I love a good French restaurant. It was a shame that when I was in Paris I had disappointing experiences with the food there – I’m happy to say that my experiences in Melbourne have been very different indeed. Le Flaneur is nestled on 5 Church St in Hawthorn – it’s location really is quite convenient, being just off the Monash freeway. Tonight the weather was typical of Melbourne with a sudden down pouring of rain – the perfect time to be inside a cosy restaurant like this with good food, good wine and great company.
You can really tell this place is for the coffee enthusiast – the shelves were lined with various coffee makers – filters, siphons, cold-drip brewers and more.
So this popular breakfast/lunch/coffee place has now branched out to serve dinner as well – it seems like their menu changes every two weeks – makes it quite an exciting time to be a customer and guarantees the ingredients chosen are in season.
Here’s what was offered today:
What I miss most about Paris? The bread at the start of the meal. That served at Le Flaneur was lightly toasted and served with an olive flavoured butter.
The entrees were a perfect start to the meal: The risotto was creamy and definitely welcome on such a cold wintery night. It was quite a generous portion offered – it could have been served as a main we felt.
Mussels are always a favourite for me – especialy when they’re this big and juicy. We couldn’t wait to finish them to enjoy the cooking juices a the bottom with the accompanying bread.
The salmon blini was light and tangy – the perfect appetiser, whetting our appetites for the rest of the night.
On to the mains: Tonight there was duck breast served with wheat polenta, apricot reduction and brocollini. The apricot was a rather surprising touch to the perfectly cooked duck breast – it might just be my Asian palate. Otherwise the duck was lovely – just pink in the middle and it had a beautifully crispy skin.
The ocean trout did not disappoint either – it was poached and served with bouillabaisse, rouille jelly and mussels (I was happy to see more of these!) . The ocean trout was wonderfully soft and cooked just enough.
A visit to a French restaurant should always end well with dessert. Le Flaneur currently has on offer two brilliantly contrasting dishes – a chocolate fondant and a carrot cake. The chocolate fondant was perfect with a soft and gooey centre while the carrot cake was certainly very different to what I have had in the past. When I think of a carrot cake, I always have in mind a harder, chewy cake with grated carrot, nuts and probably some cream cheese icing. This one came served with a sugar art lace on top of a round of a soft and light pillowy carrot flavoured cake and a subtle flavoured jelly/jam.
We dined courtesy of Le Flaneur – I really must come back to try their breakfast/lunch menu – I feel like I’ve done this rather backwards as everyone else comes to try their dinner menu after knowing about their breakfast/brunch for a while! Also with all their choices of coffee, I better come earlier in the day…