No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Similarly, no one expects to experience an amazing burger at a French restaurant.

So La Niche was certainly a surprise for me. A firmly French affair, with tinkling jazz and French pop in the background and an affable French host manning the coffee machine, it’s a lovely place to hang out with its front window bench, courtyard and upstairs space. On the lunch menu are soup, baguettes, pizzas…and one of the best burgers that I’ve had in a while.

Why? The juicy patty was not just a lump of meat in a shape, but a loose-ish mix of mince, carrot, onion and herbs. The ciabatta on which it was served was buttery and lightly toasted. On the side, a froth of crispy fresh mesculin and rocket and a pile of roast potatoes instead of fries. And to top it all off, some swiss cheese (it normally comes with blue cheese), a dab of mustard and a serving of gorgeous homemade mayonnaise incorporating chopped basil, garlic and chives.

And the whole production was served on a wooden cheese board. J’adore.

  • La Niche, 67 Smith St, Fitzroy +61 3 9416 3439

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