Depot de Pain is a small slice of France situated on Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, and is owned by Soccerroo-turned-foodie George Christopoulos. Christopoulos knows what he's doing, as he also owns South Yarra bakery and parent company French Fantasies, from which he has also established three other Depots, in Hawthorn (Depot de Pain), South Yarra (Fleur Depot de Pain), and Black Rock (Jaques Depot de Pain).
Depot de Pain" means "Bread Stop," referring to the French concept of buying bread where it is not baked, but delivered fresh, to the starch-craving masses. Hence, all baked goods sold at the Depot are supplied by parent company, French Fantasies, with the aim of sharing the goodness of French cuisine with the Australian public at an affordable price. Depot de Pain offers a variety of breakfast and lunch meals as well as baked goods to take away, with many listed in French, bien sur. Service is friendly and fast (however, I did visit on a weekday at 12pm, during the school holidays, thus free tables were aplenty), so feel free to ask a waiter to translate.
Coffee at Depot de Pain is competent (which is, in my experience, not at all like the coffee in France), however, I found that the food is definitely the star. Forever being a breakfast junkie, I ordered an omelette chevre (goat's cheese) with a side of chipolata sausages.
My generously-sized omelette soon appeared alongside two slices of buttered bread (which was wonderful, by the way - I regret not asking about the type of bread it was). The eggs were nothing short of fluffy and delicious, wrapped around flavourful, oozing goat's cheese. Rich chipolata sausages cut through the acidity of the goat's cheese and provided another texture to the already pleasing dish. Certainly not a combination for the faint-hearted or not-hungry, the meal packed a punch yet left me extremely happy to pay the $20 bill at the end.
Depot de Pain is certainly a slice of French heaven in Carlton North.