Located at an inconspicuous-looking alley off South Melbourne market is the warehouse-converted patisserie and boulangerie Chez Dre, created by patisserie chef Andrea Reiss, or Dre, and business partner Steve Sam.
While it is a large converted warehouse, the space feels warm and inviting rather than industrial. A blue, curved wall borders the kitchen and the concrete floor has been sprayed with a bright red pattern.
As a patisserie chef in Paris for four years, there is no doubt that at Chez Dre, the focus is on French-inspired sweets, and there is also no doubt that these are done well. In her Melbourne ‘pastry lab’, Reiss experiments with different flavours and textures to achieve a delicate balance while still maintaining the treats’ traditional appeal. A pastry cabinet is filled with tarts, madeleines, gateaux and macarons that have been made in-house in the open kitchen. Hot food is also on the menu, with all-day breakfast dishes and a range of baguettes.