Well, you can add another well-designed café to Glenferrie Rd’s booming Hawthorn portfolio. Ten years ago the best meal you could get round here was a baked potato on the corner of of Burwood Rd. Now it’s like some sort of never-ending Disneyland buffet. If you put your mind to it, you could eat at a different venue every day of the month, and still have room for more.
So how does newcomer Le Clec fit into Hawthorn’s big picture?
This place opened in a heritage-listed building late last year, just down from the Lido Cinema, and it’s a solid addition to the bustling strip. The menu is Asian fusion, with a few surprising twists. Think Pork Bao Benedict (a steamed bao pocket stuffed with sticky-glazed pork belly, poached eggs and house-made pickles, drizzled with kimchi hollandaise) or Smashed Av’ with edamame, pickled radish, goats cheese and chilli coconut ash.
The flavours are courageous, you gotta give ‘em that. Personally though, we’re here for the sweet stuff: banana and ginger-spiced friands with rhubarb semifreddo, or the mighty Pavlova, served with strawberry panna cotta, lemon meringue crisps and freeze-dried kiwi. They even do made-to-order, fresh-baked gingerbread. We’ll just that one sink in for a moment...
The space is your classic Southside brunch bar: clean lines, blonde timber and a beautiful 19th Century ceiling. There’s sparkling water on tap, plus a couple of extra dining rooms out the back, including a plant-studded open-air courtyard (a good pick when the weather’s good). Yep, Glenferrie Rd just got another winner. Welcome home, Le Clec.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White