Melbourne’s Brunswick is blessed to be the home of the modern but charming Lolo & Wren Café. With blue patterned walls, unique artworks and timber décor, the café is the creation of skilled and experienced chef Franco Caruso and his wife Karen. Previously working in fine dining environments across Europe and Australia, Franco has found in recent years that his passion for food has not allowed him to spend the desired time with his two children. Owning a café was a natural progression for Franco allowing him to divide his time between the kitchen and his beloved family.
Melbournians are extremely fortunate to have such a café to visit. Franco’s background in fine dining can be recognised in the perfectly arranged dishes that he serves in the café. The ‘St Clements’ Brioche French toast is a perfect example displaying Franco’s extensive knowledge of both flavour and aesthetics. Two thickly sliced pieces of Brasserie’s brioche loaf are soaked in a decadent mixture of whisked egg, cream and soft icing sugar before being cooked to golden perfection.
Franco’s inspiration for the dish is that of a classic lemon tart: not complete without a sugar glaze and raspberry sorbet. He serves the brioche French toast with creamy lemon curd, fresh ricotta and raspberry compote. The orange segments and candied zest enhance the dish and is completed with burnt orange syrup and baby basil. He loves Brasserie’s brioche loaf as part of the dish because the rich buttery loaf absorbs all the wonderful flavours and melts away with every mouthful.
Lolo & Wren has attracted a certain degree of fame for the crispy croque monsieur. Melbourne is yet to see such a mouth-watering blend of cheeses and fresh leg ham that is separated from the rest by Franco’s careful preparation. Two slices of Brasserie organic sourdough are filled with freshly made béchamel sauce, Swiss cheese, parmesan cheese and finely chopped chives. Sliced leg ham complete the fillings before it’s coated in a blend of egg milk, then coated in fresh breadcrumbs and shallow fried to crispy perfection. The crispy croque monsieur is definitely a dish every Melbournian must set aside time to try at Lolo & Wren.
Lolo & Wren
484 Albion St, Brunswick West, Victoria
Mon to Fri 7am to 4pm
Sat & Sun 8am to 4pm
Tapas Fri & Sat from 6.3opm