Fo0die dined as a guest of Gabriel and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
We have been to the venue a few times now and have seen the menu transition and change. Our review today will be based on the latest menu which the team released about a month ago.
The name of the cafe actually has a good backstory to it. The venue was previously named ‘De Clieu’ and was reborn as ‘Gabriel’ when the venue was rebranded to lift the old school venue to a trendy Melbourne cafe vibe. And for those interested, ‘Gabriel De Clieu’ was the first person to bring coffee to Melbourne.
Located at a corner, parking was a little hard to come by especially one that was close enough to the venue and had a long enough parking duration (this was true for all our of visits on a Saturday at 11:30am). Majority of the parking was either meter ($4 per hour to a max of 2 hours) or 1P or very limited 4P parking with many being permit zones. We lucked out once and found parking on George Street (2P and a short stroll to the venue) with other times where we paid for parking.
The venue has seating outside of the venue by the street with the majority of the seating indoors forming an ‘L-shape’ around the bar/counter. Just on the inside as you enter is a small bar height bench table on the right looking out of the windows and a little small seating area. On the left are tables along the windows which slide open on a nice day to let in a breeze and padded seats on the outside for those enjoying a quick coffee or waiting for a seat.
Looking over their two paged menu, one with breakfast and lunch items and the other with their drinks, the venue offers dishes that you won’t typically find at other Melbourne cafes. The venue describes their food as being infused with French and European inspiration.
To wake up our taste buds, we both started with our hot drinks followed by some brunch cocktails that the venue offers.
The mocha was well balanced and surprisingly was not too sweet. The venue originally did not offer matcha latte so Mr J had previously always opted for an English breakfast tea which was served in a pot with loose tea leaves. But on this particular visit, we were pleasantly surprised to see matcha latte which was vibrant and strong in matcha flavour. Mr J said this was a little more on the grassier side than seaweedy.
Our two brunch cocktails were well balanced and strong, perfect for the upcoming spring and summer. Could totally get used to having an alcoholic beverage over brunch.
The benedict was a little different to the usual with the pork shoulder and greens sandwiched between the two pieces of toast. Mr J enjoyed the finally pulled pork shoulder with a strong Swiss cheese and mustard flavour coming through as you bite into the benedict sandwich. The crunchy greens gave a nice texture to the sandwich and paired well with the salty, acidic and tangy hollandaise.
The sausage in my dish was delicious with a hint of rosemary coming through (not at all too overpowering). But the highlight for me was the hash. Thinly sliced potato layered together to make this huge hash on the plate. The entire dish was balanced off with the salsa verde and soused cream.
The french toast is the only sweet dish in their breakfast and lunch menu (although there is a waffle dish in the kid’s section…). The french toast was eggy in both texture and flavour (and I know its suppose to be but it was a little too eggy for us) and with the addition of raisins in the french toast, it provided a bit of sweetness. The dish overall was not too overly sweet which is our personal preference.
All the dishes were a good serving size. I actually remember when we first visited, we had left feeling like the dishes were a little light but glad to say that is certainly not the case with the new menu.
Dishes that make up this review
- Benedict; braised mojo pork shoulder, swiss cheese, mixed greens, poached eggs, mustard, hollandaise ($21)
- Sausage and hash; lamb and rosemary sausage, sourdough, fried eggs, potato hash, soused cream, salsa verde ($18)
- French toast; raisin brioche, cinnamon sugar, cream cheese glaze, vanilla ice cream ($17)
- Mocha ($4)
- Matcha latte ($4.50)
- Dark and stormy; Caribbean rum, ginger beer, mint, lime ($16)
- Rose royale; rose, vodka, basil leaves, lemon soda ($14)