Le Traiteur

I’m sure you’ve had this feeling before. When you experience a place that’s just so damn good that you end up enraged that it’s not situated somewhere bang in the middle of your day to day doings, and end up stamping around shouting “Why is it so out of the way? Why can’t I just go there EVERY DAY?!” You may also start plotting to kidnap the chefs in order to ‘convince’ them to set up shop in your garage so you can stroll out in your pj’s every morning and get some decent coffee and eggs with no hassle. This is how I felt after visiting Le Traiteur for the first time. It is infinitely depressing that I’m ordinarily never over the Spencer end of the city, cos this place is damn special.

I dragged Muffin over to the legal district one Wednesday afternoon, gabbing (probably incoherently) about how I’d heard about this French-style cafe that was full of delicious breadstuffs. It’s an impressive set-up aesthetically: floor to ceiling windows, neutral shades on the walls, complimentary brown tiled floors and brown curved cane chairs, and it’s all dominated by the spick and span display cabinets filled to the brim with baguettes and pastries.

I couldn’t go past what seemed to be to be a highly refined yet simple lunch, the basil and tomato consomme with stilton agnolotti. Clear broth was absolutely swimming with basil leaves, cherry tomato halves, sprigs of fennel and tiny lengths of green beans. Three big, fat agnolotti floated on top – thin homemade pasta enclosing a generous filling of creamy, pungent stilton. The soup was served with three slices of chargrilled, sourdough bread, which was utterly fresh and palate engulfing; well, it was to be expected, seeing as Le Traiteur bakes all their bread on premises. All together it was a wholly refreshing meal, with the tiny bit of body provided by the agnolotti. It was really the most perfect light lunch.

Muffin had the artichoke and waldorf salad baguette: marinated artichokes, crisp cos lettuce, apple slices, celery, strong blue cheese, and what Muffin described as an amazingly creamy mayonnaise. She was also highly impressed with the wonderfully fresh taste of the bread.

We also shared a serving of pomme frites (because I cannot pass up potato, the will is not within me). These were deliciously savoury and crisp, sprinkled with big flecks of sea salt.

Over a pot of earl grey tea and a chai latte respectively, I shared with Muffin a small square of chocolate brownie. This was an absolute flavour bomb of chocolate decadence! It was so gooey, it melted as soon as it touched the tongue. I only wish we’d had more room in order to try some of the delicate pastries tempting us from the display cabinets (you could almost see a halo of butter shining out from the croissants, it was glorious) but, alas, we were full!

I’ve honestly been feeling through the writing of this post that even with my obvious effusiveness, I’m not getting across exactly how much I loved this place and how it may have ruined me for all other foodstuffs. Let’s put it this way: if I was placed into some kind of horrendous nightmare world where I was told by hideous overlords of space and time that I could only eat at one establishment for the rest of the universe’s existence, I’d reply with “Just hurry up and make with the Le Traiteur brownie, you jerks.”

Le Traiteur

552 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne CBD

Ph: 9670 0039