Confession time. I’d never actually been to Como House before this week. I must have driven past its high walls a million times, stuck in traffic on Punt Road. I even spent a good few Saturdays at Como park, just below Como House, watching Meat-and-Three-Veg play football back in the day. But I’d never actually ventured in the wrought iron gates and along the sweeping driveway into Como House itself.
Technically I still haven’t actually been inside Como House, but now I have made it as far as the stables for a lovely lunch with my friend Joyce and our respective little tackers. The stables now operate as a cafe, The Stables of Como, and it’s not the usual uninspiring eatery often tacked on to a tourist attraction like Como House. The team behind The Stables of Como are those who created the much loved Richmond cafe Friends of Mine so the food is worth a trip alone, regardless of the location.
We sat outside in the pleasant gravel courtyard which overlooks the back of Como House but inside is a rustic looking space dominated by a counter groaning with cakes and illuminated by low hanging industrial enamel lights. There are plenty of long tables for larger groups and the place has a relaxed feel to it.
The menu has a French influence with classics like Lyonnaise salad and quiche Lorraine. The tuna Nicoise ($24.90) featured a large fillet of tuna seared very lightly on the outside and completely rare inside. A soft poached runny egg created a thick sauce for the salad along with the bite and saltiness of olives. Nicoise is a classic dish for a reason and this was a great interpretation of it.
The spanner crab risotto ($18.90) was even more luxurious. Thick and creamy, the risotto was made with a lightness of touch which meant you could still taste the delicate crab meat.
A quick trip inside to see a table groaning with cakes and baked goods confirmed the decision to save room for dessert. The orange bergamot cheesecake ($13.90) was excellent with a thick, crumbly crust and a side scoop of smooth gingerbread ice-cream. But a promising looking blueberry and frangipane tart was dry with an unpleasant texture.
Despite the one tart fail, the food was otherwise spot on and made even better by the gorgeous setting. I’m keen to return to try out the afternoon tea or the picnic options which you can eat on the lawn of Como House.
Details: The Stables of Como, Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra, VIC 3141 (Ph 03 9827 6886) No bookings, except for groups of 10 or more
Damage: Pricey. Our bill came to about $90 for two adults and one child.
Children: Kid friendly – high chairs available and lots of room for them to run around. Sweet treats like the giant home made musk stick and giant chocolate freckle will keep them entertained.
Taste of Melbourne Competition Winners
Congratulations to Caroline and Gee who are the winners of two double passes to Taste of Melbourne. Both winners have been contacted. Thanks to all who entered the competition.