Sunday, January 8, 2012

Red Door Bakery, Croydon by Big Fil

As an ex-Adelaide boy now living in Melbourne I normally only get back once a year for Christmas, generally from Christmas Eve to New Years day. Before heading on down I always provide Hungry Pete a list of places that I am interested in trying, so he can check whether they are closed over any or all of the Christmas break. Somewhere which I had wanted to try last year but couldn't get to before it shut for the Christmas break and first in line for this year was Red Door Bakery.

I have to say that I was most impressed with the whole Croydon shopping village. It's generally acknowledged that Melbourne is the place in Australia for suburban shopping villages but the little cluster around Queen and Elizabeth Streets contains a number of cafes that Hungry Pete and I would have been interested in trying. When you couple that with well-preserved largely Victorian and Edwardian houses and a nearby train station it just screams of being ripe for gentrification, Adelaide's own little Fitzroy or Collingwood (complete with a few rough edges).

My first impressions of Red Door itself was that it reminded me somehow of a country or small town bakery. When I spoke to Pete afterwards he didn't quite agree but I think it was the casually friendly atmosphere, the number of apparent locals, the lack of air-conditioning and the type of goods available - sexed up sausage rolls, pies, sandwiches, rather than 47 different varieties of sour dough bread.

Unfortunately by the time we got there (late in the morning) the ravening hordes had been through and some of our first choices particularly amongst the sandwiches were already sold out. Also, what was still around had obviously been sitting in the warmer for a longer than optimal time. Despite this I was very impressed by the quality of our chosen pie and sausage rolls.

My favourite was the lamb and eggplant sausage roll. Good flaky pastry (like all three options), meaty flavours which combined well with the eggplant and with the accompanying recommended chilli jam (a little sweet and not very hot), it looked like a sausage roll but with much more depth of flavour than you'd typically get.

While the pork and sage roll was good I didn't think it was quite up to the standard of the lamb. Looking back at it this could have been because it didn't weather the warmer as well - the stronger flavour of the lamb standing up better when slightly dry.

Our third option was the chicken, chorizo and white bean pie. I was expecting this to have a bit of a spicy kick from the chorizo but found the flavour quite mild. Looking back the recollection of I have is just of a pleasant tasty pie.

Yummy baked goods but unfortunately close to sold out when we arrived, I'd really like to visit in a group not long after opening when everything is still fresh from the oven and at its peak. Even when obviously not at its best it's still in a different class to your typical suburban bakery. The only two negatives were that it's not the most comfortable of places to sit and eat with the tables packed in close together, and serving staff while friendly and polite didn't come across as the most organised and I think they'd struggle to cope at peak hour. Still, well and truly worth the twenty minute drive past all the other more mediocre places.

Food - 8
Service - 6.5
Ambience - 6.5
Price - 7

22 Elizabeth Street
Croydon SA 5008
Tel: (03) 8340 0306

Red Door Bakery on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Gourmet Chick said...

Lamb and eggplant sausage roll sounds great - might try to recreate that one myself!

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