Mon – Fri: 7am – 10pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 3pm
150 Wellington Parade,
“East Melbourne is a suburb that if you blink, you may just miss it. Known for its early architectural influence that once housed a number of significant government, health and religious institutions; it’s not commonly associated with brunch. Persillade, a modern French bistro, has taken up the challenge to fill the brunch gap.
Persillade – also known as a sauce or seasoning with parsley as the main ingredient – is owned and run by Tanya and Aidan Raftery. The two have had extensive front-of-house hospitality experience around Melbourne. The decor smartly fits the modern French bistro theme with plenty of wine bottles scattered around the dining space and a feature wall that is fitted with up-cycled timber. The decor isn’t over the top nor considered pretentious, but there has been enough done to feel less like a cafe and more like a restaurant.
Persillade takes on the demanding terrain of offering breakfast/brunch in the mornings, backed up with a lunch service and then – as the sun sets – turns into a dinner bistro. Cafes and restaurants that implement an all-day service run the risk of not achieving consistent quality; however, the dishes of neighbouring tables looked strongly plated and delicious.
With this in mind, I elected for the Rhubarb & apple breakfast crumble, vanilla mascarpone [$16] with a Pradre Single Origin long black [$4]. The presentation of the coffee takes a finer approach. The handmade cups had a natural stone finish that was served on a small wooden board and complemented with a tiny dessert. With no handles, the mug is intended to be clasped with both hands – making it the perfect cup for a winter brew. The coffee was smoothed and pleasant with slight hits of cherry. Delightful and crisp, the long black strongly complemented the weekend brunch.
The crumble takes a healthier approach and had all the trimmings. The granola-like crumble had a delightful crunch and was consistent throughout the dish. The apples were interesting; prepared and poached with the rhubarb, it resulted in the apples being red-stained. The freshness of the fruit was a necessity, allowing strong, fresh flavours to compliment the subtle sweetness of the vanilla mascarpone. My only negative point is the price. I don’t doubt the hours of labour it had taken to achieve a premium breakfast crumble, but at 16 dollars, I felt it was too expensive compared to other cafes with similar offerings.
Persillade does enough, in my view, to be a brunch destination for East Melbourne. I suspect, however, their true strength lies with their lunch and dinner offerings. On the plus side, if you are looking for a very relaxed brunch location just outside the CBD, Persillade is a strong option.”
“Walking into Persillade is like walking into a peaceful little haven. It has a very slick interior design that highlights its position as a wine bar, whilst emanating a very relaxed atmosphere through its choice of music and big floor-to-ceiling windows.
It’s a seat-yourself-arrangement, with no need to wait for maitre de to find you a table. There was a gentle hum from the patrons that surrounded around me, but just enough to add to the background noise without interfering our ability to have a conversation.
Touting French cuisine, I couldn’t go passed the Grandmother ham & compte croque-monsieur [$14] add egg [+$3], some Cheesymite croquettes [$5], and a double espresso in the single origin [$4].
There’s a beautiful touch with the ceramic cups used to serve the coffee the little bit sized piece of ginger bread. The coffee itself was mild and smooth with gentle fruity flavours rising to the top of the palate, whilst the gingerbread was moist with a nice bite of ginger.
When the mains came out I was immediately satisfied; my croque monsieur and croquettes looked lovely! It was well-toasted and crunchy. There was a nice amount of compte/gruyère in the dish and overall it was sticky and delicious. The fried egg added the moisture in the dish which otherwise would have been provided by a thick layer of bechemal sauce.
The cheesymite croquettes were small little balls of fun! The two croquettes were deep-fried and super crunchy on the outside, whilst inside they were steaming hot, salty and yet a little smoother and lighter in colour due to the cheese.
Our brunch dates Sonika and Eugene also looked pretty happy; Sonika had the same dish as me and was very happy with her meal. Eugene had the Poached egg, pumpkin, chard, tahini yoghurt [$18] and thought the overall dish was good with the tahini mildly smoked being a standout.
Persillade was humming when we arrived but not pouring out with people. The staff seemed a little frazzled and the lack of a maitre de was a bit confusing given the size of the venue, but the service once seated was prompt and well-timed. The lunch dishes that came out looked like I definitely needed to come back!”
Final thought: “Relaxing venue with a more lunch-side-of-brunch focus”