Chez Dré is a patisserie and cafe located near the South Melbourne market. The entry is at the rear (Bob made a crude joke about this, of course) which is down a little cobbled laneway. The place is quite large with plenty of seating both indoors and outside. We were surprised at how many people were there on a Sunday at 4pm: despite the kitchen being closed, plenty of people were still turning up for coffee and cake.
Faced with a large selection of cakes and pastries on display, we asked for recommendations on two cakes to share ($9.50 each)
Passionfruit and Mango St Honore
Choux-like pastry was filled with passionfruit curd and topped with mango chantilly cream and marshmallow. Sesame tuille and a macaron adorned the cake. It was quite nice but very awkward to eat with a fork.
Green tea bavarois
This one had some more unusual flavours. Mousse-like green tea filling was sandwiched between a hazelnut biscuit base and a thin layer of chocolate. The characteristic grassy tea flavour was offset well by the muscovado sugar cream. Hiding in the middle of the pastry was a little bit of kalamanzi jelly. Kalamanzi (also known as calamansi or Chinese orange) is a bitter citrus fruit, and the flavour of the jelly was to me not unlike candied orange peel. It did a perfect job of cutting through the all the sugar. Both of us preferred this cake over the first one.
The cakes were well up to scratch. A little pricey; but that’s probably a good thing as otherwise I’d be eating them too often for my own good. I’ve heard good things about their brunch menu and I didn’t get the chance to try their macarons either, so I must make sure I revisit.Chez Dré
287 Coventry Street South Melbourne