CHEZ DRE, SOUTH MELBOURNE: Hidden in a little alleyway a short distance from the South Melbourne Market, we accidentally ended up walking through the back entrance. There is an outdoor seating area as well as inside, and the decor is quite rustic with darker colour schemes in the interior, contrasting with outside. We chose to sit inside cos it was quite chilly.
On a weekday morning, there wasn’t a line so we merely walked in and took a seat, waiting for about 15 minutes for our meal. All the meals around around $20 each (cheaper for cakes, muesli etc.) and so we ordered the salmon omelette (as part of their daily specials, but it seems to appear on their quite frequently) and the chorizo with smashed peas.
Omelette with Smoked Tasmanian Salmon (Dill crême fraïche, potato, olives and toasted sourdough) – $17.0
The good fat: The presentation was pretty simple but hearty.although the texture was cooked to a lovely consistency with potato chunks embedded inside. The salmon added a hint of savoury as well as the olives, balanced with the light freshness of the crême fraïche. The redness of the salmon and whiteness of the crême was complemented nicely by the yellow backdrop of the omelette.
The bad fat: Unfortunately, the omelette had no seasoning within the egg at all, resulting in a very bland omelette. Hearty, but nothing special seeing as it was basically an egg with some salmon.
Chorizo and Smashed Peas (Istra Chorizo, Smashed Peas, Poached Eggs, Meredith goat’s cheese, Harissa and Grilled Sourdough) – $19.5
The good fat: The star dish of our brunch! I loved the presentation, with the sourdough pieces on the side, and the rest of the contents inside a small metallic baking bowl, which brought out the colours of the peas, egg white and Harissa. It was pretty much in contrast with the blandness of the omelette. Despite it’s seemingly small amount, the Harissa packed a savoury, and enjoyable soury punch (not very chilli, despite being Harissa), especially when eaten with the peas altogether. The yolk of the poached eggs ran down to be soaked by the sourdough. The chorizo was quite salty and chewy but not at all overpowering when eaten with the other main elements of the dish. I’m extremely paranoid about eating smashed stuff that appears “mushy” and gross but the peas were nothing at all like that. This dish definitely exceeded my expectations with it’s blend of powerful flavours, the soft and hard textures from the chewy sourdough and chorizo, along with the peas and poached eggs. 100% recommend.
The bad fat: Slightly overpriced for chorizo and peas.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES! Strong flavours and I also imagine it would’ve also been a nice place to go for afternoon tea with it’s small selection of cakes in the display cabinets (the brownie’s description looked mouthwatering), as well as an offering of baguettes and salads. And if you’re unhappy with the desserts here, Bibelot is pretty much right next door (Bibelot review: Gâteaux Gastronomy)