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Chez Dre - French Cafe Bliss in South Melbourne
Chez Dre exudes a chic part industrial vibe with oodles of character and outstanding food and coffee to match. It’s again that nondescript entrance (off the laneway) that is so Melbourne. In a cool location opposite the South Melbourne Markets this French influenced beauty is currently talk of the town.
Chez Dre is unpretentious letting the fresh produce and amazing pastries do the talking. Having ventured there for breakfast on another eFriday (experimentation Friday with my work colleagues to visit a different café each Friday) I was struck by the red concrete floor, the open kitchen with chefs in their white finery, the breathtaking counter with macaroons and pastries, large gourmet baguettes, and the lounges and retro tables.
Chez Dre shows what you can do with a warehouse in a great location and a passion to bring a great culinary experience. You can tell this place has an inspiring vision as the marks of excellence are everywhere. It’s a great patisserie but more than a patisserie. With several pastry chefs, the patisserie products are out of this world. Yet the coffee is also great and worth talking about. My work colleague remarked this is the best coffee he’s had in Melbourne. Then others rave about the baguettes in terms of freshness, quality of bread and gourmet fillings. With the market across the road, there is an awesome accessibility to fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Accolades should be given to Andrea (Dre) Reiss who is a skilful pastry chef in her own right, and who has brought this dream to fruition.
Melbourne loves an open kitchen, and Chez Dre has one of the best as the pastry chefs go to work. There’s some large spaces here at Chez Dre where other restaurants might crowd in some tables. Consideration for aesthetics at Chez Dre appears to be well considered. The roofing with exposed pipes points to an industrial theme.
You are drawn to the pastry cabinet and there’s justifiable excitement. This is no ordinary pastry cabinet. This is the result of gaining experience from the best in Europe. Eclairs, tarts, brioche, Danish. The list goes on.
The food is top class with one of the best breakfast menus in Melbourne. Come here for Fruit toast, Brioche French toast, Sweet crepes, Omelette Du Jour, Croque Monsieur or Croque Madame. Or if you’re extra hungry there’s the Breakfast Platter with smoked ham, gruyere cheese, boiled egg poached fruit, granola and yoghurt, raspberry jam, sweet sable, croissant and baguette. The Grand Petit Dejeuner is a massive but gourmet offering of poached eggs on sourdough, bacon, spicy herb lamb sausages, potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, smashed avocado with goats cheese, and tomato relish.
I elected for the poached eggs on sourdough with smoked salmon, which also proved to be a hearty meal, given the generous portion of salmon.
The coffee at Chez Dre is excellent, working over the Synesso with coffee roasted by the Maling Room (one of my favourites).
The baguettes from 10am looked amazing and I will need to return to try one.
Service is attentive, explanatory and overall is wonderful. They were able to hurry through our orders due to the fact we had to return to work (yet we stayed longer anyway – sorry).
Looking forward to returning to this foodie haven in South Melbourne.