After all the hype about this place, I had to visit. Given I have been visiting South Melbourne a bit over the last few months, you know to do stuff. Like drink coffee. So it was only reasonable that I also visit Chez Dre.
At the rear of some building on Coventry St it is well hidden yet well signed (does that even make sense?). So you can't miss it...not really. It has "patisserie" and "boulangerie" on its sign. Isn't boulangerie a sexy word? Seriously...say it with me...boulangerie.
Anyway, I digress. It is a fairly open space, with an open kitchen. Although the kitchen seems more of a cafe kitchen than a pastry kitchen...or a bakery for that matter. Anyway, walk through, and you will see a cabinet with some petit gateauxs, choux pastries, tarts and the like. Indeed, they do look very glamorous.
So what did I try?
1. Lemon Meringue Pie.
2. Passionfruit Tart.
3. Vanilla eclair.
Summary in a word? OK.
The lemon meringue pie was a little disappointing. There was something about the lemon curd that I couldn't quite put my finger on...it just wasn't as zingy as I'd expect a lemon curd to be. Trust me, I make a lot of curd and this was a bit odd. Possibly the use of lemon puree which isn't a good idea for curds and custards really...but I could be totally totally wrong.
The passionfruit tart however, was delicious. Ultra smooth curd with a great cocoa tart base. What more can I say? A classic passionfruit tart.
The eclair was also ok. The creme patissiere filling was smooth, as was the whipped vanilla cream. But lets face it boys and girls, it's an eclair...for $8.50. A bit rich, but ok I get it...it was an eclair with like a sable or "croustilliant" covering which is more work...but $8.50 for an eclair. I'm not stingy, but I just can't get over that it's just an eclair people.
So visit if you're nearby as in all fairness, I haven't tried their coffees or their food. Just their pastries.
rear 285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne