Friday, November 25, 2011

Le Traiteur

Update 27/1/2019: Le Traiteur is permanently closed.

24 November, 2011
I'm living a temporarily luxurious life whereby I basically have Wednesdays and Thursdays to do as I please (which, thus far, has meant reading a whole bunch of books and watching an awful lot of Deadwood). Occasionally I convince Cindy to join me in a breakfast somewhere nearby on her way to work. Months ago Le Traiteur was recommended to us (most likely by essjayeff) and we finally decided to check it out.

Le Traiteur is (as the name suggests) a French-inspired little cafe, pumping out breakfasts and lunches for city workers at the legal end of town. We turned up at about 8:30 and had no trouble finding a table - at that time of day they seem to mostly do takeaway traffic. The breakfast menu is not one for the vegans: savoury dishes are all eggy, and the sweets don't skimp on the dairy. The only possible option is the one that Cindy ordered: semolina porridge with quatre épices (a French spice mix of pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger) and poached fruit ($8.50).

This was as good as it looked - the semolina had the texture of semi-set polenta and was drowning in delicious poaching juices. The fruit was excellent too (although a little challenging to eat). Very impressive at the price.

I, as always, ordered something savoury: poached eggs, silverbeet, field mushrooms and bernaise on brioche ($15).

This was real heart-attack material, which is not to say it wasn't delicious - it just all got a bit much by the end. Given the bernaise and the eggs, I would have been happy to swap the brioche for some regular toast. Still, everything was cooked to perfection and it was a generous and filling start to the day.

Coffees were good and service was friendly and prompt, but I'm not sure we'll be hurrying back - if only because of the fairly limited range of vegetarian options. Although apparently the pastries are pretty good, which might be enough to lure me in.

The blogosphere is filled with love for Le Traiteur - check out: Addictive and Consuming, half-eaten, eat, drink, stagger Melbourne Gastronome, Ballroom Blintz, Tour de Clance, Lunchosaurus and Almost Always Ravenous.

Le Traiteur
552 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
9670 0039
breakfasts $5.50 - $15

Accessibility: Le Traiteur has a small step on entry but is fairly spacious inside. Ordering happens at the tables, but we paid at a high counter. We didn't check out the toilets.


  1. I've recently been enjoying using polenta instead of oatbran to make my morning porridge, so I think I'd be stealing from Cindy's plate if given the chance! Lovely generous serving of fruit, too.

  2. I'm very curious to know how the French version of semolina porridge is different from the Indian one...

  3. that is some truly amazing looking bernaise...

  4. Hannah - yep, generous fruit portioning is an important criterion when I'm eating breakfast out. I made a right mess, chasing that chunk of pear around my plate though. :-D

    DV - if the semolina pudding I've eaten at a Krishna restaurant is any indication, this porridge is less sweet.

    MM - yes indeed. :-)