George Christopoulos has scored a prime corner in the centre of Carlton’s Rathdowne Village for his newest Depot de Pain (‘bread depot’ in French), adding to a family that started in St Kilda Road’s Blackman Hotel. Only four weeks old, everything exudes simple, clean style as you migrate quickly from cafe to bistro-style dining room to pantry.
Leading South Yarra bakery and parent company French Fantasies delivers twice daily to the cafe, which is fully licensed and a one-stop shop for bread, patisserie delicacies or a last minute (‘made it myself’) dinner – perhaps a quiche or tart.
Contained within a fresh, white façade, the space (designed by foong + sormann) is sleek and modern, with light wooden panelling, great artwork and an incredible chandelier. The small staircase inside most likely leads to a well-stocked cellar.
There are some bar stools by the window and a hole-in-the-wall for takeaway or to chat to one of their attentive wait staff on your way past.
You’re spoilt for choice with their sandwiches (baguettes, tartines or croques). And although a whitebait fritter or Toulouse pork hotdog is unlikely to appeal to a hungry toddler on the way home from the park across the road – Depot de Pain’s authentic French ‘petite ala carte’ menu is targeted towards a more mature crowd – a pain au chocolat should do the trick.
Depot de Pain
693 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North
(03) 9349 1311