Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Chez Dre

There are times when I loath working regular business hours (i.e., Monday to Friday). It is impossible to get to a post office and the nicest weather always seems to fall on weekdays. But when the weekend comes around and I have two free days to do... whatever I want, every other hassle seems to melt away.

Sunday perfectly embodied all the things I love about weekends. Dan and I leisurely rode to the South Melbourne market, bought delicious food for the week, grabbed some lunch and cruised around. I was carefree, felt like I had all the time in the world and got a healthy dose of (fun) exercise and fresh food.

So let's start at the beginning...

Since I only had one bike at my place, we stopped by the nearest Melbourne Bike Share station to grab a second bike. I've been wanting to try out this Bike Share system for some time and this was the perfect excuse. I was immediately impressed by how comfortable the bike was. The seat didn't dig into my backside like so many other bikes, it almost felt luxurious. But as we picked up the pace down the street, I was wishing that it had a few more gears (it has three).

Our first stop was the South Melbourne market, and although we had a specific goal in mind - to buy food for the week - I enjoyed walking around the market, at a leisurely pace, checking out what was on offer. And this is how we stumbled upon our morning snack - cookies.

The short ride clearly triggered our sugar cravings and we each tucked into a cookie. They weren't the most amazing cookies I've ever tried (mine could have been a tad more moist) but there was a huge variety. So if I ever want a batch of cookies and I can't be bothered baking, I know where I'll be heading.

Stall by stall, we managed to fill our bags and buy the food we were after... plus a little more. Each stall inspired us and we were quickly devising meal ideas for future weeks. We were even able to sample some cheese and pan-fried gnocchi - yum! There was so much I could have bought, but alas there is no point in buying everything at once... and we could only carry so much on our bikes.

Being surrounded by delicious market produce, we were aching for lunch, and so we headed to Chez Dre.

Coventry St entrance

Hotham St entrance

Dan and I have had a delicious brunch at Chez Dre in the past, but being laden with food, we decided the best idea was to grab something to go. We picked up two baguettes - Roast Chicken and Smoked Salmon - and rearranged the bags to fit them snugly in. Chez Dre looked busy as ever, so it was a relief to quickly grab the pre-made baguettes and get back on the road.

We took a long route home, winding through some of the most beautiful streets of South Melbourne. The terrace houses and tree-lined streets are truly enchanting. I was feeling full with happiness, enthusiasm and a little bit of adoration. It is so nice to share those simple but spirit-lifting moments with someone.

I returned home with, no doubt, a glow of bliss surrounding me.

By now it was early in the afternoon and I dived into our bag from Chez Dre, so eager to get that first bite. The crunchiness, oh the crunchiness of the bread. I felt like an addict who'd just scored a hit.

As my initial enthusiasm subsided, I realised my baguette wasn't as good as I thought it would be. There was plenty of delicious smoked salmon, but the dill cream cheese was overpowered by the taste of butter. So sad. I had hoped the cream cheese would be more prevalent than the caper butter, but it wasn't. Luckily, I had some at home, but the overall baguette experience had been tarnished.

Dan, however, thought his baguette was delicious - "the combination of the garlic mayo and Gruyere cheese was awesome".

The afternoon continued to be as frivolous and carefree as the morning, and now I have all those wonderful memories to last me through to next weekend.

- Dani

Name: Chez Dre
Cuisine: Patisserie/Boulangerie 
Price: $/$$
Location: 285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne VIC 3205

Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

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