This French cafe has been a staple breakfast haunt in Darlinghurst for as long as I can remember, yet I have never darkened its door. It always looked a bit grotty and in need of a fresh coat of paint and a makeover and besides that, I usually went to the nearby, Sel e Poivre, at 263 Victoria Street, for my French cafe fix. But a girlfriend, Ruby Molteno, and I made a last minute date for brunch last week and Le Petit Creme, at 118 Darlinghurst Road, was halfway between us so we decided to meet there.
We sat outside on the terrace where we could watch the traffic flood by, but that is not us in this picture:
Le Petit Creme has no paper menus, just a blackboard hanging behind the counter inside, which features all the usual French-breakfast suspects: eggs Benedict, baguettes and croque monsieurs, as well as the retro-sounding chicken and mushroom vol au vents.
When the young Australian waiter came to take my order, he quietly and knowingly said, ''the croque monsieur?''.
Amazed, I asked, ''How did you know that?''.
To which he replied: ''Because we are connected''.
It was kind of weird. ''Anyway'', I told him, ''I really want the croque monsieur boum boum'', (which is the usual ham and cheese toasty with the addition of fresh tomato). So off he went.
And soon after - about ten minutes - our food arrived:
I was so hungry I forgot to photograph my dish before I dived in. It was a pretty average croque monsieur and the tomato was a bit soggy, but it wasn't horrible. Ruby, who is one of those people that seeks out cafes with all-day breakfasts, ordered scrambled eggs and bacon. You can see her glowing yellow eggs in the background of the picture above. She said they tasted funny and suspected the chef had added turmeric to make the eggs look more intensely yellow.
I finished my croque monsieur but was yet to eat the melon and pineapple garnish when the waiter came to take our plates. He looked at my plate and said, ''Shall I take it, although I think you want to eat the fruit . . .''
''Oh, yes, I'll eat the fruit,'' I said.
And as he turned to go, he said, ''Yes, you'll eat the fruit, the fruit is good.''
Again, kind of kooky.
Le Petit Creme
118 Darlinghurst Road
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
02 9361 4738