Cobbled lanes are not CBD exclusive. In South Melbourne coquettishly located off Coventry Street, there is Chez Dré a patisserie & boulangerie that will Pavlov dog you until the point of dehydration. The kitchen is literally the size of my apartment, the warehouse space is light and airy and the display of glazed chocolate éclairs, blood orange cakes, tarts and macarons will make you die ... (abetic).
It is a French influenced menu, which is hardly surprising as Chez Dré will have you hocking up your best French ‘r’. You may have some gender confusion when having to choose between the Croque Moniseur or Madame (the difference being the Madame has a fried egg on top – which makes sense. The French are so provocative). Your eyes may wander down the menu, your palate already sweetened by the cakes on display and you may be tempted by the brioche French toast with caramelised apples & vanilla mascarpone cream. If you cannot choose between the savoury or the sweet, the Breakfast platter will tickle both of your fancies: smoked ham, gruyere cheese, boiled egg, poached fruit, vanilla yoghurt, granola, raspberry jam, butter, croissant & baguette. Mon dieu, I need a breath.
The lunch menu is equally as inspiring with specials such as twice cooked pork belly baguette and what I settled upon – the rare roast beef open sandwich with rocket, slow roasted tomatoes, Emmental cheese, basil and horseradish mayonnaise. The beef was tender, the horseradish mayonnaise a highlight and the ingredients fresh.
The coffee is well done and the service bubbly and personable. The dishes are promptly served even when the kitchen is under pressure. Expect to spend a fair amount of time with your face pressed against the glass staring at extravagant sweets dripping in marzipan. You will want to sink your teeth into everything and sink you will, after you’ve indulged in what Chez Dré has to offer. Sink like a stone. A big fat stone.
285-287 Coventry Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
(03) 9690 2688
Mon-Sun 7.30am - 4.30pm