Saturday 9 May 2009

Liaison: Paris end perfection

Monaco House, 22 Ridgway Place, Melbourne (map)
9663 3225

The Melbourne Club secret garden

Reason #257 that DJ and I are great housemates: shared taste in cafés.
Over dinner on Tuesday night with best-friend-K and said housemate, I was excitedly telling them about THE most fabulous café I'd visited for lunch that day. "It's down a little alleyway. Imagine you're walking down Little Collins Street from Spring. Meyers Place on your right, Bar Lourinhã on your left. Between Champagne Lounge and the high brick wall hiding the Melbourne Club's tropical Secret Garden is an alleyway..."

DJ interrupted. "Sweetheart, are you talking about Liaison? It's my new morning coffee place, ever since I moved up to the Paris End. The très fabulous Danny and Sian hook me up with superior caffeine every morning, love!"

I should have known that DJ would have sniffed out a perfect little café for his new local. However, I was actually tipped off about Liaison's existence by Essjay who, thanks to the magic of Twitter, had recommended it and sent me a link to her review.

Liaison is on the ground floor of Monaco House, a ridiculously fabulous building (the phrase "architecture porn" does spring to mind) which also houses the Honorary Consul of Monaco. Of *course* it does.


The interior is pretty teeny tiny (the seating is mainly stools along the front window and the side of the bar) but there is a cute little back area with a communal table.


There's also two tables out the front facing the Melbourne Club's brick wall, and plenty of extra stools and milk crates to form impromptu seating in Ridgway Place itself.


I visited Liaison last Tuesday with the lovely KT, recently returned from a stint overseas doing various superstar legal internships. She and I each ordered a toasted panino containing rocket, prosciutto, tomato, provolone and marinated eggplant. It was perfection in a panino - the good quality prosciutto and provolone really made it taste authentically Italian. Sigh.

Liaison panino

We then shared two macarons between us: one was strawberry with a creamy centre, one was raspberry with a jammy centre. Both were gorgeous.

Liaison macarons

If I worked at this end of the city, I'd be here at least once a week! But shhh, don't tell everyone about it or we'll never be able to get a table... :)

The Melbourne Club secret garden


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link Claire. Good words and nice photos. Essjay

Anonymous said...

Good spot indeed. Run by the previous owner of Cafe Racer (the son of the fabulous Faye and Bill at Cafe Darling at the bottom of my street in South Yarra).

Thank you for quoting me on La Vita Buona; I'm pleased you enjoyed it.

By the way The Cherry Tree is consistently good, though haven't seen you there yet. It has become my regular (I only have to walk across the river).


Fel said...

Were the macarons good? I'm obsessed with finding good macarons in melbourne! haha. are they open on weekends anyway?

Russ Owen said...

Great Review. Was introduced by my colleague who regularly visits the establishment.

Coffee was awesome & Toasted Banana bread was als very nice, and a great side snack with the coffee.

claire said...

My pleasure Essjay, thanks once again for the tip-off!

Hi Andrew, thanks for the inside info re Cafes Racer and Darling. Glad you don't mind being quoted on La Vita Buona.
Maybe I am at the Cherry Tree and you simply don't know what I look like! Alas it is my local but not my regular, ought to grab a beer there more often.

Hi Fel. Afraid they're only open Mon-Fri, 7-4. The best macarons I've ever had in Melbourne were those made by Duncan, Melbourne's macaron maestro... but the ones at Liaison are probably the best ones I've ever bought here (and about x6000 better than the horrid ones at Laurent!)

Hi GeekEvangelist - toasted banana bread? For realz?
Oh, I am SO ordering that when I go for Bourgeois Breakfast there next week :)

Sam Mutimer said...

I was looking for a super relaxed place that does great coffee for my next meeting. I twittered this and Matt AKA @Mister_Black (twitter name) -came to my rescue! Matt suggested I try here! I'm looking forward to sampling your treats and delish coffee! Great blog! Are you guys on twitter? High fives - and thanks to that raving fan of yours Matt ! Cheers @sammutimer - Sam Mutimer - Sam2.0! :-)

claire said...

Hi Sam, thanks for dropping by (and for Matt for linking!). Yes I am indeed on twitter - see the tweets in the right hand column of the main blog pages? If you'd like to, follow my gibberish @mutemonkey.

Anonymous said...

Claire, thanks for the tip. I had also never heard of Liaison despite working only 5 minutes away.

At your recommendation I tried the macaron - pretty damn good really. I wrote a post about it on my blog..


Anonymous said...

Love your blog - and wondered if you can help me. I'm coming to Melb from interstate and want to know a few places for cheapish, light (but wonderful) lunch in CBD that are open on weekends. Any suggestions ?