The influx of Chinese migrants during the gold rush era saw the arrival of golden crispy roast pork and green leafy Bok Choy. The Holocaust refugees came during the 1930s bringing with them miniature Kreplach dumpling served in boiling hot chicken soup, latke pancakes made of grated potato, and their kosher culture. The Greek arrived in the 1950s, teaching us the right way to enjoy Pita bread and Spanakopita pie of spinach and feta cheese. Then came the Vietnamese in the mid 1970s, filling the city with the aroma of their invigorating pho broth, cooked with fragrant beef stock, mixture of spices and refreshing mint.
The French migrants came and brought with them numerous tongue-twisting, food-related vocabularies. Today, those fancy French words are common terms used in many luxurious and cozy patisserie in Melbourne, and have slowly turned into symbols of great lifestyle and exquisite food enjoyment - elements closely associated with the modern Melbourne city.
Stepping into the famous Bibelot of South Melbourne is like being transported to a romantic Paris café at Champs-Elysees. The delightful display of petit gateaux (which in simple English, means cake or pastry) behind the glass counter is like a gallery of breathtaking miniature paintings, captivating to the eyes and stimulating to the mind.
The selections are overwhelming. Patrons are torn between choices before the visual seduction of macarons in rainbow palette of colours; dainty cakes with exquisite flavours of green tea, fresh glittery chocolate ganache, and zingy citron; sweet éclair, simple Tuile biscuit, and Sable cookie. Each of them is a result of ingenuity; an amazing chemical reaction produced by a pastry chef’s brilliancy, quality ingredients, and courageous experiments of a fusion of tastes.
And yes, we will be back.
285-287, Coventry Street, South Melbourne 3205 (close to South Melbourne Market)
Sunday to Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm
Friday to Saturday: 10 am – 10 pm