17 Nov Gontran Cherrier, Collingwood
Bread and pastry-fiends got terribly excited when word got around that Gontran Cherrier, famous Parisian boulanger-pâtissier, was opening a cafe in Melbourne. All manner of pastry and bread products would be prepared and baked on site, and the cafe would serve breakfast and lunch fare.
The cafe menu from Chef Travis Welch, of Pope Joan and Circa, The Prince, takes French classics and puts an Australian spin on them, sometimes using native ingredients, and sometimes also taking on other cultural influences such as Asian ingredients like miso, sesame and soy. I go for the salmon rilettes with avocado and house made cheese on miso bread. The rilettes are creamy and the house made cheese is soft and mild. These and the avocado sort of meld into the same texture. The topping is light on seasoning, though this is balanced somewhat by the saltier miso bread.
Beginning to tire of all the typical brunch food we’ve been eating recently, mum picks the steak bavette. The chips have an exciting crunch, as well as a smooth and creamy interior. The steak is done well, and the salad is a perfect match for it. The salad is prepared very simply; the pickled onions adding freshness and zing without much other dressing.
Of course, we can’t leave without trying some sweets. Pastries come courtesy of pastry chef Kayte Perdrisat, whose experience even includes Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Patisseries like viennoiseries, cakes and tarts are enticingly displayed in and on the counter. Croissants are made using flour imported from France and Lescure butter, but we don’t try any today. The pear and hazelnut tart has a lovely crisp shortcrust pastry, and the mango and passionfruit flavours of the Dome exotique are tangy and refreshing. Both are exceedingly satisfying.
If you can’t stay for a bite, be sure to pick up a pastry or loaf of bread with your take away coffee.
Let us eat croissants. All of them.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Gontran Cherrier as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and not influenced by them in any way
Shop 4, 140–144 Smith Street
Collingwood, VIC, 3066
(03) 9419 1518