Wednesday 6 April 2011

De Clieu and canelés de Bordeaux

De Clieu
187 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy (map)
9416 4661
Open daily 7am-5pm

De Clieu - Bowie tee, natch

De Clieu opened nearly six months ago, a sibling cafe to Seven Seeds and Brother Baba Budan. Occupying the Gertrude Street corner site that used to house a real estate agents, the fitout is very chic and Six Degrees-y.

De Clieu

De Clieu is named after Gabriel-Mathieu d'Erchigny de Clieu, the 18th century naval officer who introduced coffee to the French colonies. The name rhymes with "Dieu", but people tend to hesitantly rhyme it with "clue". My friends and I like to pronounce it "De Claaaaeugh", but this is said with affection.

De Clieu

The menu is eclectic and slightly eccentric, including a dish called Let's Get Going (bowl of coco pops, glass of house made red cordial and a coffee for $10). There are three different savoury hot pressed grain sandwiches on the menu with interesting contents like balsamic roasted sardine fillets, roasted tomato, red onion and parmesan ($11). I love that each one comes with a side serve of crisps.

Sandwich with crisps

The kerrrrazy-indulgent brunch item is the spring onion roti with sweet roasted pork neck, barbeque sauce and a fried egg ($15.50). It's very rich and very sweet what with all that pork and honey and hoisin, and the flaky roti has a marvellously feathery texture which I loved.

Roti and pork

On another visit I regressed to my childhood and had the banana and nutella hot pressed grain sandwich ($8.50). YUMMO.

Banana and nutella sandwich

Canelés de Bordeaux, the new sweet food trend to take over from macarons now that the latter have gone well and truly mainstream. Ed from the blog Tomato wrote a blog post six months ago predicting that these sinful little crème brûlée-like cakes would be the Next Big Thing, and Duncan from Syrup & Tang was already showing us all how it's done, canelé-wise, way back in late 2009.

Canelés are cropping up more and more frequently in Melbourne cafes, and the best ones I've had are made by Gâteaux de Bordeaux up in the Yarra Valley. You can follow them on Twitter and find their canelés at De Clieu, Seven Seeds, Liaison and several farmers markets.


De Clieu can be madness on the weekends, so try to visit either during the week or outside the brunching rush hour on a Saturday or Sunday. It being a Mark Dundon and Bridget Amor cafe, it goes without saying that the coffees are excellent - even the wussy little weak lattes like the one pictured below (necessitated by my pitifully low caffeine threshold!).



Esz said...

Love De Clieu and the whole Seven Seeds bunch of cafes - Though Seven Seeds itself is much easier to get into these days.

I'm totally keen on trying those caneles.

And its such a shame you have such a low threshold caffeine, especially since you frequent such awesome cafes. I would suggest a regime of regular, excessive consumption to bolster your immunity ;-)
Hey - it worked for me!! Hehe ;-P

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

what a simple idea! nutella banana sandwich. now to wait for the price of bananas to drop from the crazy 13 aud a kg to a more reasonable price before i replicate this.

Temasek said...

Aah so the backlash against macarons begins!! Doesn't really worry me as I love love love Caneles. The ones over at Baker D Chirico are pretty fantastic. I have yet to manage a seat at De Clieu (and its certainly quite intimidatingly hipster on the weekends) but finally made it to Proud Mary's ... love it! Isn't melbourne great!!!

Allan said...

omGosh, how coincidental, just as you post this... i was at Seven seeds trying those caneles..mmm.

greenbeenfood said...

fabulous! how delicious does everything look! nutella banana sandwich so good + the roti ensemble would be my type of hit to start my weekend off. dayle

frenchie alex said...

This cafe looks totally great !!!
As a real Bordelaise I can say that they look like the original!
I love your blog claire. Everytime I am looking it I wish I was with you to take the photographs and taste these fabulous cakes and tapas. said...

YUMMY!! I want to try that spring onion roti with plus, plus. :) mmm.. Definitely on my to-do list. Great shots too. Keep it up!

Clance said...

LOVE De Clieu - that spring onion/duck pancake looks ILLEGAL! I want one.. great pics Clare.

Ed said...

Told you so!

The caneles are great but I still reckon the ones from Dench are the tops. I hadn't seen the banana and Nutella sandwich and will be back for one.

In Collingwood, the best refuge from the crowds on a Saturday Felices but the coffee can be variable.

Unknown said...

I could do with one of these Caneles and the coffee. Hong Kong sadly also make these but nowhere near top quality in execution. They better stick to making Chinese food ! :D