The Fair Foodstore, Richmond

12/23/2015 , 0 Comments

The Fair Foodstore is a small cafe on Church St. in Richmond, easily accessible by tram 78/79 or a ten minute walk from tram 109 on Victoria St. It's close to Tree of Us, a burger joint I've previously blogged about. The cafe uses a range of local produce, and prides itself on its passion for food and coffee.

The decor of the cafe is quite simple yet modern, and the placement of the smaller tables with the large communal table in the middle gives a sense of open space. The use of white against the soft wooden colours makes for a comfortable and laid back environment, and the music in the background together with the sounds of the kitchen and coffee machine makes for a lively, cheerful atmosphere. Staff were very friendly and attentive once we were seated, though when we first went in we didn't know if we were supposed to wait and be taken to a table, and after a few minutes of waiting realised we had to go up to the counter ourselves.

The menu at The Fair Foodstore is seasonal, with a range of breakfast and lunch dishes, as well as specials of the day and a display cabinet at the counter. The dishes we ordered were the French Brioche ($16), the House Smoked Trout ($17), the Fairs Benedict ($17.50) and the Pork Belly Crepe ($17). My friend and I both ordered the special house made soda of the day; peach and blueberry flavour and orange and passionfruit flavour ($5). The soda was a really cool concept; you're given a bottle of soda and a small jar of concentrated fruit flavour, which you then add as much (or as little) of the concentration into the soda depending on how strong you want it. The orange and passionfruit one was quite sour initially, and the peach and blueberry had more of a peach flavour, but overall it was a really enjoyable and refreshing drink that went well with the dishes we ordered.

The French Brioche toast came with fig leaf anglaise, poached quince (similar to pear) and an almond praline. The poached quince was full of flavour and lovely and soft, and matched the brioche toast perfectly. The portion was a little small though so you didn't feel very full, and it would've been good to have more or a thicker slice of the brioche toast to soak up all the fig leaf anglaise. What was great about this dish was that despite the brioche toast not being very big, it didn't become soggy from sitting in the anglaise, which was really enjoyable.

The smoked trout was served on rye toast with devilled eggs, fresh apples and pickles. The trout itself was light but packed with flavour and refreshing to eat, though by itself was a little salty. The devilled eggs were done perfectly, with just the right amount of spice to the creamy mayo, and the apple and pickles helped to balance out the dish for some refreshing flavours and crunchy textures. The rye toast was buttered and not soggy even though it was piled with all the other elements of the dish on top, and not too hard to cut into.

The Fairs Benedict is The Fair Foodstore's take on an eggs benedict with a bit of a twist, as they serve it with house smoked haddock (a type of fish) and spinach on an organic crumpet, with poached eggs and hollandaise. This dish was quite disappointing, as the poached eggs were extremely runny to the point of being undercooked, and the haddock, although soft and fresh was very salty. The crumpet became extremely soggy underneath the rest of the dish, and the hollandaise sauce lacked flavour.

The pork belly crepe consisted of pulled pork in a corn crepe, served with a poached egg, fresh slaw and a house made BBQ sauce. This was a really delicious dish, with a perfect combination of flavours and textures. The crunch of the slaw balanced out the spicy and soft pulled pork really well, and the sweetness of the BBQ sauce ensured it had just the right amount of flavour, yet at the same time not overpowering the natural flavours of the dish. The corn crepe was lovely and thin and didn't go soggy, and the poached egg was cooked just right to ooze out when cut into, and smother over the slaw.

Overall I had a really great experience here at The Fair Foodstore, and would highly recommend it if you're looking for brunch places in the Richmond area. The whole relaxed atmosphere, with jazz music and soft chatter from the customers, together with the great presentation of food and drinks, made for a great dining experience. I'll definitely like to visit again, perhaps when a new menu is out for winter!

Ambience: 8.5/10
Service: 8/10
Food: 8.5/10
Price: 8/10

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