Saint Thomas Coffee and Kitchen, Richmond

Saint Thomas is a cosy cafe in Richmond, about a five minute walk from East Richmond Station and also easily accessible by tram 78. It's actually a few doors down from a famous cafe in the area, Pillar of Salt, which I've also blogged about.

The cafe has a very lively, bustling environment from all its customers, so you do have to raise your voices slightly when talking to one another. The kitchen is to one side of the cafe and there's further seating behind it, so you hear the sounds from within as well. We were sitting quite close to the kitchen and the smells of bacon kept wafting over to our table, which almost made us want to order some ourselves! There aren't very many decorations up on the walls; for the most part it's just white, though the seating at the very back is for a larger group, with couch like chairs to one side. Service was great, we waited about ten minutes for food at most, and got a table immediately when we went on a Sunday around 11am, and the staff were friendly.

The menu is mostly breakfast items with a few lunch dishes, and there's also a display cabinet at the counter with more options to choose from. Most dishes at Saint Thomas are vegetarian or gluten free, and there are also a few vegan options which was great to see. The dishes we ordered were the corn fritters ($18) and the sauteed mixed mushrooms ($18), and we also got a skinny capp and hot chocolate ($4.30 each). The capp was a little less frothy than expected, though had a good milky flavour. It could've been hotter though, as the weather was so cold that it became cold to drink quite quickly. Same with the capp, the hot chocolate became cold quite quickly, and as a personal preference, I would've liked it a bit sweeter as well.

The corn fritters were made up of chickpea, zucchini and a parmesan mix, and was served with house made harissa (hot chilli pepper) spread, zucchini tagliatelle, mint, coriander, chargrilled corn and poached eggs. The corn flavour came through well in the fritters, which were nice and crispy on the outside and soft and textured on the inside. The harissa spread and dressing complimented the dish well to give the other elements extra flavour, and ensured it wasn't too dry. The poached eggs were cooked perfectly, with the yolk oozing out when cut into, and brought the dish together nicely. Presentation was great, however the portion of the dish felt a bit small - maybe the plate used was quite large, which made it seem like there wasn't much on there.

The sauteed mushrooms came with poached eggs, kale, parmesan, a creamy mushroom spread, almond flakes, truffled olive oil and emmental french cheesy hash browns. This was a really enjoyable dish that was quite filling with generous portions. The flavours and textures all combined really well, from the crunchy kale and almond flakes to the soft hash browns and eggs, with the chewy mushrooms. In particular, I really like the cheesy hash browns, which were extremely crispy on the outside with the soft potato on the inside, and the perfect amount of emmental cheese in the very middle. The eggs were also perfectly cooked, and the almond flakes made for a great nut flavour amongst all the other vegetables.

I had a really great experience at Saint Thomas and would love to come back to try some of their other dishes. Definitely recommend coming (especially if you don't want to wait for a table like at Pillar of Salt!) if you're in the Richmond area.

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

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