‘Melbourne’s famous laneway culture meets French gastronomical delights’
One of my favourite things to do in Melbourne is to meander through its numerous famous laneways with a group of friends, casually exploring and discovering new great restaurants or cafés to catch up in over lunch or a coffee. A recent crisp but blue skied wintry Sunday morning expedition led us to La Petite Crêperie in Hardware Lane. I’m always on the lookout for anything with ‘that French vibe’ in Melbourne and I certainly found it with this hidden gem.
Established in 2008 by owners Michaël and Patrizia, La Petite Crêperie specialises in deliciously authentic French crêpes and galettes that are freshly cooked on demand. In case you haven’t tried them before (quelle horreur!), crêpes are made from wheat flour and are usually sweet while galettes are made from buckwheat and are usually savoury.
Choosing to sit inside to escape the elements, we were immediately greeted by French waitstaff with a welcoming ‘bonjour’. With French music playing in the background mixed with the comforting and inviting smell of fresh crêpes cooking, you could close your eyes and easily fool yourself into thinking you have been transported away to Paris.
A casual, intimate setting with a nod to France through its eclectic decorations and a front row view to the chef preparing your order, adds to its warmth and charm. I really enjoyed the opportunity to watch our meal being cooked; it never ceases to amaze me how every crêpe and galette always turn out so perfect and is done with such ease. Once ordered, our food arrived quickly and did not disappoint. It was amazing! The food was both visually appealing and delicious. We devoured every morsel and they were every bit as good as the ones I have experienced in Paris.
Here’s what we ordered:
L’auvergnate – Galette with Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese (one of France’s oldest cheeses that dates back to the Roman period), caramelised apple, walnuts and prosciutto – wow!
La Sacrebleau – Galette with a perfect mix of Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, red onion marmalade and prosciutto – delicious!
Le Plateau de Fromage – Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, Emmental, goats cheese, prosciutto, black olives, fig & ginger jam, walnuts, French bread and crackers – the picture says it all! It’s a definite order again for me on my next visit!
Le Croque Madame – the traditional French Café dish found all over Paris, made with Emmental cheese, tomato and ham topped with a free range fried egg on top.
La Carabistouille – crêpe with home-made salted caramel made with Sel de Guérande, home-made caramelised apple, vanilla ice-cream and walnuts – superb!
La Gourmande – crêpe with fresh strawberries, Nutella and the recommended additional whipped cream – a winning combination!
Oh and if you happen to be on the go and find yourself in need of something sweet, pop by their takeaway kiosk (crêpes only) located opposite the Melbourne Town Hall on the corner of Swanston & Little Collins Street. This converted former newspaper stand is a charming and convenient way to satisfy your sweet tooth when you are in a hurry. There’s no excuse to go without!
What more can I say? Delicious, authentic French food, gluten and vegetarian friendly options available and very reasonably priced, especially for the generous serves you receive. You just can’t go wrong. I can’t wait to go back and am already dreaming about what I will have next time that will accompany the impressive ‘Le Plateau de Fromage’ that I’ll definitely be ordering!
Bisous de Paris 💋