Cesar Henry studied to be a dentist in Brittany, France, before moving to Melbourne in 2013. A French native, he took a job as a waiter at Toorak Road bistro France-Soir, where he discovered a love for hospitality. He ended up staying there for four years.
“Be prepared if you go there and you are not a regular,” Henry says. “[The waiters] may seem stand-offish at first. But it is a very real French dining experience with the best authentic French food and wine. You must go.”
When he moved on from France-Soir, he started selling crêpes at markets across Melbourne, inspired by the deliciousness of the ones from his hometown. And earlier this year he and his partner decided to set up shop on Mornington’s Main Street, not far from their home in Red Hill.
The blue-and-white-striped awning and cute red chairs and tables out the front give it a French feel. Inside, the decor is simple and homey, the walls adorned with Parisian prints.
The galettes, or savoury crêpes, are made with buckwheat flour, making them light, crisp and gluten-free. The traditional leg ham, Emmental and egg galette is very popular, but Henry’s favourite is the Petite Italie: San Daniele prosciutto, tomato, mozzarella and rocket.
But the super-sweet, ultra-thin crêpes get most of the attention. The menu features all the crowd favourites: lemon and brown sugar, a variety of jams, Nutella and strawberries. The roasted apple with salted caramel and ice-cream is a decadent crowd favourite.
Long term, there’ll be more than just crêpes. “Once we have our liquor licence, I will create a really nice wine list and stock a lot of local wines from small wineries like Foxeys Hangout,” Henry says. “And also French cider, which is traditionally had with crêpes in Brittany.”
180 Main Street, Mornington
Wed to Sun 9am–3pm