Lygon Street is a strip that’s so familiar to me that it’s a bit same old-same old, so I decided to ask readers for a tip for somewhere new to try. Le Miel et La Lune was a fabulous discovery! The cafe is in a sweet little spot just a block away from Lygon St which serves….Korean. I was expecting a French patisserie and got gochuchang.
Which is fine because I love Korean food and I love a kick of chilli in the morning. And while you can still order poached eggs and smashed avo on toast (yawn) I urge you to try the more unusual fare in the all day breakfast and lunch menu.
The Korean chef Jung Eun Chae has developed a menu where pickled vegetables (not necessarily kimchi), miso and enoki, shimeji and shiitake feature. I was so excited I didn’t know where to start!
I chose the heaviest lunch dish available, the tteokboki, described to me as like gnocchi ($17.90). It is in fact a popular Korean street snack with knobs of soft rice cake, slices of fish cake and sweet red chili sauce. This version was served with an unexpectedly successful pairing of melted tasty cheese and a perfectly poached egg. It was spicy, salty, oozy and chewy at the same time. Amazing!
The other dish I tried was the crispy tofu salad ($17.90) with balls of shiitake mushroom and tofu rolled and deep fried. Five generous orbs came with a pickled daikon salad, sauteed kale, almonds and chia seed. Overall I didn’t love the texture. The balls were too dry and everything else on the plate was crunchy and crispy too. Compared to the luxurious texture of the tteokboki it was just too earnestly healthy for my liking.
The lunch has more Korean inspired gems, including a bulgogi burger, SSAM pork belly and a 12 grain rice bowl.
I’m not convinced that coffee is the right beverage to match these dishes but if you cannot function without it then they serve beans from Proud Mary.
The service at Le Miel et La Lune was as sweet as the cutesy decor. The large windows let in the morning sun (and become bench seats on sunny days) but I liked hunkering down in the banquette by the wall, watching to see whether the upside-down pot plants would crash down on an unsuspecting customer.
Le Miel et La Lune is an unexpected spot of Korean nestled amongst Italionophile Carlton. Its menu contains some of the most unusual ingredients and combinations I’ve tried in Melbourne, which makes a trip to the cafe an exciting journey of discovery.