It’s the best thing since sliced bread for Melbourne’s carb addicts. Parisian boulanger-pâtissier-extraordinaire Gontran Cherrier (try saying that quickly three times) has set up shop on Smith Street, bringing his world-famous baked goods to our shores for the very first time. And after popping along to the opening, we can confirm c’est pretty darn magnifique.
The 27th outpost of the global bakery empire, Gontran Cherrier Artisan Boulangerie and Café, Melbourne, has a chic Eades and Bergman fit-out, a bustling boulangerie-pâtisserie to stock up on breads, sandwiches, pastries and cakes, and—in a uniquely Melbourne twist—an all-day café serving St Ali beans.
As well as turning out French staples like those uber-buttery croissants, the Parisian cutie pie has looked to our local landscape for inspiration, while an Asian influence is ever present. For starters, there’s an Aussie-inspired choux pastry with lemon myrtle leaf, a squirrel tart of mixed dry nuts in caramelised miso, and a lemon and yuzu cheesecake that will leave you drooling for days.
Or, if you fancy something more substantial, the Gontran Cherrier café’s dishing up such goodness as a curry bun with crumbed pork, tonkatsu sauce, kewpie mayo and slaw, and a bacon and egg roll, served in a squid ink bun with Sriracha. With Matt Wilkinson protégé Travis Welch manning the menu, you’re in very capable hands whatever the time of day.
From the classics playlist, there’s a mouth-watering beef bourguignon with potato gratin and seasonal greens, and a crazy-good warm cauliflower and parmesan salad. Naturally the Croques Monsieur et Madame are both present and gut-bustingly delicious.
Our picks from the cabinet on the way out? The flakey, cakey chocolate croissants, the tangy lemon, yuzu and rye tart, and the perfectly chewy classic baguette (which we may or may not have eaten in one sitting…).
Want the location, opening hours, and all the details? Find Gontran Cherrier in The Directory.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey White