Edward Cutcliffe used Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel as inspiration for his cafe and wine bar, Garçon. It’s a deliberate attempt by Cutcliffe – who is behind boutique roaster The Little Marionette, and Trafalgar Street Espresso – to resurrect a bygone era.
Garçon is at the entrance of the Harold Park Tramsheds. For all its espresso-bar bells and whistles, including a vintage Probat roaster, pour-over options, and service so good you almost feel underdressed – Garçon is as down-to-earth as your local neighbourhood joint. It’s even offering drive-through brews via the Hey You app.
Centered around a large, timber bar, the venue was designed by Cutcliffe. It features a mezzanine level with the best view in the complex, and in true Parisian style, seating spills out onto the walkway.
Brian Villahermosa (MoVida) has created a seasonal menu. There’s scrambled eggs with housemade XO sauce and asparagus; cheese and charcuterie with a heavy French contingent; pâté; and rotating Bau. Larger meals include a salmon nicoise with ox-heart tomatoes and marinated white anchovies.
There are cocktails and the wine list covers cost-effective table wines alongside premium offerings. There is also a coravin, so you can savour a glass of something you would usually have to buy by the bottle for a small fortune. The device allows staff to extract the wine without pulling the cork.
Each Tuesday night, Garçon hosts French for Beginners; for $20, you’ll get a glass of wine, canapés and a lesson by the folks from Voulezvouloz.