Le Chien

Posted on August 2, 2011


The recent write up from The Age gave me a timely nudge to visit Le Chien (5 Gamon Street, Seddon VIC). It’s French…for ‘the dog’. I might be taking a complete stab in the dark here, but perhaps a direct translation takes away some of the nuances or even some social context from the expression. In some ways, there is plenty of dog in Le Chien. The mural on the left wall of a femme on all fours posing as a dog and a dog like face stating that “I wanna be your dog” would sum it up. Aside from those references, this little spot has naught to do with dogs nor any negative images of dog-like food things.

Le Chien is, in its aesthetics, nothing out of the ordinary. It looks like any other trendy inner city cafe, the signage outside is pretty plain and the seating plan is fairly standard (obligatory communal table, window bar seating and scattering of small tables). Add in the dog theme however, and you get an edgy looking local haunt. Brunch is their main game, with the breakfast service running till 3pm. Their menu is quite small and doesn’t deviate from convention; eggs, pancakes and muesli. The lunch offerings are limited to toasted pides and the likes but dinner which comes with a slight French bent is available from Wednesday night through to the weekend.

A quick chat with the staff revealed that they’ve been in operation under that name for at least 6 years, and under a different name for even longer than that. Oh I should be ashamed of myself, how have I not been here until now? Luckily I was forewarned about their busy periods and managed to sneak in a visit at a quieter time. Service was friendly and prompt; I’m hoping that’s the same when they’re filled to the brim. Coffee was decent, but their poached eggs ($8.50) were particularly noteworthy, cooked to perfection, oozing with yolky goodness on top of yummy toasted sourdough.

The sides were generous and I have to give them extra credit for providing a lemon wedge with my smoked salmon (+$3.50). I think this might have been the first time I’ve been given lemon with my salmon brekky! All the other sides we sampled were also tasty and priced at $3.

I now have this place flagged as a potential venue to take any ‘out of towners’ visiting from other parts of Melbourne. Yes, I am ranking it near (but not quite at) the Duchess for brekky in the west.