285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne
(03) 9690 2688
Uni has been quite relaxing this semester. For the first time in length of the course, my peers and I actually feel like we’re getting a slice of how sweet Uni-life should be. More spare time than contact hours generally means late sleep-ins, less study, time to soak in Spring weather and of course, more time for food.
So, on one of our short Uni days I convinced two of my friends, C and K, both of whom are also picky with their food, to tag along with me to Chez Dre. There’s a very, very good chance you’ll be seeing those initials popping up in my entries quite a bit given they’re just as food crazed as I am and often visit places with me.
Chez Dre has long been on my list to visit. It’s a South Melbourne cafe, patisserie and boulangerie owned and run by Andrea “Dre” Reiss and Steve Sam. Wait, just let me repeat those words. Café. Pâtisserie. Boulangerie. Ah, yes – three words I love hearing, seeing, saying and of course, visiting!
The café is neatly tucked into a short, spacious alley next to some furniture stores (if I remember correctly) but isn’t hard to miss with a stylish sign at the entrance. The interior maintains its industrial look but adds class and a touch of French influence with it’s polished floors, olive green cushioned seats and iron gates with curve-designs. Its spacious and comfortable with a few tables outside for those who want to enjoy some sunshine or Spring breeze (which was too cold for our liking on the day). But enough about the look, I’ll just take pictures next time so you can see rather than visualise. Let’s move on to food shall we?
It’s a sin to visit a café and not get coffee, so ordered some beans we did. Since this is my first blog, it’s probably a good idea to let you know i always order a cappuccino. I know people usually use lattes, but a ‘cap’ is my way of comparing a standard espresso with milk (NO SUGAR – the way coffee should be tasted).
So, I recall being happy with it and downing it very quickly, but i can’t recall the flavours since it was a week and a bit ago – sorry!
Unfortunately, everything started going downhill from this point. Food took a very long time to come out, and our hunger only seemed to prolong it. When it did come out, which was about half an hour later, we were a little agitated and very famished.
Moroccan baked eggs w/ spicy herb lamb sausages, minted yoghurt and warm baguette
K ordered the Moroccan baked eggs. Judging from a spoonful, the flavours were good with the yoghurt balancing the tomatoes, but the egg yolks were overdone, not the yummy, runny goodness we like to see.
Dukkah-crusted ‘pink’ lamb fillets
C had the lamb fillets which I thought would be a good choice. I’m usually pretty keen on Dukkah so was expecting quite a bit from this. Unfortunately, the lamb was dry and the Dukkah couldn’t turn my opinion on it. Although, The quinoa salad was refreshing and the polenta was quite lovely.
So, what about me? What did I order and why isn’t there a picture? I ordered the Roast beef ‘rare’ open sandwich (w/ roquette, slow roasted tomatoes, Emmental cheese basil and horseradish mayonnaise). I was actually really looking forward to this dish, but when it came out – the roquette (one of my favourite greens) looked like it had just been dumped all over the plate, which wasn’t a very good scene hence the lack of photos. But if the food tastes good, then the looks don’t matter, right? Well, the so-called ‘rare beef’ was dry, cooked through beef and I was struggling to taste the horseradish in the mayo dressing. All in all, quite disappointed,
Jasmine Tea cake
Blood Orange cake
Despite the mediocre lunch, we moved onto the sweets – which is what Chez Dré is really about and the reason why I had wanted to visit in the first place. The counter is a spectacle – filled with all the cakes, eclairs and macarons of distinct pastel colours.
The jasmine tea cake was lovely, it had a perfect amount of flavour and aroma from the tea and the mouse was very smooth and light. The blood orange cake had a shiny, jelly layer instead of the spray finish but just as good. A sweet and tangy jelly layer matched with the creamy mascarpone left me wanting more!
The croissant was enjoyed by C and K, but i found it a bit too hard and lacking in ‘butteriness’. Then again, my expectations of an almond croissant have changed since having Neil McKenzies’.
————————————————–Based on this experience————————————————–
the sweets, light and lovely
the café dishes
We thoroughly enjoyed Chez Dré’s sweets but the lunch dishes left more to be desired. I’ll return for the eclairs and macarons, and i’m willing to give them another chance with the meals – hopefully, it was just a once-off bad day in the kitchen. Also, service was good, despite a small accident involving yoghurt being spilt on my friends jeans.