Having previously previewed the delicious baked creations of world renown artisan baker and boulanger-patissier Gontran Cherrier at his Collingwood eatery, it was only a matter of time before I returned for a proper visit.
The pastries we had tried during the launch event were great, but the freshly-baked baguettes were better and left quite the impression. The bar had been set and I was quite excited to see that many of these baked goods had been incorporated into their brunch menu.
Given all the tasty options, we took quite a while deciding on our order before opting for the school prawn omelette and smoked salmon rilettes. Both options cleverly paired the breads with ingredients that not only added much oomph in the flavour department but also worked to highlight the gorgeous flavours and textures of the accompanying breads. The omelette was quite light in texture and contrasted beautifully with the crunch of the crispy school prawns, fresh slaw and baguette. The textures captured in the salmon rilettes dish were much creamier but managed to keep in balance with the avocado, housemade cheese and greens rounding out the richer flavour of the rilettes. The miso bread had quite an interesting profile, and while I couldn't quite detect the miso presence, I did enjoy its earthy aromas and subtle saltiness.
One simply cannot visit Gontran Cherrier without an order of some sweet pastries! Pull out that second stomach for dessert if you must. The pastry layers between the mille feuille were compact but delicate and flaky, sandwiching a fragrant tonka bean cream. The canele may be small in size but it's more than enough given the level of sweetness and rum presence.
As a big fan of bread, pastries and brunch, Gontran Cherrier scores big ticks in my books.
140 - 144 Smith St,
Collingwood, Victoria, 3066.
(03) 9416 3609
Disclosure: I dined as a guest of Gontran Cherrier. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.