Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Websites Listed In My Favorite Bathroom Book (Part 15)

It's time for me to look at another website in my favorite bathroom book!

Today's website is a cafe in Melbourne called Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder.  To make things easier, they often abbreviate it to RHCL.

What is a larder?  

This online dictionary says it's a room for storing food. 

I would think most restaurants have a room for storing food. So what makes RHCL's food room significant enough that they added larder to the cafe name? 

Maybe their food room is big enough, so it qualifies as a larder. Maybe other restaurants have very small rooms—like a pantry. And therefore they don't qualify?  Or some cafes might not even have a room. Maybe their food is just stored in various refrigerators and cabinets in the kitchen.  

I'm looking at their home page now. There's mention of a cheese room. Maybe the cheese room is the larder. Maybe customers can go in it and look at all the cheese. But maybe someone decided Richmood Hill Cafe and Larder sounded better than Richmond Hill Cafe and Cheese Room.

I personally prefer the latter; but maybe it's because I wasn't familiar with the word larder. Maybe the word is more prevalent in Australia, and people understand what the restaurant is talking about. OR maybe it's a word that's known by dedicated foodies, and that's the clientele the cafe is trying to attract.

The cafe is open 7:00-5:00 every day. So it's more of a breakfast and lunch place than dinner place.

The cheese room is open every day except Saturday.  

They have online shopping

On their online shopping page, they offer selections from their cheese room and then also from the larder. So maybe the larder is NOT the cheese room. Maybe it's separate.  Anyway...under the larder category they have things such as vinegar, mustard, salt, truffle oil, wine, butter, snacks, etc.  

They have Christmas pudding. It's $40 for 750 gr. I think that's grams? I'm guessing that price is high, but I don't know how high. I'm not sure how much it usually costs for Christmas pudding.  We considered trying to make it for our Doctor Who Christmas Eve celebration, but it looked too complicated. And I guess we weren't in the mood for complicated. So we ended up buying Jammie Dodgers instead.

Here's something that gives me a pretty good idea about their prices. Macarons.  You can get 5 for $12.50.  That equals $2.50 per macaron, which I think is the typical price for them. That's just in terms of fancy bakeries and cafes. You can get them cheaper at other places. For example, we've bought them from Trader Joes.  I wasn't sure how much we paid for them, but fortunately the Trader Joes website has the answer. It's $4.99 for 12 macarons. I don't know if the quality is as good as a fancy bakeries. But I like them.  

I feel like I'm fulfilling the stereotype of Jewish people with my dwelling on prices. Guilty as charged. Though I don't think Jews are the only ones with cheap people in their midst.  I wonder if there's any truth to the stereotype. Are there more cheap people among Jews?  I doubt anyone has done a scientific study.  

Well, whether there's any truth to the stereotype, I fit it.  I'm betting most people fit at least one stereotype of their ethnic, religious (or other) group.  

Here's a page about the cheese room.  They say if you visit, their cheesemongers will educate you about cheese.  I often don't like being bothered by salespeople while I shop. But in this case, it would probably be helpful. I'd be lost trying to figure out what cheese to buy.  

OR if one is feeling asocial, they can maybe skip getting help from the cheesemongers. Because I just found that the website offers detailed information about a lot of different cheeses.  

For example, here is information about a cheese called Coolea.  It's a hard dutch cheese made in Ireland.  A dutch couple moved to Ireland, and brought their cheese recipe with them.  They describe the cheese the way people describe wine: It has a nutty piquant flavour with hints of caramel and butterscotch, which reflects the rich herbage of the lush pastures in Cork. There then follows saltiness with a touch of acidity.

I don't think I'd ever be smart enough or observant enough to notice and describe cheese that way. But if I took a bite after reading that, I wonder if I'd be able to taste the caramel and butterscotch.  

Here's a cheese that comes from Australia. It's called Meredith Feta.  It comes from Meredith, Victoria. 

I didn't know there was a Meredith Victoria.  

Lord Wiki says it's between Ballarat and Geelong.  I thought Melbourne was between Ballarat and Geelong. Maybe it's in a different direction?  I'll have to look at Google Maps. 

Okay. Now I see. I'm ashamed of my bad Australian geography.  Ballarat, Geelong, and Meredith are all west of Melbourne. For some reason, I was thinking that Geelong was south of Melbourne and Ballarat north.   And they are. But you have to go west. If you go south, you end up in the ocean.  Or the Mornington Peninsula. 

Back to the cheese....The page talks about the name Feta. I don't fully understand it, but I think certain important authorities want the name Feta to be used only for cheese actually made in Greece.  And/or they want producers of Feta cheese to follow specific guidelines. I'm not sure if you can be outside of Greece, follow the guidelines, and still use the name.  

The RHCL has private functions.  You can have a sit down meal type thing for 30-70 guests or a cocktail event for 40-100 guests.  A four hour cocktail hour includes six different canapés, and enough for each guest to get 12 pieces.  That costs $58 per person, which would work out to about $5.00 per food item.  I THINK the price includes the room, though.  But not if you have a wedding. They say with a wedding, room HIRE may apply. May apply? Why does it apply sometimes and not other times? Maybe it depends on their mood or whether or not they like you? OR maybe it's about how many guests you're having and whether they'll be getting enough money from you in other ways.

If you want to attend a private function at RHCL, but don't want to pay for it...well, you could wait for someone else to have an event and then hope to get invited. Or you could attend one of the events that RHCL themselves organize.

No. Never mind. I got it wrong. I thought there were organized events. But these are also private events. It's just more options besides the ones I read about before.

If you can get ten or more friends together, you can do a traditional afternoon tea.  It's $45 per person and includes sandwiches, tartlets, and scones. Plus, you get tea, of course.  

They do have cheese and wine workshops. The next one is January 21, but that one's already fully booked.  I wonder if they are often sold out, or is this one sold out because it's during the holidays?

The next one after that is February 17. It's not booked up yet. They have one session a month.  

RHCL has catering.  They'll bring the food to you; or you can pick it up.  Here's their menu of canapés. They have canapés, and then warm options. Are canapes by definition cold? Or can you have warm canapes?  

Well, I just asked Lord Wiki. He doesn't say anything about them NOT being hot.  Out of nineteen canapé options, six are vegetarian. That's pretty good.  Or it might actually be seven. I'm not sure about their rice paper rolls.  It sounds Asian.  I just googled. It's those Vietnamese rolls.  I think sometimes they're vegan, and sometimes they have meat.  

Here's a page with various RHCL menus.  

If I went there for breakfast, I think I'd get the fruit loaf with orange marmalade butter. That sounds good to me.  It's expensive though; $9.00.  The prices here make Disney World food prices look actually reasonable.  

They have a children's menu. That's helpful. 

I always think though that the children's menu should be offered to everyone. Small portions for smaller prices. I wonder why that's not the case.  

I don't know if I've ever tried to order from a kid's menu and been denied. The written 12 and under request often scares me off.  Though at our local ice-cream place, we order kids sizes. They never say no. I often put a larger tip in the tip bottle then.  The ice-cream there is very reasonably priced. So it's not about me being cheap in that case. It's more about wanting a reasonable portion size.  

I'm sure some places are stricter than others. And I think it would depend on many things. If you have four adults come in and they all want to order from the kid's menu, I don't think the restaurant will be too happy about that. But if three of the adults order full size meals, maybe most restaurants wouldn't mind if one person ordered from the children's menu.  Reasons behind the ordering might be considered as well. A restaurant might be unsympathetic to someone wanting to save money. But maybe they'd have sympathy for a picky eater. Or sometimes we go to restaurants that are highly lacking in vegetarian options on the adult menu. But on the kid's menu, they have grilled cheese and/or pasta with tomato sauce.  So if you gave the restaurant some guilt about not having enough vegetarian options, maybe they'd give you something from the kid's menu. RHCL, they have ice-cream with chocolate sauce on the kid's menu. What if you'd prefer that for dessert over the chocolate tart, almond jelly, or poached peaches on the dessert menu?  Would they accommodate your request?  And if yes...with or without a dirty look?  Would they give you the children's portion for the children's price, or make up an adult portion for you?

Some adults ARE picky eaters. We could say well, then they shouldn't go to RHCL. But life isn't always that easy. What if all their friends are going? Or it's a family event that they feel pressured to attend?  

Then again, they could just skip dessert.  They could just eat lunch. The menu has a fair amount of options. I'm sure most picky eaters could find something they'd tolerate.  

Anyway...I've done enough rambling about all this. I think I've made myself hungry. I'm going to grab something to eat.