My best friend recently moved to East Melbourne so we’ve been slowly moving through cafes within walking distance. One of the first places we visited was De Clieu. We went on a weekend back during the great heatwave of February (or was it March? Yes, this post has been sitting in our drafts folder for a while now) and I enjoyed everything about my brunch experience. Well, everything other than the heat. It was 30-something degrees outside and about 9000 degrees inside. Luckily that won’t be a problem again for another 8 months.
I like that De Clieu has a relaxed atmosphere, great service and an interesting brunch menu full of items which are just a little bit more exciting than the standard cafe breakfast offerings. I also love those window sills that you can sit in. I think that I am actually in love with them. Excuse me while I go and pin 17 photos of people sitting in window sills and cry a little bit about how I’m never going to be able to recreate that in a first floor apartment.
Just when you think that Gertrude Street has been completely over saturated with cool, along comes De Clieu. Opposite the painfully trendy TITLE, De Clieu explodes out onto the street with a wonderful blend of outdoor tables and wide open windows into the shop.
Walking in, I was sort of expecting a level or pretentiousness exuded by some of the other establishments on the street , but the staff were exceedingly friendly, and very attentive. And we weren’t even dressed the part. The service was quick, and we were constantly getting refills of water, but i suspect this was mainly due to it being hotter than the sun inside. 10 days straight of over 30 Melbourne, you will not be missed.
I had the pancakes with figs, mint, maple syrup, marscarpone and bacon ($16.50 for the pancakes and sides other than bacon, $3.50 for the bacon). Anytime I see pancakes with bacon and maple syrup, I must have them. Sort of like when I was a little kid and saw a new matchbox car at the milkbar (remember either of those things, kids?). De Cleiu added a bit of underground trendy to the dish with some fig. The presentation was a little on the “dumped together” side, but plating isn’t really a priority when you’re serving the holy trinity of gluttony. Everything about it was spectacular, and I even ate the figs.
Marg had the roast tomato bruschetta with parsnip puree, proscuitto and fetta ($15.50). Again, the parsnip puree added something a little different which really made this dish memorable.
Great service and food that is simple but a little bit exciting. Also some great window sills.