I knew I would be happy in Melbourne when, on my first day of work, I walked around my office’s neighbourood in search of a place to have lunch and came across Noîsette. 17,000 kilometers from home, here it was, one of the best French bakery I had ever come to try.
Sure, there are MANY French bakeries in Melbourne (anywhere really). Some make bread I wouldn’t even give to birds, some call a pain au chocolat a “chocolate croissant” (which is an aberration obviously because pains au chocolat are square-shaped), some are so “French” that they couldn’t place the country on a map and others must believe that French translates to expensive and tasteless.
As you can tell, I have tried them all – mama needs her sugar fix – and Noîsette wins hand down.
It is a lovely place on a great street near the beach in Port Melbourne and just walking in there would make anyone feel happy, even before they got their hands on the goods.
I like the fact that it manages to be very French while still adapting to Australian culture (you can eat there, and they serve coffee, two things you would not find in a typical French bakery). More often than not they play French music (contemporary or old school) and the staff is lovely (some of them are native French-speakers).
Noîsette is absolutely pumping at anytime of the day, this is definitely a locals’ favourite and you can tell by the look on people’s face how much they enjoy being there. And really, how could they not?
They make the most delicious pains au chocolat, a killer almond croissant, to die-for viennoise au chocolat, a very mean chicken roll and some of the best coffee in town. Their pastries are works of art and their bread is nothing short of perfection.
If I could find one more thing to convince you that Noîsette is the place to go to for French goodness, it would be this: I live above a so-called French bakery which I never walk into and regularly drive over 15 minutes for the pleasure of a breakfast at Noisette. Believe me, it is worth every minute of the trip.
Noîsette, 84 Bay St in Port Melbourne open everyday 6am to 6pm.
BTW, Noîsette means hazelnut, just in case you were wondering.