Visit a Parisian bakery and patisserie... on Smith Street.
Fourth-generation baker Gontran Cherrier and his eponymous bakery has landed on Smith Street, bringing along his signature loaves, pastries and French casual lunch fare. Cherrier says the decision to pick Melbourne as his first Australian venue was driven by the city's café culture. "I like that Melbournians take the time to go to the local café and enjoy a meal or have something to take away nearly every day." he says.
Cherrier is a well-known TV personality in France and his bakeries – he owns a chain of more than 20 bakeries around the world – are known for wholesome loaves and delicate pastries that stick to French baking tradition that are also inspired by new flavours. The baker, for instance, is clearly heavily influenced by Japanese flavours. They feature in items like the rather cutely named Squirrel tart topped with nuts coated in caramelised miso; the curry bun with crumbed pork, tonkatsu sauce and Kewpie mayo; the squid ink buns; the lemon and yuzu cheesecake.
"I have taken inspiration from local ingredients like lemon myrtle leaf and peppers," he adds. "I am importing my flour from France for my croissants and my traditional baguettes, and my butter is from France but all my other ingredients are found locally. We are also using local free-range bacon and organic free-range eggs from Ararat in the café."
At the end of day, however, this is a French bakery. So expect croissants with layers for days, and the boulangerie cabinet is stocked with pre-made sandwiches made with the housemade loaves for on-the-go lunches. If you're eating in, there's an all-day breakfast menu (think quiche lorraine, French toast), a short lunch menu featuring a soup du jour and some hot sandwiches.
The boulanger is scouting other venues in Australia, with plans underway to open another store in Melbourne and venues in Sydney and Brisbane.
|Venue name:||Gontran Cherrier||Contact:|
140-144 Smith St
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The croissants here are second to none, the best in Melbourne (although I say that having never had a La Lune croissant due to the ridiculously long line there at all times). Their baguettes are great too. I think they'd probably have had more success if they'd opened in a more conservative area, or maybe that is wishful thinking as I'd love to see them in Malvern!
Gontan Cherrier opened saturday 18 June. BUT , to be honest $12 for a small loaf is not value. You should have heard customers talk on the way out. Not a good start. they nrop prices by 50% or will not have many customers