Tag Archives: bakery

south side sprawl – it’s not pronounced Bolognese

It’s not pronounced Bolognese. My semester of French tells me that much.

Boo-lounge-err-ree? Not sure that’s right either.I should have paid more attention in class, dagnabbit!

However it’s pronounced, Chez Dré patisserie boulangerie is a welcome addition to the South Melbourne lunch scene.

Once up the alley-way, and through the snaking entrance, you are presented with a remarkably large and bright space. A beautiful purpose-built kitchen is on display for diners to peak through at the madness. The brain child pastry chef Andrea Reiss (who like my EDS co-conspirator, Gem, is also a mestizo).  If you feel so inclined, you can view the transformation on Chez Dré’s previous website.

Given this is part of the South Side Sprawl ‘series’ of posts, I was eating during my lunch hour, and again convinced my workmate Daniel to lunch with me. After the required uming and ahing, and consuming of a short black and latte, we selected our dishes. While I didn’t catch the blend used, the coffee was solid.

Daniel, having recently made a Moroccan salad at  home, decided to contrast his with Chez Dre’s offering.

While I didn’t get to taste it, Daniel found it a little unexciting – he was a fan of the chutney, but thought it needed more points of interest to liven it up. It did also look a little messy from the other side of the table.

To continue the midday Moroccan madness!, I went with Moroccan-style baked eggs. I’ve had many a ‘nom-time’ experience with baked eggs at places like Big Dish, and this was no exception. The minted yoghurt provided a nice cut through the acidity of the tomato base. My only minor gripe was the eggs were slightly overdone.

On a previous visit I had the ploughman’s lunch – a hearty affair, with its terrine being the highlight for me.

Despite the fact that I nearly killed a co-worker last time I brought macarons to the office (damned anaphylaxis!), I somehow managed
to saunter out to lunch with petty cash to buy macarons. Apparently macaron lust knows no limits.

Securing two of each of the day’s flavours, they were quickly disseminated to my fellow office dwellers. Unfortunately, I can’t remember all the flavours (marmalade, chocolate, salted caramel…and…and…two others) but I do remember they were all well received. While I don’t necessarily agree with all the hype in the foodie world surrounding macarons, I am a massive sucker for a good one. While I don’t have a great ‘palate’ for the subtleties of macarons, these ticked all the boxes – crisp outer shell, soft but not chewy inner shell, and balanced and flavoursome filling. For me they are on par with the well thought of La Belle Miette.

I do believe I will be back, with my mestizo other-half.

Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

je ne suis pas un traiteur*


I am an idiot.

But you probably already knew that, so let me be more specific. Before work, I decided to pop into Earl Canteen for the duck baguette I’d yet to salivate over. Despite living in Melbourne for twenty years and spending at least ten in the city, I managed to hop on the wrong tram and thus be whisked away far from Earl.

Serendiptously, I was near the brand new Le Traiteur. Rather mussed up (due to rain) and amused (due to having to walk past a strip joint), I went in and squinted myopically at the menu, pondering what baguette to take away.

They had just started making them when I’d arrived, and not being able to wait long, I told them what appealed and they could give me what was ready. Thus, I met the salted beef, organic Emmenthal, gherkin and mustard mayonnaise baguette.

salted beef, organic Emmenthal, gherkins & mustard mayonnaise

I’m a massive gherkin and mustard fan, so this was guaranteed to satisfy. But the beef! So tender. The baguettes are very soft, which is great for me as sometimes I struggle to chomp the crustier versions. It didn’t quite fill me up and left me wishing I’d chosen a pastry as an afternoon tea snack.

Under much less idiotic circumstances, I found myself invited by Penny, Billy and Tristan to have breakfast at quite the anti-night owl hour and got my transport shit sorted – Le Traiteur is a two-minute walk from Flagstaff station. Coffees and tea were ordered as we strategically selected our breakfast choices. I liked that there was an unwritten agreement that everyone could take photos of each others’ dishes and that the staff were so cheerful and accommodating about photos of the premises and them at work. Suck on that, Stuart White!

I chose one of the simpler, heartier dishes on the menu – the semolina porridge with poached fruits quatre épices. You should have seen the look on my face when I bit into that glorious confit cumquat. This is as close to Ready-Brek as I’ll ever get in my adopted country – nourishing, not too sweet and fortifying. I felt ready to be bundled off into the cold after this. There are lots of ‘sexier’ breakfast options on the menu, but don’t neglect this because it sounds plain – it isn’t.


Partner in crime Tristan got the pikelet stack with Calvados apples and crème fraiche. Having anything with Calvados so early in the morning has got to be labelled decadent!


Billy had the croque madame. This would make a great takeaway breakfast. Feel free to pick it up with your hands and eat it like a sandwich!


Penny chose a dish I would normally choose (I seem to prefer savoury breakfast or brunch dishes to sweet) – the confit eggs, cured trout and fromage frais on seeded loaf. The confit egg piqued up everyone’s curiosity as it is poached in warm oil. That’s right. And yet, its edges look so crispy, as if fried…Penny vowed she would experiment in her kitchen. As for myself, I can barely poach an egg…can’t quite slide them out properly so they look pretty. It’s most likely that if I ever went to a Masterchef audition, they’d just see me and laugh. They’d know.


Not much to add, really. The staff are very friendly, the food’s great and I want to go back. I’m very likely to duck in again for a meal before work even though it’s not at all on my way – would you not agree that that’s a firm endorsement?

If you’d like to read my fellow breakfasters’ reports on this lovely place, head on over to Half-Eaten and Addictive and consuming. Aside from being ace food blog wanksters, they are consummate company for pre-work city breakfasts. Hope we can do it again, guys!

Le Traiteur on Urbanspoon

*Fr. I’m not a caterer