Celebrity boulanger Gontran Cherrier chose Melbourne for his first Australian bakery – and the 27th worldwide.
He imports Lescure butter and his favourite French flour, and makes croissants like they do in France. He believes flour and butter are like wine – they express terroir.
His croissants are rich and somewhat cakey. The baguette has a crusty exterior and is a little chewy and resistant inside. There are Australian ingredients in the mix too; a lemon-myrtle choux pastry and a rye bread made with local red miso.
The cafe menu is the first of its kind for a Cherrier venue. It includes breakfast dishes such as brûléed French toast with crème anglaise and poached rhubarb. Hearty lunches include Cape Grim beef bourguignon, potato gratin and seasonal greens, and a selection of sandwiches that range from curry bun with crumbed pork, tonkatsu sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise and slaw, to a paprika bun with slow-roasted lamb shoulder, smoked yoghurt and tabouli.
The storefront was designed by Eades & Bergman, which fit out Kong and Meatball & Wine Bar, and makes use of pink macrame, polished concrete and a giant glowing sign that paraphrases a hapless, mythical French princess: “Let them eat croissants… ”