My parents were never really dessert people. When we eat out, they would usually opt out of the dessert having already filled up on all the other courses. At home, in typical Asian fashion the sweetest thing that we would have after dinner was fruit, and even then that was on rare occasions. However, with my love of sweets and all the baking that I do I have slowly converted my parents to the sweeter side of things.
One morning, my mum requested that I take her out somewhere but couldn’t decide between cake and brunch. Chez Dre and Bibelot presented themselves as the perfect options, offering a bit of both worlds.
I’ve been Chez Dre before and found the brunch fare to be on the richer side but generally pretty enjoyable. However, I hadn’t been back since Chez Dre changed it up and split into Chez Dre for their brunch options and Bibelot for their sweeter offerings.
The interior of Chez Dre was the same as it had been last time I visited and there were even some familiar items on the menu!
It was a pretty warm day so my brother and dad opted for some iced lemonade and iced tea. I had a sip of both and they hit the spot, refreshing, icy and not too sweet. Despite the warmth, I felt like having a pot of tea. The lemongrass and ginger tea was the most unusual and vibrant red colour, totally not what I was expecting. That said, it tasted like the usual lemongrass tea with a hint of extra sourness to it.
I felt like having something a bit different than my usual salmon dish for brunch, so I opted for the eggplant tart. Turns out, I was well rewarded for my pick. The eggplant and onions were caramalised and oh so sweet and delicious. The egg was perfectly poached. However, the real stand out of the tart was the absolutely sublime crust. The crust was oh so buttery and flaky even though it had been covered in toppings, egg yolk and parmesan. I just wish that there was more of it!
The duck burger was a decadent affair! The brioche, duck and truffle oil meant the dish was incredibly rich. Luckily, the cabbage helped cut through everything.
Mum’s salmon and squid ink and salmon sandwich and dad’s pork shoulder toasties looked quite the treat. Dad really enjoyed the flavour of the toastie but found the edges to be a little on the dry side. Whereas I loved nibbling on the crust. The squid ink surprised us all when it appeared. Although we’ve seen black coloured charcoal bread overseas, this was the first time that we had come across squid ink flavoured bread. Honestly, the bread didn’t really have a very strong taste and was on the sweeter and softer side. My mum said she really enjoyed but would have also appreciated it if the bread were toasted a little instead of served cold.
I promised that there would be sweets, so after brunch we hopped over to Bibelot! I was impressed by the spacious and airy fit out. The front is more of a store, with all the seating towards the back of the store. Most of us were too full to have cake straight away so we took away some cakes. We picked the black forest éclair, mango and yuzu and coconut cake and blueberry and lemon cheesecake. Unfortunately, we ate them all before I took photos but trust me when I say that there were delicious.
It wasn’t the pretty cakes, chocolates and macarons that impressed me so much, as most nice cake stores have similarly pretty displays and their own unique flavours. The sheer variety of offerings at Bibelot stood out! There was an ice-cream and gelato section, a running chocolate tap for hot chocolates and a cabinet for biscuits. To my knowledge, there aren’t many places in Melbourne that offer such a selection of biscuits and cookies and it really reminded me of some of the patisseries that I had visited whilst overseas.
We couldn’t leave without trying some of the gelato and ice cream flavours. The mandarin and yuzu was the perfect refreshing citrus combination. I also fell in love with the milk tea and biscuits flavour. The ice cream was sweet and milky with a touch of tea flavour and the aforementioned biscuits were broken up into the ice cream itself.
I left feeling excited about all the different cakes we were holding, and I look forward to coming back to try more of the sweets and perhaps a high tea. I’m also pretty thankful, that for my friends who can’t eat dessert for every meal of the day, Chez Dre is just next door, serving up excellent food for those who need savouries before sweets.