Mon – Fri: 7.30am – late
Coffee: Single Origin Roasters
Bistro [noun] a small, inexpensive restaurant
“What does Bistro mean to Melbourne? On the surface it’s a word that means restaurant, but it doesn’t help identify what cuisine is on offer. If we were in France, England or perhaps Italy – who all have deep food history – it’s a safe bet the cuisine is associated to the country. The same applies to Modern Australian; it has no context. This unstructured take on food and people’s willingness to try new interpretation of known dishes, is the perfect platform to create something special. For Pei Modern the menu and identity of the restaurant is all about bistronomy – high quality ingredients, fresh and uncomplicated cooking techniques and offering décor that is clean, modern and elegant.
Pei Modern has recently gaining some spotlight compliments of the Fairfax media affilate, Good Food. After being impressed by the food photography, Miss SL and I decided that Pei Modern needed to be bumped to the top of our hit list.
Pei Modern has a classic restaurant vibe of being clean and chic, with a touch of finess in its well concealed location on Collins Street . The staff are welcoming, pleasant and attentive with a relaxed approach as they casually curated a selection of modern up-beat tracks. There is the choice of dining inside or outside.
My long black [$4] was okay for restaurant standards. I have had a long history of leaving fantastic restaurants with a defined bitter coffee taste on my palate, so my standard isn’t the same as opposed to leading cafes. The flavours on this occasion seemed to be lost, however points must be given for being a pleasant brew without the bitterness.
The menu is well constructed for the morning breakfast goer, striking the right balance of healthy options for those on the run and something heartier for the hungry. I was leaning towards the Omelette, Ricotta & Herbs [$16] but after the waiter mentioned the special – boudin noir et de haricots (black pudding with beans) with a poached egg [$16] – my decision was made.
The presentation was creative, with the black pudding crumbed and effortlessly placed on top of the white beans. The taste was equally satisfying, still retaining that strong defining texture while effortlessly cutting through the white beans. The poached egg oozed out onto the bread which kept its form. It was a delightful and filling Autumn breakfast to get me going for the day.
Pei Modern‘s take on breakfast is wholesome and simplistic. It proves that sometimes there isn’t a need to be fancy; all that is required is letting the flavours and presentation speak for themselves. It’s a breakfast experience worth visiting.”
“Occasionally at work we would be in desperate need of cab, unable to obtain one from out the front of then office. We trudge with our laptops and client meeting material to the Sofitel, a quite hidden nook on Collins street where cabs often can be found. It is here that I have quite often spotted Pei Modern and I have always fancied giving it a try.
Early morning on a weekday, Mr LB and I entered the quiet restaurant. The venue is clean and smart without making the average diner feel uncomfortable. On the bar side of the venue, the decor includes warming tan-coloured wood with smartly matched white chairs. On the restaurant side, the decor is a combination of white and grey for a more formal feel.
No day can start without a coffee, and so I ordered a double espresso [$4]. I was semi expecting an average cup, but instead what I got was very bright with a lot of bite to it.
For mains I ordered the Field mushrooms, goats cheese & hazelnuts [$16]. The kitchen was quick and within ten minutes my order was out.
The field mushrooms were juicy and the cups were filled with oil, natural mushroom juices and parsley. The goats cheese was incredibly smooth with a bit of tang that shot through the powerful flavours of the mushrooms. The only downside was the bread used couldn’t hold the juices of the mushrooms and became soggy.
Pei Modern has had a great wrap for its evening service and I was quite pleased to have the whole package for breakfast (good food, service and coffee) so close to work. I will definitely go back for another round of food soon!”
Final thought: “Good food, service and coffee on the Paris end of Collins Street”