Tucked down an alley as all good cafes and restaurants in Melbourne lies another called Chez Dre specialising in french patisserie and boulangerie in South Melbourne, across the road from the South Melbourne markets. Chez Dre also offers all day breakfast dishes and lunch dishes from 11.30am. Chez Dre tarts are asethically pleasing, delicate and delicious, something that you should not pass when dining here even if your full you should definitely find room for some dessert. It would be a sin to pass on dessert.
We have been here twice now. Our first visit was better than our second visit perhaps it is due to the fact there were less tourists and less crowded and you did not have to wait for a table – perhaps this is a down side for the locals.
We came here on Sunday for Brunch. and there was a minimum of a 45 minute wait – very disappointed. We decided to go out and come back. When we came back, we were offered a couple of seats on a communal table. Service was non-existence. I had to get my own menu and constantly asked for water while I read through the menu. I eventually ordered the weekly special – Reuben sandwich and a coffee.
Coffee was quite weak, tasted as if it only had one shot of espresso or the proportion of coffee to milk ratio was not quite right. The Toasted Reuben sandwich consisting of corned beef, sauerkraut, emmental cheese and Russian dressing on rye bread was delicious. It was fun to see the Russian dressing (mustard) contained in a petite jar. The Russian dressing gave the Reuben a good kick. However i found the Reuben to be lacking corned beef. it would have been good if the corned beef serving was doubled.
Croque Monsieur consisting of smoked ham & gruyère cheese with béchamel sauce was nicely toasted however. I thought it lacked béchamel.
Baked Moroccan eggs with spicy lamb sausage, tahini yoghurt & baguette, is one huge dish. I do not think anyone could finish this off on their own… The thick sauce was full of flavour, the spicy lamb sausage was marvelous and tasty. One thing to beware of is this dish can be quite hot on arrival, I always make the mistaking by digging in too fast and early and end up burning my mouth.
Almond Croissant is served warm, arriving in a basket. It’s not too sweet and the almond meal filling is nice, perhaps a big dense. the croissant was quite burnt and flat. I generally like my croissant to have a nice tan colour to it and fluffy. You definitely can make a meal of an almond croissant by itself with a coffee.
Chocolate Tart– a piece of art, where the chocolate is so shiny and smooth you can nearly see yourself in it. There is no crease, no spots anywhere, just perfect shiny chocolate, top with a gold leaf. Texture inside is much solid than mousse but still creamy enough to melt in your mouth Its the perfect sweet balance between the dark and the milk. There’s no overpowering bitter, and no sickly sweet here. The biscuit base was easy to pierce through, unlike some tarts where it is near impossible to crack.
Mandarin, Macadamia & Chocolate – velvety, rich and a thick chocolate sauce was decadent. The downside to this tart is that I could not taste much of the mandarin. I suspect the mandarin was the orange smear on top of the tart. chopped macadamia nuts embedded inside the tart gave it a crunchy texture. Just the right amount of chopped nuts – not too much and not too little.
Lychee, Raspberry & Coconut Mousse. Wow is all I can say about this as I had a spoonful, the lychees popped in my mouth and the mousse was so light and refreshing. The different layers gave a good contrast between the taste and the texture.From the cool refreshing lychee jelly, sweet raspberry tier, to the heavenly coconut base. With so much contrast between the taste and the texture of the different layers, every spoonful was luscious, soft and left me asking for more.
Chocolate and Passionfruit Mousse-cake. the mousse itself is light. In the centre of the mousse lies a nice cube of zesty passionfruit curd and embellish with a twirl of choclate sticks and gently placed gold leaf and passionfruit macaroons.