South Melbourne is close enough for me to walk to if I feel like taking a leisurely stroll for brunch, but my hectic life means that I rarely have the luxury to indulge in a slow morning/early afternoon.
Having previously failed in my attempt to dine at Chez Dré (they may have been closed for a function, or I just couldn't get the front door open), I was adamant that I would give it another shot as soon as I found the time. After 2 months or so, I finally managed to make my way down there again and I'm glad that I did.
No cafe experience is complete for me unless I have a long black to start, and Chez Dré make an ok coffee but by no means close to great. Which was a little bit of a disappointment to me, but at least the food looked appetising.
Being a breakfast/brunch cafe, they serve a standard range of breakfast options including numerous egg variations, baguettes, muesli, toast until 11:30 on weekdays after which they switch into a lunch/brunch menu that includes some of the breakfast items in addition to multiple salads, sandwiches, more baguettes, and an intense sounding Ploughman's lunch with Smoked ham, salami, mild Dutch Gouda, Gruyère, cornichons, Dijon mustard, caramelised onion jam, coleslaw, savoury tart, baguette & a macaron. The weekend menu offers a cut down selection from both menus.
My friend ordered the Duck Sandwich with Confit pulled duck, truffle mayonnaise, caramelised onions, apple and rocket.
The flavours worked well together and the duck was very tender. The serving size was quite large so this is one to go for if you're feeling especially hungry.
I was feeling slightly less ravenous and decided I should be somewhat healthy so after spying on the order of a fellow diner, decided to order the Roast beetroot and marinated fetta salad for myself.
|Roast Beetroot and Marinated Fetta Salad|
With braised carrots, green beans, peas, rocket, mint & rosemary infused oil, it was fairly good although I found the peas to be slightly undercooked for my liking. The mint added a refreshing kick although I would have preferred more fetta to balance out the sweetness of the carrots and beetroot.
Being on my little health kick, I decided to skip out their famous desserts for this visit, but that didn't mean I couldn't at least look.
|Chez Dré Pastry Selection|
In all honesty, I was expecting more from Chez Dré in terms of coffee, food and efficient service. Who knows, maybe it was my loss in not trying out the pastries, and sampling those may have changed my mind. This place is nice, but I'm sure there are much nicer places to be discovered in South Melbourne.
Rear of 285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne