Review: Red Robyn cafe 1 Comment

Review: Red Robyn cafe

Red Robyn is a 100% gluten-free, allergen friendly café located on Camberwell Road – just a short walk from the bustle of Camberwell Junction. It features a red and white colour scheme, stylish bare light bulbs and folky acoustic music. It’s homely but not in a derelict hippy way; you won’t find any dreadlocks or resident dog thumping away at the ground scratching its fleas.

The owner, Robyn Metz, can be found hurrying back and forth from table to front counter, making coffee or conversing with patrons about how she can make sure her café caters for their food intolerances.

Robyn started up the café so she could have somewhere to eat without having to worry about whether or not her food requirements were being taken into consideration. She says she loves good food and good coffee, but she herself suffers from several food intolerances and it was a challenge to find somewhere that could cater to all of them. She calls starting up her café ‘selfishness’, but it feels to me a little like selflessness, as finding such specialist food (that doesn’t taste like soggy cardboard) can be a difficult task.

As well as being completely gluten-free, Red Robyn also caters to most other intolerances, including fructose, dairy, egg and nut, and they also have vegetarian and vegan options. Another great feature is the all-day breakfast. What’s not to love?

Most of the produce is free-range or organic, and they use all kinds of gut-friendly milk. I had a look at the display of sweets and I was almost overwhelmed – gluten-free scones, gluten-free vegan vanilla slices, gluten-free pancakes, doughnuts and biscuits, and even gluten-free pies. Sweet baby Jesus, there was hope yet!

I went there for lunch several times because I was on an elimination diet (to find out if it was a food intolerance that had been making me feel like I was turning inside out). And because I’d heard the food was delicious, of course.

I ordered the Thai beef pot pie because this diet meant I hadn’t had pastry in a month. I was impressed – the pastry was delicious and the filling was flavoured with ginger and fresh chilli, and had a satisfying heat to it. It was topped with a tuft of green microherbs – a blend of basil, parsley, dill and red garnet – to add freshness. It came with sweet potato crisps and a slice of Matisse gluten free bread, which is the most amazing gluten free bread ever – it’s soft and doughy and doesn’t taste like sand. During another visit I tried the baked eggs with salmon and feta and was equally impressed. The portions don’t look super huge, but I felt so full afterwards, and not in a gross heavy way.

On another occasion I tried a gluten-free doughnut and, oh my gawd. Oh my gawd. It wasn’t gritty like so many gluten-free things; it was all fried and sugary and delicious.

I didn’t have a chance to try the coffee but I did have a strawberry soy milkshake and that was very nice.

The clientele varies from students to pensioners, to suited businessmen and women. It’s nearly always packed out, especially on weekends – so book ahead. Currently they are open for breakfast and lunch, but Robyn has plans to open for dinner and eventually at a second location as the current venue has already become too small to meet demand.

Bon appétit!

There was a time when Chloe Brien wanted to be a fairy and work magic. Having given up on that dream, she instead wants to work magic with words. Her preferred incantations are fiction and poetry. She has been published in Verge, Voiceworks and elsewhere.

  • Amber

    You are still my fairy, Chloe! A review that does the cafe so much justice.
    The real proof is in the pie, though xx

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