Chez Dré

287 Coventry St, South Melbourne
Date visited: 26th June 2012

Finally, I am able to tick off another place from my brunch wish list!  The weather outside this morning was way too beautiful to waste staying indoors, so we decided what better day than today to head down to visit Chez Dre.

Chez Dre is a patisserie/ boulangerie/ cafe located in South Melbourne.  Despite being relatively new, they already have quite a following for their fine sweet treats and brunch menu.

First of all, follow the signage from the street into the small laneway (that is oh-so-Melbourne) and you will find yourself at the rear entrance of Chez Dre.

The interior is spacious with a gorgeous red patterned floor.  There was an open kitchen and a huge showcase of cakes, macarons and pastries, retro-looking booths and large communal tables with long benches.  One thing I like about this place is that the communal tables are huge, so there is no elbow jostling with your neighbour.
Open kitchen
Concrete floor
The waitress who greeted us was friendly and all smiles - we were seated straight away.  There was a free table near the rear door, but she showed us to a communal table as she told us the former tended to get cold with the door opening and shutting all the time.  

There was a bit of a wait between getting our menus to someone coming to take our orders, and then about a 20-30 minute wait for our food to actually be served.
Huge communal table
I had the latte and Mum had a cappuccino.  I love the striking red cups and saucers.
My latte was your all-round good latte - there was nothing I could find fault with.  Mum felt her cappuccino was a bit too milky, though.

Mum had one of the specials, which was the Quiche of the Day.  It had two cheeses in it - I think it was brie and goat's cheese or gruyere but I could be wrong.  I love cheese, and the filling was soft, creamy and rich - really yummy.  The pastry reminded me of Mum's homemade pies which was a plus.  Mum really enjoyed it and I have to say I stole quite a few bites off her plate.
Quiche of the day $12.50
MerlinFan had the Grand Petit Dejeuner which consisted of poached eggs on sourdough, bacon, spicy herb lamb sausages, potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, smashed avocado with goats cheese and tomato relish.  Look at the amount of food - talk about good value for your money =)
Grand petit déjeuner $19.50
The highlight of the dish for MerlinFan was the herb lamb sausages.  They had just enough spice and a distinct lamb flavour without the heavy, fatty taste that you get with some market-bought sausages.  The mushrooms were also nicely sautéed, however, MerlinFan didn't particularly like the smashed avocado with goats cheese - there was a citrusy tang that seemed to overwhelm the avocado and cheese.  The eggs, however were two beautiful, perfectly round globes of goodness.
Egg porn
The eggs were perfectly poached and runny in the centre - look at the oozy yellow yolk trickling onto the sourdough.
More egg porn

I had the Brioche french toast with caramelised apples and vanilla mascarpone cream.  It was not the best I've had, but it was still a pretty good eggy french toast - the corners had a beautiful buttery, salty, caramelised touch that was just a delight to the tastebuds.  The other thing I liked about this dish is the fact that it was not overly sweet so I could easily finish it.  The light vanilla mascarpone and the tartness of the apples also went nicely with the sweetness of the toast.
Brioche french toast $16.50
The other reason I wanted to come to Chez Dre was to sample the desserts after seeing so many pretty pictures of them posted online.  However, there was such a long wait that by the time we finished our meal it was already 3.30pm and MerlinFan had to head off for her hobby course.  We decided to get some cakes as takeaway, but when we headed to the display to have a look, gasp!!!  

Most of the cakes were gone!
Near empty showcase
It was so sad... where was the beautiful rainbow of colourful cakes?  Why, tucked into the tummies of the other customers of course @_@ 
There were plenty of macarons but we didn't feel like them today.  Anyway, we decided to go without, so unfortunately I can't comment on the cakes.

Overall, friendly staff, service was a bit slow but it was okay if you have good company or just having a lazy brunch - just sit back and enjoy the relaxed cafe ambiance and non-intrusive, non-cramped seating.  Just keep in mind if you're visiting Chez Dre later in the arvo, make sure you stakeout the cake and sweets showcase as you're waiting for your orders/food to avoid disappointment ;P

Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

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