When I visited De Clieu I wasn’t actually aware that it was part of the Seven Seeds group. I lived in the vicinity of Seven Seeds when it first opened in 2009 and over the following 12 months watched its transformation from a warm and pleasant coffee shop to an overrated, snobby cafe with lukewarm coffee and terrible service. I haven’t been back since. I’m not sure that I would have chosen to go to De Clieu had I known about its heritage, but I’m certainly glad I did.
We arrive to a sleek, minimal interior. I am a particular fan of the main white marble-topped bar, with a base of that pale aqua that seems to be quite on trend at the moment. We share a table with two strangers, seated on designer wooden chairs. The menu is small, but interesting. There are a number of vegetarian options and many of the meat dishes have vegetarian options available as well.
I was tempted by the sweet roasted Berkshire pork neck w fried free-range egg, spring onion roti & barbeque sauce ($16.50).
I quite liked the idea of an Asian-inspired breakfast option; I wish more places did this sort of thing. The pork was nice and tender and the sweet barbecue sauce complimented it well. Unfortunately I found the roti quite dry and hard, making it quite difficult to eat. They need to hire one of the chefs from Mamak.
My brunch companion ordered the Breakfast De Clieu with sliced fresh baguette, smoked gypsy ham, gruyere, soft boiled egg, tarragon mustard & butter ($17).
It was a lovely basic breakfast. The soft boiled egg was perfect and I was very much a fan of the tarragon mustard.
De Clieu has a pleasant feel to it and is the perfect place to snuggle up with a coffee on a cold, rainy day (which it was when we visited). The food was more ‘sufficient’ rather than ‘amazing’; it’s not bad, but certainly nothing to rave about. Nevertheless, it’s a great place for a catch up with friends or a quick feed if you’re in the area.De Clieu 187 Gertrude Street Fitzroy