin C requirements AND lapping up some vitamin D in the sun-filled courtyard, what a healthy cafe!

Here’s what else caught my eye:
– Fabada, spiced Spanish bean stew w roasted peppers, preserved lemon, caramelised onion, chorizo, poached egg and toast.
– Open BRAT, bacon, roquette, avocado, tomato w poached egg on sourdough
– Hollandaise, poached eggs, asparagus, preserved lemon, basil and toasted almonds on sourdough.
– Free range eggs baked in napoli sauce with split green olives, fetta, roasted red peppers, chilli, dukkah toast.
– Belgian waffles w strawberries, poached vanilla pears, spiced hazelnut labne, blueberry maple syrup

My list includes a lot of eggy dishes, but I was in an eggy mood that day. And New York Tomato also does a number of sandwich-type things, which had a range of interesting fillings that I can’t remember now.

This is what I love so much about Melbourne. In ANY suburb, there exist places like this, chilled out cafes with awesome, fresh food. And the menu was different to the usual brunch-y things I’ve been eating lately. Just when you get bored of seeing salmon and avocado and fetta, there’s a new place that someone shows you, with an different, interesting menu. NYT, sequestered away as it is from the world, was a great discovery. And now that I’ve found it, I’m loathe to share it!

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Filed under: Brunch, Richmond