Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Café de la Paix
Hi everyone, I am going on holidays to Gold Coast and Melbourne soon so this is a quick post to review a new café up in Blackwood, South Australia. Café de la Paix is a little French café that just opened up on Coromandel Parade in Blackwood. When I stepped inside two things instantly crossed my mind - "Nice French style decor" and "OMG this place is tiny!"
I hadn't quite worked out how I was going to squeeze through to the empty table. At the table, even though it was a two sitter you are extremely close to your 'neighbours' and it made me feel conscious about conversation and the volume of my voice. They serve breakfast till 11.30am and there is a savoury menu as well as some muffins, friands and danishes on display. There were limited choices on the menu and unfortunately they did not serve Croque monsieur. After deciding, I squeezed my way to the counter to order only to be left standing there for a while with no acknowledgement as the 4 staff members carry about their business. Finally someone looked up and took my order to which straight after, she passed the order on to the barista and 'cook', gave a few orders to take coffees out and wrote some stuff down leaving me wondering if I should pay now or later. Eventually she looked up again and smiled and I asked if I should pay now. She nodded and asked me "Now what did you order again?"
I was thinking in my head if she hadn't distributed the order away and went about doing other things before giving me my bill I wouldn't have to repeat my order. Anyway, our drink arrived soon enough and the coffees were nice. Great! We're off to a good start. Then the food arrived.
Carl had French toast - brioche served with berries, maple syrup and créme fraiche for $9.50. Taking a bite into it, the French toast was rather dry and lacking in flavour. Quite frankly even I could do better than that.
My ham and cheese croissant at $6.50 was a joke. The picture does not do it justice because the angle the picture was taken from made my plate look bigger than Carl's. It really wasn't and hence I decided to place a teaspoon (YES - a teaspoon), next to it to show you the size in comparison. It was the most petit ham and cheese croissant I have ever had. Very French indeed. We also had a Maple and pecan danish which was average, overly sweet, small and expensive.
Once again, I was hoping it would be good because there wasn't anything like it. The menu wasn't very French. Just what you would expect of an Australian breakfast café. When Carl asked about Croque Monsieur they said their Monte Cristo was their version of it. There were two things so wrong with that. First, Monte Cristo does not have Béchamel sauce and cheese over the bread and certainly not grilled. Secondly, Monte Cristo is a spin-off which is actually a deep fried ham and gruyere cheese sandwich. Problem was, what they served was neither of those. It was just ham and tasty cheese on Turkish bread. It wasn't even Monte Cristo.
We quickly finished our meal as I wasn't keen for my chair to be kicked any more than it already had (7 times). This place has potential. The barista is good and they have a selection of pastry and sweet treats. Perhaps more organisation is needed and certainly a review on their food's value for money. Hopefully they are still finding their feet as it is a new place.
Will revisit for drinks but not for meal.