Le Chien

5 Gamon St, Seddon
Phone: 9362 7333

There’s a dearth of cafes which serve a Western breakfast in Footscray. While that’s not really an issue for me – I’ll take a bowl of congee or pho, or a banh mi or some yum cha any day – I know that some people prefer a more familiar breakfast menu on the weekends. So when Ms A came to stay last weekend, we headed down to nearby Seddon for a coffee and some breakfast.

Walking down Charles St, and being unfamiliar with the area, I held out against choosing any of the cafes we passed, because I remembered driving past Le Chien and it being bustling. Always a good sign. So we rounded the corner and dodged the dog-walking locals, and pressed on the button for the automatic swinging door to open. OK, I had to mention that because it’s a novel gadget. And I’m a guy. We get distracted by things like that.

Anyway, we were seated at a table by the window. I was facing outside, with my back being buffeted by a fan which was on rather high. It was a warm morning, but I don’t think it warranted such wind speed. The couple at the table next to us asked for the fan to be turned down at one point, and were bluntly told, “No”. Which was a little odd, considering the service on the whole was quite friendly.

We ordered a couple of coffees, which took an inordinately long time to arrive, and when they did, were not fantastic. I was starting to think we should have stayed in Footscray and had ca phe sua da instead.

It was another lengthy wait – and yes, they were busy, but we’re talking around half an hour here – until our breakfast came. I ordered the avocado and tomato on sourdough, with a piggyback side order of black pudding on Ms A’s eggs on toast breakfast.

The avocado and tomato were wonderfully fresh, but the toast was incredibly hard. Peering over at the kitchen, the reason why was immediately obvious. A stack of toast was sitting by the grill, waiting to be plated. As it was busy, it probably wasn’t sitting there for that long, but then again, it did take half an hour for our food to arrive… There was also an unfortunate piece of avocado skin in the dish, which is a small thing, but not adding anything positive to my first impression.

Ms A ordered poached eggs with mushrooms – the chunk of black pudding on the plate was quickly relocated to my plate – she also found her toast hard and difficult to cut, though her eggs were well poached.

The blood pudding, for me, was the saving grace of this breakfast visit. Full of iron-y goodness, and not shy with a bold punch of salt, I’m guessing this is a great example of black pudding. It was also studded with fatty chunks of meat, and the texture was perfect – a little coarse, yet moist, sticky and melting.

Overall, I can see why Le Chien is popular, though I’m not so sure why it’s so popular! But then a lot of decent – but not great – cafes are. I’m going to try out the other places in the Charles St strip before coming back, I think.

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