Red Corner Cafe

Store R201
Southland Shopping Centre
1239 Nepean Hwy
Cheltenham VIC 3192
+61 3 9582 5601

No, the ASX didn’t crash again.

No, it wasn’t Friday the 13th.

No, I didn’t get pounded by Viet gangstas at Fiesta @ Chasers (though why I’d be at Chasers in the first place is beyond me…).

Boxing Day this year fell on a Friday. And for idiots like me, who thought that spending an entire day at Southland and DFO Cheltenham would be a brilliant way to spend the day, Boxing Day turned out to be a nightmare. Okay, maybe “nightmare” is too extreme a word but it was definitely far from a perfect day. Suffice to say that I am never going to go shoe shopping with my mum ever again. Ever.

Anyways, for lunch we went to the Red Corner Cafe in Southland, just around the corner from the cinemas (on Nepean Highway). It’s a place where dad and his workmates go for lunch every now and then, as their office isn’t far from Southland. Because dad and his mates are tightarses, they go here for the $11.95 lunch deals where you can choose any starter, salad or pizza from the menu + a drink (coffee, orange juice or wine). And that’s what the three of us did yesterday. Now I’m not going to bother going into great detail with this place because it was horrible and not worth spending so much time on.

I ordered the Cajun Chicken Caesar Salad, which gave us the option of adding anchovies. I asked the waitress for a little bit of anchovies and I ended up with NO anchovies at all. Not such a big deal but it’s little things like that which affects the whole experience. The first thing I thought when the salad appeared in front of me was ‘It’s not green.’ And just to prove that it’s not just me being fussy, dad also said that his mate’s salad was “much more greener than that” when he had ordered it last time. While it wasn’t the most horrible salad I’ve ever had, it definitely could’ve done with a little more TLC. Chicken was dry. Croutons were mushy. Lettuce leaves were soggy. And the dressing wasn’t terribly exciting.

Mum ordered a smoked salmon foccacia but got something that looked more like a bagel. She could not eat the entire thing because it was too salty for her … and I had to agree with her. The thing with smoked salmon is that it’s already packed with so much flavour that you don’t really need to add anything on top of it except for perhaps cream cheese, a squeeze of lemon and some dill. Something simple. The guys at Red Corner, however, packed it with a ridiculously salty avocado “mash”, some tomatoes, cream cheese (which was suspiciously salty), olives, onions and lettuce. The food being salty was one thing, but having all these weird ingredients was just so out of whack. Like fashion, food requires a lot of match-making and not everything is always going to taste good with everything else.

I guess the best thing that was ordered (relatively speaking) was dad’s Tandoori chicken pizza. It was presented on a large oval plate, which was more than enough to feed one person. A flat base housed a concoction of ingredients including pieces of chicken (not as dry as mine, but could’ve been better), cucumbers, tomato, apricot jam (!!) and yoghurt. The sauce was a bit of a disappointment though – clearly “tandoori” means “tomato paste with a bit of curry powder” to the guys at Red Corner. But despite the fact that this “Tandoori” pizza was as Indian as Nasser Hussain, it was probably the better dish out of the three we had (dad thought it was fantastic).

My tip is to give this place a miss. Food wasn’t good at all, service was lazy and confusing (the French waitress came back to our table 5 minutes after ordering and asked us who ordered the “salmon salad” to which we replied “none of us did”… and that was that), and the “pineapple juice” I received was simply a mix of pineapple syrup (straight from the can) and water. Not good. Yes, I know that working in Cheltenham means that there aren’t many decent lunch places but heck, even I reckon that the faux pho cafe inside the shopping centre or one of those fish and chip bain-marie places serve more satisfying food!

Ugh… Boxing Day 08. Horrible food. Massive crowds. Too many stores. Too many stores selling “old women shoes.” Too many rude pushers and shovers. Too many people with BO. Too many parents who, for some crazy reason, choose to breed 8 kids and bring them ALL to the Boxing Day sales. Sore feet. Less faith in the entire human race. Aargh.

Next year, I think I’ll just stick to the cricket.

Post script: In case you’re wondering… no, I didn’t buy anything! Howzat?!?!

I eat too much.


  1. icesabre
    December 27, 2008

    Not to mention cashed up bogans… and Brighton snobs in their Mercs and BMWs… poor you. Yeah everytime I go to Southland, which is not very often these days, unless I count 3 weeks ago when I went to Southland to pick up a suit, I tend to just grab Maccas or KFC as their food is crap at their dining cafes/restaurants at the Village part of the shopping centre.

  2. fipar20
    December 27, 2008

    Aww…shopping at this time of year is no fun. Too many angry people out there to buy their crap and leave. No friendly faces either…I feel sorry for the sales attendants on the boxing day sales as they usually have to put up a lot of crap from crappy customers. =(

  3. talky_alex
    December 27, 2008

    Hahahaa. Am I weird? That bun your mom had actually looks good to me, HAHAHAHA. I guess Boxing Day is a lot worse down there with the heat and all too, right? D: and LOL @ your parents & kids comment (: That’s exactly how I feel about children…….. how does ageism set in so quickly?!

  4. GODandShopping
    December 27, 2008

    I went to Prada’s new store to have a browse then bummed around with a mate who was lining up outside of Louis Vuitton went to about 303452564 stores and what did I buy in the end because work stuffed up my pay? $25 shorts from jay jays. cos it was hot.. haha

  5. lilpikachu
    December 28, 2008

    I am so glad I gave the Boxing Day sales a miss. Crowds of pushing/angry/smelly people do not appeal to me at all. In fact I can’t even remember the last time I went to Southland. I actually prefer online shopping but am incredibly impatient when it comes to waiting for parcels to arrive hehe.

    If it makes you feel any better, my sister and mum went to DFO on Friday as well and they walked out with nothing.

  6. jtngu8
    December 29, 2008

    Hooray! Seems few had successful Boxing Day shopping expeditions hehe 😀 I’m actually surprised you came all the way down to the south side just to do your shopping. Didn’t Doncaster not have anything there for you guys? Given that I wasn’t rostered on for work that day, I would have considered going to smaller shopping strips than huge shopping centres just to curb my retail craving 😛


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