De Clieu is a stand-out performer on Gertrude St, which is saying a lot considering the vast number of amazing eateries which have taken root in this part of Fitzroy. Named after the French naval officer credited with introducing coffee to the French colonies of South America, this cafe was originally the third project of Seven Seeds’ and Brother Baba Budan’s Mark Dundon and Bridget Amor. While it has now been sold, you can still expect amazing Seven Seeds coffee.
Designed by Six Degrees, the cafe makes the most of its corner position on Gertrude, with large windows opening up onto the street to allow patrons to enjoy their brews seated on long window benches. The interior is simple and elegant, all simple lines and earthy hues, with a sparkling white-tiled, open kitchen.
Espresso-based drinks, featuring a sweet, malt-y blend, are expertly prepared on the La Marzocco, while a separate counter is dedicated to filters, presses and pour-overs, best for bringing out the distinct aromas of rotating single origins. There is also a corner dedicated to retail, stocked with a variety of beans and fancy toys for coffee-lovers; if you want to know how to make a good coffee at home, the staff are more than happy to share their knowledge.
However, it’s not all about the coffee, with chef Steven Carr delivering a punch-y menu that showcases local produce. Quinoa and soya sourdough is piled high with minted smashed peas and creamy, Danish feta, for a green boost to your morning.
Pancakes are just a bit gourmet, topped with fresh figs and mint, spiced coffee mascarpone for a touch of decadence and lightly drizzled with maple syrup.
Char-siu lovers will enjoy the succulent, roasted Berkshire pork neck, served as a thick slab on crispy spring onion roti with a soft fried egg, fresh tomato and spring onion salsa and sweet BBQ sauce.
With it’s snazzy design, great coffee and delicious food, I’m loving everything about De Clieu.