Stepping across the threshold of this playful Hawthorn café is rather like stepping onto the set of Wes Anderson’s film Fantastic Mr Fox. The atmosphere is quirky yet cosy; silver birch branches jut out of the wooden communal table and a cluster of frames showcasing besuited and bespectacled animals adorns the wall to the right.
The name comes from famed French poet Charles Baudelaire’s idea on le flâneur, a philosophy examining us as individuals and how we interact and feed off those around us.
But the real draw card at Le Flâneur – co-owned by husband and wife team Tony Lin Katrina Hsiao – is the coffee. Barista Lin has long had a penchant for good caffeine and was trained in the art of coffee making by Kirby Berlin, the 2011 Australian Latte Art Champion.
Featuring four single origin varieties and a house-blend designed and roasted especially by Proud Mary, coffee at Le Flâneur is made with panache. Think siphons or halogen beam heaters or served ice cold via a Japanese cold-dripper, arriving with a side of milk, sugar syrup and a beaming smile.
And with an ex-Huxtable and Vue De Monde chef helming the kitchen, you can be sure the food lives up to the same standard. The breakfast and lunch menu rotates seasonally to utilise fresh ingredients with a distinctly French skew.