Ahh Chez Dre. Such beautiful and delicious cakes. It really is worth taking a quick trip to South Melbourne just to get one of their cute petits gateaux, and their macarons are decent (though they are a bit pricey at $3 each). Unfortunately our brunch experience was a bit disappointing… the waitress forgot to put our orders through, so we ended up waiting 40 minutes for our food. She later apologised and gave us a free macaron each, which we really appreciated. However we think that maybe Chez Dre needs more staff for those really busy mornings, to avoid these kinds of mistakes. On the day we visited, they were so full that there was a whole waiting list of customers who wanted tables.
The complimentary macarons both had really nice flavours. The green tea one had a good soft texture, but the raspberry was a bit hard and chewy. They looked quite big, but the shells had big air bubbles inside them.
Wendy ~ I expected the ratatouille to be like other baked egg dishes where the egg is baked into the tomato. When it finally arrived, I thought it wasn’t baked eggs at all; the eggs were sitting on top of the tomato and vegetables and looked like they were poached. The contents in the deep dish had a strong flavour, but I just mostly tasted tomato and not the vegetables. The flavour reminded me of pasta sauce and I definitely thought it needed something like pasta to break it down because it was too strong to eat on its own, and two pieces of bread were not enough. On a side note, the handcrafted butter was the cutest!
Ani ~ This classic sandwich tasted quite good, and the flavours of the cheese, béchamel and mustard combined really well together. The side salad was fresh and crunchy. The fried egg was a just a little bit undercooked for my liking (some of the egg white on top was still clear and runny) but some people like their eggs like that. I still think it’s worth paying extra to get a croque madame rather than a croque monsieur (which has no egg).
Ani ~ Wendy thought the chai was nice because of the strong flavour, but I found it to be a bit bitter. As you can see in the photo there were a lot of black tea leaves in the brew, so I thought that maybe the ratio of black tea leaves to spice pods was a bit off. It all really comes down to personal preference of how you like your chai to taste.
This cake was light and had a smooth texture. The predominant flavour in the cake was banana, with the added sweetness of caramel.
This cake had nice contrasting textures, with the layers of biscuit, crème, mousse and ganache. The strongest of the flavours was the milk chocolate mousse, since there was more of it than anything else. Any chocolate lover would enjoy this cake.
This was an excellent chocolate croissant and the perfect option if you’re looking for a takeaway snack.
Verdict: The cakes and bakery item are delicious. The macarons are reasonable, brunch food is decent. Mistakes can happen and the waitress was quite friendly and apologetic, but next time we will definitely drop by at a less busy time of day!
Location: At the rear of 285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne. Chez Dré’s website is here. They are open 7:30am-4:30pm every day, and to get here you can take the 96 tram (Bourke St) or the 12 tram (Collins St).