Top 4 French eateries à Melbourne
I sought out la crème de la crème of French cafes and restaurants in each corner of this magnificent city.
Koots Salle à Manger
I was cursing myself for not making more of an effort with my appearance when entering this posh establishment.
Greeted by a chorus of “bonjours” we were promptly seated next to the open fireplace. I indulged in the Menu du Jour, which consisted of a salad, Poule au Pot, with poached chicken and winter vegetables.Sharing plate at Koots, via TripAdvisor
There was an awkward moment when my credit card was declined and the waiter joked that I would have to spend the rest of the night “cleaning ze dishes”. Luckily it worked and I left with my pride intact and my stomach satisfied.
Must try: the grain salad with quinoa, snow peas, radish, Persian fetta and balsamic dressing.Koots Salle à Manger
479 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong, VIC
Hardware SocieteHardware Societe, by Tammy L. on Yelp
The biggest blunder of this particular experience was not booking a table.
Unbeknownst to me, this place is the spot for brunch on Saturday. If you are as unorganised as I, you will be waiting on the sidewalk for a table for over half an hour, as hypnotic French breakfast smells taunt your nostrils.
Once you’re seated, however, there’ll be a mug of coffee in front of you in no time. I received my field mushrooms with romesco, roasted leeks, chèvre cheese and fried eggs within ten minutes of ordering.
Whilst the prices are very reasonable, the only downside is that you can’t pay on credit card.
Must try: Brioche French toast with coconut and passion fruit anglaise and a strawberry crumbleHardware Societe
120 Hardware st, Melbourne CBD
La NicheFront of La Niche, by Tallulah F. on Yelp
As soon as we walked into La Niche we were transported to the grungy depths of Menilmontant in Paris.
Squeezed onto a table in the front room, the live musician was so close he could’ve joined in on our conversation. But there was something intimate and charming about the proximity of the tables, the whizzing about of the waiters and the rowdiness of the patrons.
My favourite moment: when the (very French) waiter dropped a fork and asked if I could help him by picking it up because, otherwise “my beret might fall off.”
Not the best place in town for vegetarians (the only dish compatible with vegos was the mac and cheese, which was actually, delicious). However, the ever-changing menu is filled with modern French favourites.
La Niche is only open for dinner on Thursday and Friday nights and I would strongly suggest booking.
Must try: Chocolate tart with white chocolate and ice cream. Wash it down with the apple and chestnut liqueur.La Niche
67 Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC
This hip, South Melbourne establishment could easily be missed, tucked away down an unassuming cobblestone laneway.
Greeted by a friendly waiter, we were led past the enormous, open kitchen and sat at a wooden, communal table. With high ceilings and an industrial feel, this warehouse conversion has been done beautifully, and the amount of floor space is astonishing.
I ordered the Veggie Petit Dejeuner, with poached eggs on sourdough, potato rosti, sautéed mushrooms, slow roasted tomato and avocado and tomato relish. Delicious flavours, eggs cooked to perfection and doughy bread, this breakfast was a delight.
The real treat of Chez Dré, however, is the fit out itself, and of course, their array of macarons and petits gateaux.
Must try: Any of their famous desserts.Chez Dré
285-287 Coventry st, South Melbourne
What are your favourite French spots in Melbourne? Add your suggestions to our list by commenting in the box below.
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