26 Jun Pillar of Salt, Richmond
Pillar of Salt is one of the stalwarts on Richmond’s cafe scene, and was probably one of the first places ever placed on my list of cafes to visit. It happens far too often, but I never made it around until years later.
Even during a weekday it’s packed, and the takeaway coffee crowd is almost ever-present during break times. We take a seat in the heated back section, which is a bright, enclosed space that was probably once open-air. The winter hot chocolate specials for today is a butterscotch hot chocolate. It’s comfortingly smooth, and surprisingly not too sweet. We break our fast with the 15th Century Cilbir Eggs, a light, simple dish of roasted garlic and herb labne, smoked paprika and cumin spiced burnt butter, toasted turkish bread. Add sujuk for extra protein and salt.
Rather than forcing the menu into any particular rigid concept, Kosta, owner since 2014, allows the chefs to play to their strengths. The steamed bao bun sliders is an example of a dish that the chefs love making at home. The rather large bao contain Dong Po slow-braised pork belly, Asian slaw, pickled daikon radish, hoi sin aioli, and fried shallots. Dehydrated apple wedges come on the side, instead of fried potato. The pork belly is tender, and really is similar to the sort of stewed pork dish we might have at home. The Pillar hot sauce packs quite a big punch. It’s thoughtfully provided in its own dish to cater for different levels of chilli tolerance.
Its exciting to see new types of breakfast carbs make their way onto cafe menus. Pillar of Salt has pan-fried gnocchi with pumpkin puree, roasted peppers, green beans, walnuts, Meredith goat’s cheese and stuffed baby zucchini flowers. I’m not often a fan of pumpkin puree because its innate sweetness, but here it’s balanced well with the saltier elements like the goat’s cheese. It’s a flavoursome combination of ingredients, and particularly delicious with the addition of walnuts.
Solid flavours and a friendly cafe environment was what we found at Pillar of Salt. Although it took me a long time to make a visit, I’m glad I finally did.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Pillar of Salt as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
Pillar of Salt
541 Church St
Richmond, VIC, 3121
(03) 9421 1550