|At the communal dining
table in Red Lounge Cafe
We walked past Red Lounge Cafe once before when they first opened (but we were on our way to Cafe Saffron, and as you know, nothing side-tracks us from Indian food), so we took a menu to look at later. With a sweet story (Owned & operated by Auntie Yun, specialising in homestyle cooking – made with love and supporting local producers), a decent selection and reasonable prices, we made a mental note to try them out one day soon….
One day soon came soon enough! Coming back from a day ‘playing’ in the city, we decided to cruise home through the suburbs instead of the Eastern Freeway. As we headed north, we were feeling a bit ‘peckish’ and put the brakes on in one of our favourite suburbs – Ivanhoe.
Without a second thought, we popped into Red Lounge Cafe, who proudly boast “Homestyle Chinese Cooking” as their fare. Granted, this review can’t do the place full justice, as we had only a little bits from the menu, but I’ll do my best 😉 As for the decor – it’s a cute & funky little cafe-style eatery, with a feeling of “eat & go”…perfect for what we were after that day.
|Auntie’s Special Fried Rice|
The staff were very friendly but, not realizing we weren’t there for a full meal, perhaps a little overly excited about pointing out all the delicious things we were missing out on by only ordering 3 things! 🙂 Shawn ordered the Auntie’s Special Fried Rice ($8.80). Moist morsels of shredded bacon pieces scattered throughout, the rice also had bits of egg, carrot and green veg – and pine nuts. “Not the flavour I expected but it’s really nice” said Shawn, “I’d have it again.”
|Pork & Prawn Siu Mai|
The Pork and Prawn Siu Mai ($4.50/3pcs) was really what Shawn was excited about – and he wasn’t disappointed! What he called the ‘Star of the Show’ – he gulped the three little packages of yummy-ness down with little effort. The mixture of pork and prawn really made the pieces tasty – trying more siu mai and dumplings from RLC has now been added to his “list of things to do”!!
I tried the Vegetable Dumplings ($4.50/8pcs) which were pretty good. I don’t say ‘great’ because I have my own favourite place for veg dumplings (nod to Box Hill), but they were honestly pretty good. A little weak on flavour within themselves (but making veg dumplings really flavoursome is a challenge I must admit), but made better with the vinegar/soy mixture. What I didn’t eat of my generous 8 pieces, Shawn gladly did 😉
On that note, my only real suggestion is that Red Lounge Cafe label their soy and vinegar/soy bottles – one top is green and the other red – but they essentially look the same. Shawn nearly tipped the vinegar/soy combo onto his fried rice, and that would have made for an unhappy bear. That combo is great for dumplings, not so great for rice (at least for us).
Other than that – for the price and the quality we’ve seen so far – we’d go back and try them again! If you’re in the neighborhood, give ’em a go!