Cafe Lafayette

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Can cafe drinks get any better?

Discovering new cafes in Melbourne alleyways is the quintessential way to begin 2020… and so when we paid a visit to the newly opened, Cafe Lafayette, the sister cafe to the renowned Grand Lafayette in Prahran, we were thrilled by their decadent drinks, INCREDIBLY unique menu inspired by Japanese cuisine, and a inspiring aesthetic for a cafe – the usual bright timber walls and high ceiling replaced by a dark space and neon lights reminiscent of a late night bar. I can just feel that Cafe Lafayette has so much potential to re-define brunch.

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Citrus Miso Salmon – $21.8

The good fat: If any cafe deserves a line dedicated to drinks it’s Cafe Lafayette. The rainbow latte is a must try, at only $5.5, it’s fairly priced for a roasty quality coffee and you’re rewarded with the rainbow aesthetic.

The citrus miso salmon made me feel like I was having at fine dining for brunch. The aesthetic of the side plating, a delicate piece of perfectly sous vide-d citrus miso salmon on a bed of smooth, juicy pearl couscous, with a swish of yuzu mayonnaise of the perfect savoury consistency. Not to mention the gentle 62.5 degree egg on the side. A beautiful, elegant dish from Cafe Lafayette that could probably pass off at even a mid-tier dinner place.

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Grilled Unagi Hot Dog – $22.8

For fans of unagi (Japanese eel), have you EVER seen this on a brunch menu? But Cafe Lafayette seeks to push the boundaries of Melbourne brunch. A toasty brioche bun with the slightest brush of butter, holds a thin slice of precious, grilled unagi, tamagoyaki (a rectangular sweet Japanese egg omelette), and some pickled onions for an acidic kick. The deep fried chilli seaweed chips were a personal favourite, especially dipped in the yuzu mayonnaise on the side!

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Bird’s Nest – $21.8

The Bird’s Nest is Cafe Lafayette’s version of okonomiyaki (Japanese red cabbage pancake) – and wow has it put its own twist on things. The 62.5 degree egg is balanced on top… WHEN YOU CRACK IT OPEN… how they cook an egg to that 62.5 degree perfection whilst INSIDE an INTACT SHELL is beyond my belief. Digging below to find the pressed cabbage pancake itself, I loved the blend of the tonkatsu sauce within, with a few sprigs of fried leek.

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Raindrop Cake – $9.0

Raindrop cake, the dessert that also brought the very first, Cafe Lafayette in Port Melbourne its fame, is recreated here in this cafe on Niagara Lane. The 4 different options, matcha, peppermint, rose and brown sugar are a beautiful spread of flavours, and a scoop of the wobbly agar jelly, with the syrup and crumble is a light, “healthy” ice cream like option to cleanse the palate at the end of your meal!

The bad fat: The freakshakes from Grand Lafayette have made a new and re-vamped comeback – and so with Black Sesame and Matcha on the menu the decision was an easy one. For $12 each, these drinks were inspired and the edible butterfly was funky, but the flavours itself were not as rich as I had hoped for a black sesame and matcha fan like I am, but perhaps it lends itself to those who prefer a slightly lighter taste.

Whilst the Bird’s Nest has probably the coolest brunch aesthetic I’ve ever seen, there was a sheer disproportionate amount of kataifi pastry on top, which was a bit confusing for an okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake) it’s more commonly used as a garnish for decoration rather than something substantial… the flavours were a bit lost and also physically difficult to eat. We felt the same about the grilled unagi hot dog, whilst kataify pastry is crispy and yum, the amount loaded on top detracted away from the unagi meat itself.

FAT-O-METER: 4/5 (Although I can’t wait to come back and try the Japanese pasta, and squid ink chicken waffles!)


2wofatgirls would like to thank Cafe Lafayette, Melbourne CBD for the invitation to dine – these opinions are strictly unbiased and were influenced in no way by the collaboration.

Cafe Lafayette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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