Cliché is part art gallery, part boulangerie, and mostly restaurant. It delivers French cuisine in a warm, tongue-in-cheek setting. If you’ve visited Mexican Society, Tony Tomatoes, Ruby Red Flamingo or Hispanic Mechanic, you’ll recognise the fingerprints of Walter Ventura, who’s also involved here.
A bistro makes up half the site, and acts as a gallery for pieces curated by artist Kaspar Schmidt Mumm. The menu includes classics such as beer tartare; confit duck with ratatouille; and escargot with garlic, butter, white wine and parsley. Steaks are also a drawcard thanks to the big charcoal grill in the kitchen.
The wine list is predominantly French, with a few locals thrown in. There’s also a small selection of imported beers, and a collection of signature cocktails with a cheeky French influence. Try the Frog In Your Throat (gin, elderflower, cloudy apple, lime and mint).
A sleek boulangerie moved into the other half of the site in late 2017. It’s fitted with sleek, black marble counters, where French-born patissier Clement Labaere kneads out plain and almond croissants, pain au chocolat and danishes. Specials, such as custard canelés and tarte tatin, change daily. Baguettes and brioche line the shelves, too.
The eight-item breakfast menu goes all day. The petit déjeuner is a French “big breakfast”. The slightly out-of-left-field vegetarian mushroom tartine is topped with crispy tofu. Of course, you can also order “eggs your way” or the classic croque monsieur. Morning cocktails and bubbles kick in from 9am.
Whatever time you visit, it’s best to book ahead, as walk-ins – even on weekdays – are rarely rewarded.