Three words to cheer up your Monday.
New. Chocolate. Shop!
Collingwood favourite Monsieur Truffe has opened bigger and brighter establishment in Brunswick East and it has all of the charm of the original plus more.
Thibault Fregoni, the ‘mister’ of Monsieur Truffe, has set up his own old-fashioned cocoa bean roaster and bean press, which means that he will be making his own chocolate. The machinery takes a good chunk of the exposed brick room (you can draw up a seat by the glass and watch the process at work) and there are plans to offer tours at a later stage.
For the moment though, look out for the come-hither lipstick red door which opens out into the bustling cafe. There’s indoor, undercover pram/bike parking at the entrance (yeah!), wooden communal tables prettily adorned with cherry blossom branches and depending on what time you go, a bit of a wait list. Don’t worry though, the warm aromas of chocolate will keep you company.
Of course, the thing to order is one of their wonderful hot chocolates. You can choose between 69, 70, 74 and 85% cocoa (ranging from $4.80 to $5.20), with 70% being the house blend and the most popular mix. I went for the 74% Santo Domingo (was too timid to try the 85% African blend – next time) and it had definitely had a more intense, savoury note than the 70%. All the hot chocolates are served in gorgeous Japanese ceramic hug mugs and carved wooden spoons for licking the chocolate that’s coated on the very bottom.
There is a short savoury and sweet all-day menu with a French influence (with some interesting options for little tummies and fingers). I ordered the field mushroom brochette ($16)- sort of a miniature mushroom burger with olive tapenade, braised cos, melted scarmoza bianca cheese and all speared with a sprig of rosemary. I’m stealing that idea for my next sandwich!
RM devoured his French toast in record time, probably so I wouldn’t get to it first. This wasn’t just eggy bread but an unusual combination of baby apple sous vide, bacon foam and mandarin syrup ($14).
On your way out you can pick up a bar or bag of chocolate or continue your indulgent French experience with some of the cakes and pastries displayed in the glass cabinet. My recommendation is the wonderfully rich and moist flourless chocolate cake and the best pastry (yes it’s true) in Melbourne – the buttery, flaky, chocolatey delicieux.