Gontran Cherrier is a veritable powerhouse of baked goods, with branches in France, Japan, South Korea and more recently, right here in Melbourne. It speaks volumes how Gontran has chosen to expand into Asia and then Oceania. His Japanese inspired flavours have the perfect home in Melbourne, as we are currently in the throes of matcha and miso everything.
It was so wonderful to find a café serving Mariage Freres tea. It helped make everything seem just a little bit more French and authentic. The earl grey was comforting and smooth. Everything I wanted on a windy and dreary day.
NZ Regal hot smoked salmon rillettes & avocado, with fresh housemade cheese on miso & rye bread. This was stunning to look at. The contrast of bright vibrant greens and the dark rye bread reminded me of a forest floor. The smoky flavour in the salmon was surprisingly strong. Unfortunately, the rye bread was rather burnt on the sides. I also found the cheese a bit distracting and could have done with more of a dressing instead.
Melbourne Pantry free-range thick-cut belly bacon, fried eggs, toasted sourdough & Burrawong duck cassoulet. The thick cut bacon was delightfully fatty, charred and salty. However, the real standout was the cassoulet. I’ve never loved beans so much in my entire life. Although this dish is pretty pricy if you weren’t particularly hungry I think that you could share this amongst two people perfectly.
I also bought back some cakes and pastries to sample at my own leisure later. I forgot to take a picture, but let it be known that the yuzu tart is a complete delight. It was also a pleasant surprise to find lovely chewy, caramal caneles in Melbourne.
The space is very open and more industrial chic than classic French bakery. I’m very curious to see what the Gontran Cherrier of other countries feel like. Here everything comes together seamlessly to make a really Melbournian experience by way of Paris with a stop-over in Japan.