382 Bridge Road, Richmond (map)
Breakfast and lunch, 7 days
'Musquito made a friend of another bushranger, known as Gypsey. Gypsey's real name was George Shirley, the son of a wealthy English family. Distressed at the death of his bride giving birth to their daughter, Shirley had taken to bushranging. When Gypsey was captured and killed after he had opened fire on some troops, Musquito vowed to avenge his death. Musquito marked Gypsey's grave with a rough-hewn stone carved with the words 'Gypsey My Friend'. Musquito continued to deliver money to Gypsey's daughter Georgina until Musquito was captured in 1824 by another local Aborigine. When the death sentence was passed, Musquito replied: 'Hanging no bloody good for blackfellow …. Very good for whitefellow, he used to it'. Musquito was hanged in Hobart in 1825 alongside Black Jack.'
Sources: here and here.
Gypsey & Musquito may have been dead for 185 years, but their names live on thanks to a new cafe on Bridge Road, Richmond: a street where for every brunch hit (eg Bosisto's, RHCL) there are several misses. Gypsey & Musquito, however, is definitely a hit in my book. The fitout is cosy and homely, especially the upstairs dining room which features colonial furniture and lots of natural light.
In keeping with the name and upstairs decor, cafe owners Kirrily Stewart and Anna Ingle have given the menu a very Australian flavour, with almost all of the dishes including a native Australian ingredient. Forget about those awful 1990s tourist restaurants serving dodgy quandong pannacotta - here, the use of native ingredients is much savvier and the effect is far more organic and pleasant.
When I went there a few weekends ago with my gentleman friend, I braved the "breakkie skillet" ($16): a wee, cast-iron pan crammed with crispy bacon, tomato, field mushrooms, torn pieces of toast (that went slightly soggy from the juices of the other ingredients, like in a panzanella) and native riberry confit, topped with a crocodile sausage and a poached egg. Loved those tart little riberries! He had the potato and herb hash with crispy free range bacon, poached eggs and a luridly yellow lemon myrtle hollandaise ($14), and reported back favourably. The coffee (Five Senses on a Synesso) was also good, and if I'd still been hungry I'd've accompanied it with a moist-looking quince tea cake or lamington.
Oh, and there's free wifi, too. Add it to the list!