A whole larder love
Oxford Larder sits pretty under Collingwood’s best-looking apartment building on the corner of Peel and Oxford Streets. The postage-stamp sized space manages to do a lot with a little, dividing its floor space comfortably between treat-laden counter, a smattering of small tables, and a one-person exposed kitchen at the rear.
A sizable glass cabinet separates chef from diners and overflows daily with fresh-made dishes. Chicken and leek pie or eggplant parmigiana in napoli each come served in their cast-iron pan. An abundance of winter-perfect comfort foods such as toasties with slow-cooked lamb or Caponata pair well Ottolenghi-esque salads. Savoury tarts, meatballs, fritters and wraps can be mixed and matched to create an especially wholesome lunch.
Breakfast is best selected from the small but solid menu, which features spot-on options such as La Madre fruit toast with ricotta, balsamic strawberries, pistachio and local honey, and warm chia pudding with quinoa, rice and saffron pear. Hot and abundant options include red baked eggs with roast pumpkin, Caponata, smoky eggplant, haloumi and chorizo, or the signature Nordic potato waffle with smoked salmon, avocado, beetroot pickle and a soft-boiled egg.
Oxford Larder teems with non-edible treasures, too; home and kitchen items for sale occupy every inch of a diner’s field of vision. In designing the space, Stuart McKenzie and Simon Carver — whose sprawling but similarly cosy-feeling South of Johnston sits a charcoal bun’s throw away — were aided by interior design studio Pipkorn and Kilpatrick. Falcon Enamelware in duck-egg blue, preserved lemons, Salus hand wash, house-made jams, De Buyer copper cookware, the distinctive Japanese — and Scandinavian — inspired ceramics of Andrei Davidoff, and McKenzie’s own first book, All Day Coffee, account for but a portion of what dresses Oxford Larder’s shelves and surfaces. The result is warm, uplifting and distinctly Parisian (particularly when Édith Piaf sings from the speakers and detail such as the bluestone herringbone pavers is noted).
In addition to house-made cold-pressed juices and other health-bent drinks, Oxford Larder serves Mork Hot Chocolate, Storm in a Teacup teas, turmeric lattes (with whatever kind of milk appeals – soy, coconut, almond etc.) and of course, most importantly, Market Lane Coffee.
As winter creeps in, few things compare to a Seasonal Espresso long black accompanied by a cockles-warming bowl of chia and saffron pudding, a newspaper, and the dulcet tones of Édith Piaf leading your thoughts away on a French-themed daydream.
18 Peel Street
Seven days, 7am–4pm