Wednesday, 18 April 2012

french fantasies, south yarra

Sometimes life gets in the way of the things you would like to do more often.

Sometimes you let life get in the way of the things you would like to do more often.

One of these things, for me, is a visit to French Fantasies (15 Toorak Road, South Yarra).

A few years ago, my office was a mere 10-minute walk away from French Fantasies. I'd finish up work, and every now and then, on my way home, I'd pop by French Fantasies for a little piece of my own French fantasy... usually - alright, pretty much always - a blissful slice of their baked cheesecake.

My office has since relocated, and along with it, my rituals changed. I now take the tram home instead of walking. I look wistfully at their shopfront as the tram trundles by, my desire to just get home as quickly as possible after a long day flicking aside that little glimmer of yearning in my heart.

Like an old flame re-ignited, however, I've recently started to make time for French Fantasies again.

Like an old flame, there are still new things to discover.

A few weeks ago I bought a takeaway pie for lunch... a lamb and vegetable pie. I've never tried their pies, and I wasn't expecting much. It had a blushing, golden appearance, but so do most pies. When I dug into it, however, it became clear that this was not the typical takeaway pie. The crust was light and flaky. The filling was a slow-cooked lamb stew, strewn with homely chunks of carrots. onions, and the crimson hue of disintegrated tomatoes. This is a pie made with love.

Lamb and vegetable pie from French Fantasies.

Like an old flame, there are old memories to re-discover, too.

A few days ago I brought home a slice of my old friend, the baked cheesecake.

Soft and creamy. Dense with the taste of milk fat that slowly melts in the mouth. Just like I remember.

Baked cheesecake from French Fantasies.

French Fantasies doesn't always live up to their promise, however. Their chicken curry pie, while pleasant enough, lacked the sigh-worthy charm of the lamb one I had. And I will always, always remember how deliriously divine my first French Fantasies cheese twist was - an explosion of ethereal, gooey warmth - but subsequent purchases have fallen short, a pale shadow of their predecessor. Perhaps I need to be there at the right time - when those babies are still fresh from the oven.

Nevertheless, these recent visits have reminded me again of my appreciation for French Fantasies. I'm planning to try their beef bourguignon pie next, and the tarte au citron.

And I won't let life get in the way.

French Fantasies on Urbanspoon

39 comments:

  1. What a wonderful treat for you. I'll bet you were so glad that you stopped. And cheesecake! That would do it for me.

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    Replies
    1. Definitely glad I stopped. Their cheesecake is my firm favourite.

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  2. Oh boy, oomph yum @ that pie. Makes me long for something like that around here:)

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    Replies
    1. It was pretty fabulous. I can see it making more appearances in my future. ;)

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  3. It doesn't look too french to me but it is a fantasy. one can always create whatever in a fantasy. :)

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    Replies
    1. It's pretty French! They have croissants and baguettes too. :)

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  4. That lamb pie looks delicious!

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  5. Their macarons aren't too bad either, mum in particular likes the hazelnut one :) Pie looks so warming and delicious...perfect in the slowly cooling weather...!

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    Replies
    1. Maybe I'll try the macarons too, sometime. The pie really was great. :)

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  6. Ohhhhhhh! Cheesecake is the treat that I always try to pretend I'm not lactose intolerant for, and so it's so important to find a good'un that's worth the subsequent pain! I'm dreaming now.... :)

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    Replies
    1. This beauty sure is a good'un! You can try it next time you visit Melbourne. :D

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  7. thats one seriously good pie :)

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  8. Well written, Leaf. You have a lovely way with words. I particularly like the use of the word "dug" to describe the way in which you ate the pie ... the best way to describe pie eating in my book!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rachel. I agree, nothing like digging into a pie to find the treasure that lies beneath. :)

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  9. "French Fantasies" just love that name...its got intrigue written all over it ;-). That cheesecake is particularly attracting me...soft, creamy, dense milk fat... my toes are curling :).

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    Replies
    1. It is certainly a very attractive cheesecake, I can assure you. :)

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  10. Love their bread too and used to wander down to Belgian Beer CAfe in Southbank on a Saturday morning to pick one up.

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  11. What a great find!! I will be making time to find this little gem on my next work trip to Melbs.

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  12. Looks delicious! That pie looks a whole cut above other takeaway ones!

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  13. That baked cheesecake is to die for!

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  14. A lovely treat, but I tend to be suspicious of places that pass off as French. In Europe, at least, the French selling argument can be quite... disappointing. But the cheesecake looks pretty damn awesome. Thanks for the review!

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    Replies
    1. Well, the owners and staff are French, and it serves French food, so... I don't know how French you want it to be. ;)

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  15. ♫♫°º
    Olá, amiga!
    Nunca comi borrego... aqui não é comum.
    Mas a fotografia é preciosa e sei que deve ser deliciosa.
    Bom domingo!
    Bom início de semana!
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil.
    °º✿
    º° ✿¸.•°❤

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  16. Awesome review, Leaf!!! Always so poetic, contemplative and your words eally tugs the heartstrings. What a joy to read each time :) Btw, my parents are die hard pie fans, it's one of their favourite things to eat in Australia aside from steak. Will definitely try and bring them here one day. It's nice to read about a place that you hold so dear to your heart :)

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    1. Thank you! I recommend that lamb pie, definitely! :)

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  17. Ah, this is the place where Jase and I decided to move our wedding date up by a full year. It was the amazingly buttery croissant... filled with ham and gruyere of course... that did it. Delicious!

    I've never tried the cheesecake but your description thinks it might be too dangerous for me. Imagine the influence it could have based on what the croissant did!

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    Replies
    1. I MUST TRY THAT CROISSANT.
      P.S. Your wedding is going to be so delicious! x

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  18. I'm going to be in Melbourne in September so might have to seek out your cafe! I really want to try Movida too, do you have any other recommendations?

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    1. If you seek out this one, then you might also pop by Burch and Purchese (sweet shop), and the all new Movida Bakery, which is also in South Yarra, to make the trip to the suburb all worthwhile! :D

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