Get your waffle on with Le Jolie, a French cafe hidden in a small shopping strip in Pascoe Vale.
Those in the (waffle) know may have heard of Waffle Jolie, wholesalers of Belgian style waffles that sold out time and time again at Flour Market Fitzroy. Le Jolie is the permanent retail operation for the Waffle Jolie crew.
Before you say anything…yes, it’s not spelled the grammatically correct way ‘La Jolie’ but is Le Jolie because it’s an extension of Le (Waffle) Jolie.
Le Jolie serves breakfast and lunch with a French twist. Prep starts at 4:30am and all the items are made on site, with exception of the buttery flaky croissants which are bought in par-baked then baked every morning. The simple menu includes sweet and savoury tarts, tartines and daily lunch specials such as casserole and quiche.
The setting is just very charming. Inside is warm and cosy with dark timber floors, a nook of leather couches and a fireplace.
On a sunny day head out the back (past the small doorway to the hairdressing salon) and settle into the bucolic courtyard, with its lush canopy of vine leaves, a babbling fish pond with goldfish and wooden pallets turned green wall.
I tried the Croque Monsieur with a rich bechamel sauce made with roasted garlic and fresh herbs from the garden pots ($13). It’s served with a rather limp leaf salad which could be made more interesting.
Make sure you leave for waffles – in fact, order them when you order your main meal. On our visit all the waffles had sold out by midday and we were lucky to get the last one because we’d ordered it with our lunch.
The waffles are made with a secret recipe of 10 ingredients and are Belgian style, meaning they have a lovely caramelised sugar crust and are denser than American waffles. Le Jolie’s waffles are almost biscuity in flavour and texture and not so dense that you couldn’t maybe fit in two…I also recommend not drowning your waffle in too many toppings – the simple house-made chocolate sauce is enough, or even plain to really appreciate the texture and flavour.
For other sweets I also highly recommend the pistachio croissant, a croissant slathered in pistachio paste inside and out and studded with raspberries and almond flakes.
And don’t miss their French hot chocolate ($4.50) which is a frothy whisked couverture concoction rather than a thick, gooey, Italian-style hot chocolate.
Le Jolie is a lovely neighbourhood cafe which hits all the right notes in terms of food, setting and ambiance. The husband-and-wife owners work in the kitchen and on the floor and it’s obvious that they really care about their customers. The waffles alone are worth a visit!
Sunday 10 May is Mother’s Day and Melbourne’s restaurants and cafes will be busy organising special events for the day. Here’s a round-up of high teas in Melbourne and surrounds, some of which are special events just for Mother’s Day.
Over the years I’ve reviewed a lot of afternoon tea locations – some great, some not so great. Here are the ones which are open for Mother’s Day.
Langham Melbourne – one of my favourites in Melbourne for the quality of the food and the ambience. The closest to the ‘London afternoon tea’ experience I think, minus the all-you-can-eat ribbon sandwiches!
Intercontinental – For coffee lovers rather than tea sippers.
Cinema Nova – watch a film and enjoy high tea.
Jam and Cream – this little cafe with a pink vintage caravan is as cute as it comes as a setting for afternoon tea.
LuxBite – The Tea Set for Two gives you a little taste of the decadence available at this South Yarra dessert patisserie.
Bursaria at Abbotsford Convent – High Tea in the lovely surrounds of Abbotsford Convent.
The Tea Salon – Do some shopping at Emporium then relax with a high tea accompanied by tea, sparkling or champagne.
The Hotel Windsor – Enjoy this iconic building by indulging in freshly baked scones are served with jam and cream and exquisite pastries sit above delicate finger sandwiches.
Westin Melbourne – a highlight for the pastry lover.
The Waiting Room – decadent sweets, sorbet, scones, sandwiches and hot savouries at Crown Towers.
Collins Kitchen at Grand Hyatt Melbourne – sub-par pastries and a bun-fight at the buffet. Not relaxing.
Sofitel Melbourne – pretty average with rock hard scones.
Marriot Melbourne Hotel Cnr Exhibition and Lonsdale St, Melbourne. Child (under 12yrs): $28, Teen (12-18yrs): $49, Adult: $65. Bookings: Book online or call 03 9660 1176
28 Skybar Lounge at Crown Melbourne $85 per adult $50 per child. Bookings 9292 5777.
Wonderland Spiegeltent 120 Pearl River Rd, Harbour Town Docklands. Cost: Child $35, Adults $39.50. Bookings: Telephone 03 9602 1311
Vue de Monde 525 Collins St, Melbourne. $250 person. Bookings: (03) 9691 38888
Hotel Lindrum. 26 Flinders St Melbourne. $55 per person including a glass of sparkling wine. Bookings: 03 9668 1111.
Om Nom at Adelphi Hotel 187 Flinders Lane Melbourne. $65 per person. Bookings: (03) 8080 8827
Stamford Plaza Hotel 111 Little Collins Street. Cost: $69 per adult $34.50 per child 4-12 years. Bookings: +61-3 9659 1000
Myer Mural Hall Lvl 6, 314-336 Bourke Street. Cost: $70 per person, children under 3 free. Bookings: +61 03 9661 1546
Hazelbark Patisserie at Blue Diamond 15/123 Queen Street. $50 per person. Bookings Hazelbarkpatisserie@gmail.com.
Mamor’s Chocolate 153 Johnston St, Collingwood. $75 per person.
Melbourne Zoo Elliot Ave Parkville $65 adults $30 children. Bookings (03) 9285 9440.
Beau Monde International 934 Doncaster Road, Doncaster East. Child (4-12yrs): $35, Adult: $70. Bookings: 03 9660 1176
Mossgreen Tea Rooms 926 High St Armadale. $52 per person or $68 with champagne. Bookings: Call 03 9508 8850 or email email@example.com
SOUTH / SOUTH-EAST / BAYSIDE
Ganache Chocolate 250 Toorak Rd, South Yarra. $45 per head or $60 per head with a glass of sparkling. Bookings: Call 9804 7485
Cocktails and Canvas Puckle Lane, Moonee Ponds. $82.50 high tea ‘Sip & Paint’.
Chateau Yering Historic House Hotel 42 Melba Highway, Yering. $60 per person. Bookings: Call 03 9237 3333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Marybrooke Manor 10 Sherbrooke Rd, Sherbrooke. Adults: $40 Children $17.50. Bookings: Call (03) 9755 2755
High Tea at Yarra Valley Lodge 2 Heritage Avenue, Chirnside Park. Cost: $45 per adult and $27.50 per child (3-12 years). Bookings: Call 9760 3355 or email email@example.com
Coombe Restaurant 673-675 Maroondah Highway Coldstream. $55 per person. Bookings (03) 9739 0173
Bayside locals are lucky to have Brighton Schoolhouse on their doorstep. It sits in the most stunning Downtown Abbey-esque surroundings, with manicured lawns and a round turning circle next to the church (though the New Street high street frontage is less picturesque).
The heritage listed stone building was built in 1842 and was an original schoolhouse. The decor retains the cathedral vaults and some monastic boarding school dining-room elements such as the long communal tables and round light fittings.
Old school chairs and desks still abound and there’s even some school lockers in one corner, but don’t worry you won’t feel like you’re back in Year 5 – they’ve been hipster-fied with greenery, a long banquette, high stools and some fun murals.
The all day breakfast and lunch menu focuses healthy, seasonal and sustainable dishes all named with eye-rolling schoolhouse puns.
I order Ja’mie: Private School Girl’s Heirloom Tomatoes ($18.50). I am astonished by the size of the dish – there are probably a dozen tomatoes atop two slices of crusty olive bread slathered with avocado puree, a few dabs of ricotta and basil pesto and a perfectly poached egg wobbling to one side. I love the addition of popped grains to add textural crunch to an otherwise simple dish.
I also try Screech’s Saved by the Bell Pancakes ($18.50). It’s a pretty dish with two fat raspberry studded buttermilk pancakes, a huge ball of white chocolate ice cream, a hairdo of pistachio fairy floss and again I love the maple and ginger crumble for the crunch.
What Brighton Schoolhouse does really well is cater for children. There’s easy pram access, high chairs, change facilities, a short children’s menu with colouring-in, a chalkboard, toys and even a fenced playground.
I really enjoyed my delicious and relaxed breakfast at Brighton Schoolhouse and was a bit surprised that it wasn’t busier on a weekend morning – maybe the bad weather? The menu is quite inventive, with twists on the standard-issue cafe offerings. Most dishes nudge close to the $20 mark but the serving sizes are huge and could easily be shared.
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