It’s not easy having a food allergy in a town where eating out is such an integral part of the culture. We’ve all become accustomed to seeing gluten-free options on the menu, but what if you suffer from an allergy that isn’t so common? Where do you eat then?
Robyn Metz knows all about food allergies. Not only is she gluten-intolerant, but also fructose and lactose-intolerant, as well as being unable to eat members of the nightshade family (no potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants or capsicums). This is how she came to open Red Robyn, a cafe in Camberwell that offers a menu that is not only entirely gluten-free, but caters to vast variety of intolerances, such as the afore-mentioned fructose and lactose, as well as nuts and eggs.
“It really was a labour of love project,” says Metz. This is not only evident from the meticulously crafted menu, but also from the cheery and warm design aesthetic of the cafe space itself. What surprised Metz most in putting together the menu was how catering for allergies dovetailed nicely into producing dishes that are also suitable for vegetarians and vegans. “I’d say that our current clientele are one third locals, one third allergy sufferers and one-third vegan.”
So what can you expect from the menu? There are all-day breakfast options including French toast and buckwheat pancakes, baked eggs, a colourful vegie stack and a bunch of build-your-own brekkie selections. Lunch includes three kinds of fritters, soup, salads and even a polenta-encrusted kangaroo steak. Truly eclectic. There are two coffee machines for producing dairy and non-dairy coffees (cross-contamination is treated very seriously in this kitchen, for obvious reasons) and the tea selection in particular is impressive.
It’s not only those with allergies praising Red Robyn. It truly has something for everyone.
393 Camberwell Road, Camberwell
(03) 9077 3763
Tue to Fri 7.30am-3.30pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm