GRAND LAFAYETTE, PRAHRAN: The new and improved Cafe Lafayette, originally famous for their freakshakes and raindrop cakes, has now opened up shop in Prahran, off the busy Chapel St tucked in a hidden area that seems to be quite difficult to find. Almost a quintessential Melbourne cafe, Grand Lafayette has kept some of its famous Asian fusion innovations, and expanded to also include a Japanese-inspired buffet dinner for a very affordable, $32.80 that is sure to please the hungry stomach.
The good fat: This restaurant was a delight from start to finish. Excited to try the OG Melbourne cafe freakshake, we opted for the black sesame one and I was addicted to how rich the sesame taste was! Moving on, the braised pork belly filling inside the gua bao was an Taiwanese-inspired blend of sweet and savoury, attempting to mimic the pork belly rice that Taiwan is so heralded for. Next, we welcomed the matcha french toast (yes dessert before mains why not!) – a warm, fluffy and thick loaf of toast decorated with matcha grain soil underneath some colourful flowers, this was a delightfully Spring dessert. The BEST PART was the surprising matcha lava sauce that melted from the well inside (hidden from view) when we cut through it!
It’s hard to decide what I loved the best about the 48 hour duck, from the thoughtful incorporation of fried chorizo hidden like bursting mouthfuls of flavour in the black rice, to the sweet and mushy toasted pumpkin, to the wobbly, just solidified scrambled egg… there’s nothing not to love about this unique Asian fusion dish. The best thing is that Grand Lafayette features dishes unbeknownst to Melbourne brunch yet. As such, the slow cooked salmon with a lightly chilli miso glaze, drizzled on the strong sesame flavours infused within the soba was for me, the definition of Asian fusion.
The bad fat: Despite the hype around raindrop cake, having it again at Grand Lafayette (only other time I tried it was in London), just re-affirmed for me its underwhelming nature. It literally is just flavourless jelly – so imagine if you could make water into jelly and have flavours on the side, BINGO that is raindrop cake. So pass on it unless you’re an Eat-stagrammer.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
YES – I love ASIAN FUSION Cafes and the fact that they’re popping up everywhere in Melbourne means it’s time for you to get on board the train! Also be sure to check out Grand Lafayette’s buffet dinner as I’ve heard it features the all-new FREAK SUSHI!
CHECK OUT GRAND LAFAYETTE HERE:
2wofatgirls would like to thank Grand Lafayette for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration.