MELBOURNE | Le Clec opened on Glenferrie Road in 2016 and since then has become one of the best cafes in the area. It’s named after owner Chang Zhan and his siblings Lyn, Eason and Clara, and takes the familiar Melbourne cafe menu and puts an Asian twist on things. We love Melbourne brunches and love Asian food so when we were invited to pop in for a visit, we didn’t hesitate.
The cozy cafe doesn’t look like your typical Melbourne cafe. It’s a homely space with brick walls, wooden floors and furniture, timber and lots of warm tones, and a heritage listed 19th century ceiling. Don’t be fooled by the limited seating out the front – walk through the side and past the kitchen and there’s a larger dining room, and behind this an open, light filled courtyard, which is covered and heated so that it can be enjoyed year round.
To start with its an assortment of drinks like coffee, tea freshly squeezed juices and frappes. Coffee is from Five Senses, Hot Chocolate is from Mork, and both are fantastic, especially the 12 hour cold drip coffee which uses a rotating mixture of single origin beans. If it’s past morning and you want something alcoholic, there’s a small selection of quality wine, beer and cocktails.
The drinks are very good, but the food is where things really get interesting at Le Clec. It’s a one page menu with an assortment of all day breakfast and lunch items, but despite its conciseness it’s not easy to decide what to order. This is because there’s a lot that sounds good. Think ruby grapefruit cured salmon with wakame cucumber, basil mayo, goats curd, smoked pickled beetroot, puffed wild rice, brioche crisp and a poached egg, or how about the son-in-law Benedict with deep fried soft boiled egg, smoked ham hock, tamarind glaze, holondaise and a fried shallot atop spongy sourdough.
We started with the toasted brioche, which is served with yuzu curd, soft crisp meringue, whipped chocolate ganache, and orange maple syrup. It’s a really well balanced dish, with all of the flavours and textures working well in unison. The maple syrup is in little drippers so you can add as little or as much as you want, and nothing is overly sweet. Honey glazed Kaiser bacon is optional and while the dish is very enjoyable without the bacon, its slight saltiness and crisp texture really adds another dimension to each bite.
We also tried the truffle Chicken burger, which sees a thick glazed and grilled thigh fillet sandwiched inside a brioche bun with mango slaw, a slice of melted cheddar, and chipotle mayonnaise. The optional thick cut chips, which are more like wedges, are a must. While the truffle flavour wasn’t really apparent in the burger and we didn’t get any heat from the chipotle mayo, it was still a fantastic burger. Really nicely balanced flavours and a super juicy piece of chicken. The perfect example of why more places need to use chicken thigh instead of breast, and should give grilling rather than deep frying a shot for their chicken burgers.
We left Le Clec extremely satisfied with our meal, happy to discover a new (to us) venue that succeeds in doing something a bit different than the rest in Melbourne. Highly recommended.
727 Glenferrie Road
Telephone: (03) 9818 8969
Sun – Sat: 7:30am to 4:00pm
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