Perhaps it's the mysterious unnamed doors, or the satisfying noise of the antique cocoa press and roaster that make L'atelier de Monsieur Truffe comparable to the magical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “We wanted to be in control of the roasting, grinding and making of the chocolate from start to finish,” explains owner Thibault Fregoni, who's new venture is placing a greater emphasis on the process and production of the chocolate itself.
It's a welcoming space – albeit large and relatively minimal – that evokes simplicity with refine design qualities to couple a menu that is small but considered. Breakfast, lunch and ‘kids thingies’ are currently listed, along with typically French indulgences of croissants and freshly baked pastries.
Coming here certainly feels like a treat, only without the cluttered and heavy features that usually connote 'indulgence'. Like his globally-sourced second-hand machinery, the new Lygon Street space has been given a renewed lease of life that is both complimentary to the original fixtures and at the same time refreshingly re-designed to be beautifully light and relatively unembellished. Untreated wood tables follow a uniform layout and work with the cherry blossom and bamboo to soften the factory-like space of concrete flooring and open brickwork.
“The idea was to involve people in the process visually,” says Fregoni, which he illustrates well with a gallery-style seating plan to overlook the machines from behind a purpose-built glass wall. To this line of thinking, customers will become involved and connected to what they are about to eat; there are even windows carefully positioned to allow you to peep in and watch the experienced hands of the kitchen staff at work.
Different to its Smith Street location, L'atelier de Monsieur Truffe is an imaginative and open cafe experience where the artisan craft of this passionate chocolatier is on show to its audience at this fascinating workshop.
L'atelier de Monsieur Truffe
351 Lygon Street, East Brunswick
(03) 9380 4915
Wed to Fri 8am–4pm Sat to Sun 8.30am–4pm