Despite its proximity to the CBD, Richmond, Fitzroy and Collingwood, East Melbourne is a bit of a never-never land when it comes to dining out. Persillade will challenge your preconceptions about skipping past East Melbourne when looking for good food.
Housed underneath an apartment building, this smart bistro and cave a manger (wine shop with food) offers all day dining, 7 days a week. Their wine bar provenance is emphasised by the empty wine bottles acting as pendant lights over the high communal table. The overall look is streamlined and neat while being comfortable.
I’ve tried Persillade‘s breakfast and lunch dishes to great satisfaction and peeking at the dinner menu I’m pretty certain that the same high quality would be maintained.
The daytime menu is split into breakfast and lunch but you can in fact order a lunch dish at breakfast and vice versa. Ostensibly French in focus, I don’t see much of a French influence on the menu, but no matter. I’m very happy with my crispy round of jasmine rice hash, chunks of smoked trout, tangy kimchi and softly yielding 63 degree egg ($18).
From the lunch menu I try the bbq lamb ribs, sweet bell peppers with a fresh and zesty corn salsa and a slice of sweet spongy corn bread ($26). The ribs come in a hunk drizzled with a barbecue sauce that’s full of smoke and fire and not sweet at all (my pet hate with barbecue sauce). There’s also a puddle of creamy garlic aioli to smooth out the spiciness, while the salsa lends lightness to an otherwise heavy combination of ingredients. The balance is just masterful.
For dessert I try the lemon posset, a rainbow fruit salad and biscuit crumbs ($14). It is creamy, light and cooling but I’m not wowed by it. My savoury dishes have set such a high standard that it’s hard to beat.
Persillade is the perfect neighbourhood eatery, with a clever and interesting menu all day and friendly staff who will welcome munchkins with a kids menu. But even if you’re not a resident of East Melbourne its a cafe/restaurant that’s worth the travel.