Food: Toasted Brioche, Sweet Potato Rosti and Chilli Soybean Scramble
We arrived at Le Clec after a frantic drive around Hawthorn trying to find a parking place as our usual go-to parking was full, but once we stepped inside and through to their lush covered courtyard, with plenty of greenery, all our parking worries disappeared. You could be a million miles from anywhere – it’s light and bright in summer, and I imagine it being cosy once winter comes and you’re sat listening to the rain on the corrugated roof, hugging your latte and grateful you’re eating a beautiful brunch instead of braving the Melbourne weather.
Although we had a slightly longer than average wait for our food, due to a very large group arriving at the same time, the lovely courtyard environment and highly attentive staff (who were far more worried about the wait than we were) made it seem like no time at all, and I couldn’t believe the attention to detail on our plates, or the quality of the food. After just watching them fulfil an order of 20 meals, I think I was even more impressed their chefs were continuing to produce such amazing looking food – I think I’d be throwing those french toast pieces on the plate and counting down to home time!
The experience at Le Clec just screams quality! Staff are so courteous and well trained, you’d be forgiven for thinking you stumbled into a fine dining restaurant. The thought that has gone into the fit out and the little finishing touches, that carry through right on to the plate make Le Clec seriously impressive.
I started with the watermelon frappe, which is so refreshing it makes you dream of summer, but with a huge variety of hot and cold drinks you’re sure to find something for any season. We then sampled the Chilli Soy Bean Scramble, Sweet Potato Rosti and Toasted Brioche (oh and a Muffin while we were waiting). The muffin was quite savoury, with just small hits of fruit. I really liked this and I could imagine myself grabbing one as a take away breakfast if I lived locally. It’s a generous size and had an ideal, light consistency.
The rosti looks like you stepped into a michelin star venue. The plating was just immense. It’s a small serve compared to some of the other dishes, but it had some wonderful flavours. The haloumi is the stand out in this dish. Perfectly grilled, its saltiness combines with the sweetness of the rosti to give that classic flavour balance. I loved the textural element the mushroom brought to the dish, and the pea puree and perfectly poached egg gave it much needed moisture. It’s an interesting, creative brunch dish, and should definitely be on your must-try list.
The chilli scramble was quite mild, cooled down by the generous serve of feta cubes, but still packed a lot of flavour and the eggs were silky smooth. We felt mushrooms on the side were a bit of a divisive choice, as they’re such a love-it-or-hate-it item, and maybe having another option, like avo or bacon would increase the appeal of this dish. However, we liked it, and the large pile of eggs on two thick cut slices of sourdough doesn’t leave you hungry.
Finally we finished off with the toasted brioche. We loved the soft brioche, the fun of the orange maple syringes and the range of flavours on this plate. The use of yuzu is a brave choice, as there’s a risk of people not knowing this slightly unusual citrus fruit, but it’s fresh, crisp flavour really cut through the dish to balance the sweetness of the brioche. Follow up with a mouthful of brioche coated in the creamy chocolate ganache next and you really see the wonders of this dish. It’s sweet, citrus, sharp and creamy all at once. It’s so so clever.
Address: 727 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn
Mon 7:30am to 4pm
Tue 7:30am to 4pm
Wed 7:30am to 4pm
Thu 7:30am to 4pm
Fri 7:30am to 4pm
Sat 8am to 4pm
Sun 8am to 4pm
Parking: There’s actually plenty of parking in and around Hawthorn you’ve just got to be lucky finding a spot when it’s busy and it’s more the traffic that can get a little frustrating.
Getting here on PT: It’s a short walk from Hawthorn train station on the Lilydale, Belgrave and Alamein Lines. The 16 tram also goes past the door.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Le Clec, Hawthorn. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting