Corner stores are a great thing for neighbourhoods, but a corner coffee shop is an even better thing for creating a sense of local community.
The Fair Foodstore is that kind of cafe – a charming little eatery alongside the trundling number 78 tram. It doesn’t attract much foot traffic other than from the residents who live in the sleepy streets nearby, who must appreciate having a place that serves us great breakfasts, easy lunches and Wide Open Road coffee on the go from the high-up sash window.
The space is all blond wood and whitewashed walls, decorated simply with a few pops of colour from the hot pink macramé terrarium holder to the fresh native flowers on the communal table.
I also like the floor detailing, bringing a little bit of the outside in.
The single page all-day breakfast menu has many interesting sweet and savoury options beyond the usual poached eggs, poached eggs, poached eggs. I like the look of the house smoked trout on Rustica Sourdough‘s rye bread, devilled eggs and apple ($17).
It’s an elegant looking dish and is crammed with different yet complementary textures. There’s fat oily slices of faintly smoked fish (no fridge cold dried out paper thin slices here), 1.5 hard boiled eggs with the yolk mixed with mayonnaise, mustard and dusted with hot paprika, perfect for smearing on the crusty toast (by the way where does the other 0.5 go? Do they always sell even numbers of this dish?) and a tangy topple of apple, mint, pickle relish and dill to offset the richness of the proteins.
To sate my sweet tooth I decided against the cakes by Little Bertha (whilst delicious, they’re not unique to The Fair Foodstore) and went back to the menu for a Golden Pancake with macadamia praline and smoked maple syrup ($16).
This dish makes no pretence at being healthy – it’s a deconstructed ice cream sundae sitting atop your thick, perfectly browned American-style pancake. Sweet, crunchy, fluffy and hot, it’s as delicious and decadent as it looks!
The large model ship that sits by the front window makes me imagine The Fair Foodstore as a calm port in the storm of Church Street and Bridge Road. If you’re in the area, drop in and have a rest.
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