It's taken me ages to write this post because I've been for quite a few visits since Chez Dre opened earlier on in the year, so look out, I have a stack of photos! (Get ready for a long post and some drooling!) Chez Dre is a Patisserie/Boulangerie/Cafe located a stone's throw away from South Melbourne Market, slightly hidden behind the Southwood Trading Company.
Yummy Mummies out there will know that it's behind where the gorgeous maternity and baby store Fragile used to be located. It is the brainchild of the talented "Dre" who is is obviously passionate about what she does and Chez Drez is a beautiful but relaxed place to catch up with friends, have a coffee, and enjoy the tasty treats both visually and gastronomically.
Firstly the drinks. The coffee is roasted at the The Maling Room, and even though I wasn't a fan when I was there, the mocha I had at Chez Dre was very nice. ($3.50)
The cappuccino is of equally high standards.
The tea is from Larson and Thompson. I had the English Breakfast. ($3.50)
Their House Hot Chocolate is a single origin "Madagascar" 64%. This was very, very nice, smooth and sweet without being too strong.
For brekkie, I tried the Poached Eggs on Sour Dough, with marinated smoke salmon, smashed avocado and goat's cheese ($15.5). The eggs were perfectly poached, and the salmon, avocado and cheese went very well together. I'm torn between having this again next visit, as I loved it so much, or to try the Chez Dre Breakfast Platter, which has smoked ham, gruyere cheese, boiled egg, poached fruit, vanilla yoghurt with granola, raspberry jam, croissant and baguette - a bit of everything, ie/ my kind of food! ($18.5)
For lunch with my parents we tried a variety of their lunch offerings. The mountain of freshly prepared baguettes beckoned!
I went for a half serve of the Roast Chicken with gruyere cheese, roasted garlic aioli and cos lettuce for $7 (saving my tummy for the famed desserts!). A full serve is $12. This came with a side of carrot, slightly reminiscent of a Vietnamese Baguette and rather refreshing.
We also had the Pork and Pistachio Terrine, which was served with baguette and apricot chutney. This was simple and a pleasure to eat. For bigger appetites, the Chez Dre Ploughman's Lunch consists of the beautiful pork and pistachio terrine, with smoked ham, brie, gruyere, grated carrot, roasted beetroot, cornichons, mustard, chutney, savoury tart, baguette and a sweet treat.
The Moroccan Salad with Chicken was an unusual choice for my mum, but a fairly healthy, interesting and pretty filling one, at $18.
The display of beautifully made desserts made it very difficult to make a choice! Most of the desserts were around $8.50 per serve.
Being rather full on lunch we shared a Salted Caramel Eclair, lovely with my tea. Warning - this is a rather indulgent eclair!
I bought a couple of the desserts to share with friends we were visiting that night. The Blood Orange Mousse, Citrus Cream, Hazelnut Meringue was a real winner, being light, refreshing and not too sweet.
The other dessert we tried was the Jasmine Tea Brulee, Milk Chocolate Mousse, Flourless Chocolate Biscuit. A very well designed dessert, the jasmine tea taste was very clear and pleasant. Very impressive as the subtle tea taste is so often overpowered by anything chocolatey in a dessert!
Their macarons were beautifully displayed, in an array of lovely pastels. Despite them being $3 each (my benchmark being $2.50 for the ones from La Belle Miette) I bought 4 to share with Hubby.
We had the Orange, Raspberry, Salted Caramel and Passionfruit macarons. These were the only items we've tried so far that I couldn't rave about. The flavours were pleasant, but they didn't have enough bite/chewiness, and the crusts were a bit too thick. Do remember I am very, very fussy with my macarons though.
There's quite a few tables, both inside and out. I personally preferred sitting inside, as the times I've been outside I'd been overwhelmed by the passive smoking in the courtyard. However that area is very pram-friendly and is beautiful on a sunny day. We'd visited on different occasions but always during the less busy weekdays, and the staff were friendly and helpful. If you have a pram, enter via Hotham St (ie/ the Courtyard) to avoid the steps in the laneway entrance).
I love visiting South Melbourne Market, and now I love it even more as I look forward to having a yummy break in the classy Chez Dre!
Eat.Play.Shop.Says - a great place to catch a break on market days. The staff have told me that it can be chaotic on Sunday mornings, so go at other times to avoid the rush!