251 Highett Street
Richmond Vic 3121
After not lunching in Richmond for ages, I found myself back there for the third consecutive week and thought it was the perfect opportunity to tick A Thousand Blessings off my list. This popular cafe has been on my ‘to do’ list for longer than I can remember and as soon as we were seated at one of their communal tables I immediately understood why it has experienced such ongoing success. Housed on a leafy back street, the cafe itself is bright and fresh with a somewhat minimalist and rustic fit out. There is no artwork in sight, with the decoration and texture in the space coming by way of large timber feature walls.
The menu is very extensive, like very very extensive. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a large and diverse food offering where each dish sounds more delicious than the last and oozes quality. They offer the standard all day breakfast and lunch menus, plus a list of salads, sandwiches/wraps and hot food, many of which can be found in their front cabinet to be eaten on the run.
Just a side note to parents, despite the size of the menu there is no kids options, so it can be a bit difficult if visiting with children.
So good is the offering, it took me a good 10 minutes of reviewing the menu to decide on what to order. In the end we opted for the chestnut hotcakes (with spiced apple, espresso chai mascarpone, gingerbread crumb and wattle seed organic maple), the pumpkin and sweet potato fritters (with pumpkin purée, rocket, smoked almonds and goats feta), and the saltbush lamb shoulder (pumpkin purée, confit leek, heirloom lentils, fried kale and savoury yeast).
The generous serve of hotcakes were presented beautifully and had us salivating at first glance. They were soft and fluffy with a subtle chestnut flavour which was enhanced by the accompanying mascarpone and apple. Texturally, the softness of the hotcakes and apple was balanced by the crunchiness of the gingerbread crumb, which although flavoursome, I found it to be quite powerful, all but overpowered the subtleness of the chestnut.
The lamb shoulder was the perfect cold weather dish. It was rich, hearty, wholesome and very filling. Despite the lamb being tender and juicy, and all of the other elements being incredibly flavoursome, there was so much there we simply couldn’t finish it all.
When the fritters were delivered to our table, I have to admit I thought the wrong dish had arrived as they couldn’t be seen through all of the rocket and crisp potato pilled on top of them. Once we did a bit of hunting around we found the two large soft fritter sitting on a bed of pumpkin purée. Despite looking delicious, I felt that the fritters were missing something in terms of flavour, however they were still light and easy to eat.