Whenever someone asks me what my favourite restaurant is, I can never come up with an answer. Melbourne is just filled with a myriad of restaurants, each with their own quirks and trademarks, and it’s too hard to pick just one! If they’re asking for my favourite place to brunch however, Chez Dre is a no-brainer.
Chez Dré has never disappointed me on the number of occasions I have visited, their menu are classic French with a twist, priced reasonably, and the little courtyard is just so darn adorable. This blog post combines two separate visits, because I just love this place too freaking much to not visit at least once, preferably 1043847918237928 times a year.
|Left: Peach and Mint Iced Tea – $6.00
Right: Prana Chai w/ Soy Milk – $6.50
I ordered an iced tea off the daily specials, and it was so refreshing! Definitely tasted better than the sugar loaded Lipton version.
My friend enjoyed her chai too, the little pot yielded around two cups of chai, and the flavour wasn’t too diluted, which is a rare thing to find.
|Grilled Spatchcock with Crispy Polenta|
Another one from the specials. The small spatchcock was deboned then grilled perfectly, the creamy sauce making the meat extra juicy. The crispy polenta was indeed very crispy, and added some interest and texture to the spatchcock. Although there was essentially only three elements on the plate, they worked very well together, and each part was executed perfectly.
|Pressed Pork Belly w/ Grilled Pear, Pig Ear and Apple Salad|
This was from the Summer seasonal menu I’m pretty sure. The pork belly was not as tender as I’d hoped, but the apple and pig ear salad was extremely crunchy, and definitely elevated the dish. I know I know, I’m choosing salad over the pork belly, what have I become, but the acidity of the apple just worked so well with the crispy pork ear!
|Chorizo and Asparagus|
This dish consisted of flavours I’m familiar with and loved, the chorizo was of very high quality, and although there was only a few slices, I savoured the flavour of each and everyone one of them. The grilled asparagus cut through the richness of the chorizo, and after dipping it in some of the gooey egg yolk, it is a delight to eat in itself. Oh and let’s not forget that red capsicum puree hiding underneath the bread, it helped to brighten up the entire plate!
|Sardine and Squid Ink Sauce|
Excuse the poor dish names, can you tell I didn’t write anything down? Anyway, my friend wanted to try something unusual, and this dish had sardine, a black sauce, and some sort of capsicum salsa, which meant it ticked all the boxes. Although weird on paper, the strong flavours actually worked together quite well! The brininess of the sardine had the salty capcisum salsa as its counterpart, and the whole dish was mellowed out with the poached eggs. This dish was meant to come with coddled eggs I think, but unfortunately, the coddler was broken on the day we visited.
Just because the cakes and macarons are sold at Bibelot now doesn’t mean there isn’t a good selection of pastries at Chez Dré still, in fact, I paced up and down the glass cabinet trying to pick just a couple of goodies out of the bunch.
|Salted Caramel Donut|
|Salted Caramel Donut|
The donut was slightly denser than what I prefer, but the gooey salted caramel made up for that minor flaw.
The fluffy lightness of the cronut was so on point (btw I’m so glad that cronuts is another food trend that’s here to stay), the strawberry was quite sour, which made it the perfect palette cleanser after all that food.
Chez Dré has everything I look for in a good café, friendly but not overbearing service, menu that has both the weird and wonderful, and the standard offerings, that’s always on seasonal rotation, ensuring that I’ll never run out of things to try, and I absolutely love its interior! Bright and filled with light, with pot plants hanging from the ceiling, it’s both minimal and elegant.
I can’t wait for someone to visit from interstate or overseas, and I’ll have an excuse to visit Chez Dré again! Not that I need one hey.
How to get there:
Chez Dré is located on the corner of Coventry Street and York Place, catch tram #12 and get off at stop #128, Dorcas/Clarendon Street, the café is located a short 5 minutes walk away.