Chez Dre, Melbourne 2013
Normally prior to a holiday, I'll google for the best eating spots in town - just cos I love food. My friends will normally leave the itinerary part of the trip to me most of the times anyway, so our travel document will always have tons of to-eat places (but of course, I'll also be sure to add in all the other necessaries - like the to-do, to-visit, to-shop etc). I had a list of cafes I wanted to visit in Melbourne, and Chez Dre was on it, just because everyone was raving about it (online).
Just look at the cakes selection. Just how was a girl supposed to choose? I dithered in front of the cakes counter for several beats, engaging the sales girl in small talk on what's the popular faves just so I could narrow my choices down - to just one treat (*sad face*).
The weather was slightly chilly, so we ordered some drinks first, a chai latte for me, and a latte for the cousin.
May I just say that this was the best ever chai latte I've ever had in my life? Swoon. I'm a big chai fan, but it's not normally available in Singapore cafes (and even if there is, I've not been impressed with any). It's quite common to see chai in the Aussie cafes though, I remember back in Uni days in Brissy, my favourite spots to grab a cuppa of chai were at the weekend farmers market or the airport factory outlet.
I was very very impressed with the cuppa here (also, it could be because it's been so long since I last had a really good chai). I loved how they serve the chai - the spices were still in the milk, and you strain the drink yourself into a cup. The aromatic spice notes wafted in the air, warming me up both inside out. I enjoyed the drink so much that I asked the waiter whether the spices were available for purchase. Sadly it was not, but apparently they get the spices from the neighbouring South Melbourne Market (which I had already gone prior to visiting Chez Dre).
The cousin is not a big fan of sweets, so she chose to get a croissant instead. I finally decided on the hazelnut praline crunch (after much debate internally with myself if I should get one, or two pastries). In fact, what made my dilemma funnier was this guy who was seated opposite us. We were seated at a communal table, and he was alone. He went over the cakes counter, and ordered. When he sat back down again, he had two (!) cakes - one for dine-in, and one to take-away. My cousin was joking that hey, I should have made friends with him and we could have shared more cakes that way (and also cos he seems to be fan of sweets as well). On hindsight, I should have just done exactly as he did - to buy one, and take-away another. Bah.
Anyway, the hazelnut praline crunch cake was lovely. If you like ferrero rocher, you will love this cake made with hazelnut and chocolate. It's a really rich piece though, the mousse was sweet, and I loved the crispy bits in between.
Besides cakes and pastries, Chez Dre also serves brunch food. Alas we were on a cafe hop, so we only had the desserts there that day. If I were to head back again, I'll probably want to try the brunch (and also more of their visually appealing sweet treats!).
Address: Rear of 285–287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne 3205
Directions: Hop onto Tram #96 or #112.
Tel: (03) 9690 2688
Opening hours: 7.30am - 4.30pm daily