Le Petit Prince
1A Mercer Road
Armadale, VIC 3143
03 9824 6404
My recent brunch jaunts have incidentally been focussed around Melbourne’s North and West. But let’s now cross the city into a very different suburb, with a different brunch crowd and feel.
Damo and I had just finished running Albert Park Lake on a Saturday morning, and I suggested we try this café out. Such a bright and cheerful place!
I wish I could theorise and write out a blurb about this café and its parallels with the book that it’s named after. I know friends who’ve loved this French novella by writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. But I’ve read the book (English translated of course) and, as cute and whimsical as it was, I did not really understand it.
All that said, I thought it was quite cute that the menu’s pinned into the middle of the actual book.
Cuter still was the service. It was warm and very friendly, and they’re brightly outfitted in princely blue aprons and bow ties. Mr Bowtie came up to our table ever so often to chat casually about things, and with his French accent, I confess I was swooning a little inside…
Soy flat white | Chai latte
But let’s be objective here. Dreamy conversations aside, Le Petit Prince uses Coffee Supreme beans, which I’m usually not a fan of.
But on that particular day with that particular extraction from that Slayer machine which eventuated in a soy flat white all a-swirl in that cup… I did a double take. It was Damo’s drink… and the sip I stole tasted very nice, with a surprise delicious freshness in the crema.
Less excitingly, I’d gone ‘safe’ with a chai latté. Ha ha… I’m such a bean snob. When my chai arrived, Mr Bowtie apologetically told us they’d run out of cinnamon powder, thereby making the drink less photogenic. The way he said it was so cute.
Half serve (one) poached egg on soy & quinoa Brasserie bread toast 5.50 + Melbourne Pantry Chipolata 5 + Fresh tomato 3
Damo and I looked at the short but elegant menu. And we both decided, what the heck, let’s just each construct the dish of our dreams.
Trust my companion to go minimalist with portion size, ordering half serve eggs and bread…
What arrived was standard and simple, but thoughtfully sourced, cooked and presented. Damo liked everything about it. The Chipolata was peppery with delicious notes of spice. And it was nice to see a fresh tomato just served as it is, without being cooked or fancied up.
Scrambled eggs on Brasserie bread toast 9 + Spinach 3.5 + Melbourne Pantry cold smoked bacon 5.5
I picked out exactly what my heart was wishing for that morning, and received the breakfast of my dreams, full serve version.
All the elements were perfect. I mean, look at that scramble! Damo loved the spinach, which contained no salt or oil, just the vegetable… speaking for itself.
Oh dear, I just realised that the picture I collaged here, along with what I’ve just written, has created an accidental double entendre.
The bacon was also smoky, flavoursome and really good. And I really liked how the perfectly softened cubes of butter were served on the side. It meant I got to enjoy that piece of Brasserie bread without tasting it drenched with butter.
It’s all about choice. You’re given all the components here, sourced from good producers. You then choose how much butter, salt and pepper to add to your meal. I like this style of eating.
Melbourne cafés these days are striving towards the fancification of menus, but I think they should still acknowledge brunch basics. Cafés that don’t offer a build-your-own-dish option disappoint me a little, because there are days where I just want it simple.
Case in point: I’d recently gone to Common Galaxia with high hopes (being a big fan of Dead Man Espresso), only to find the menu was being too clever and, on that day, there wasn’t a dish that I really wanted to try.
Both Damo and I really enjoyed our simple but delicious brunch. Sure, having Mr Bowtie turn on his French charm with us probably helped whet our appetites. But objectively speaking, this café has executed the basics excellently, and I will return just for that alone… *cough*