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Published July 18th 2011
On a street with a name like Foveaux, it's only fitting you should be able to find a café that sounds equally Frenchy. So entering Le Monde, I was fully expecting to be greeted by a bicycle-riding, baguette-toting, Breton-striped monsieur named Jean-Luc-Pierre. But no. This is not some tacky imitation of gaie Paris filled with tricolours and accordions. It's just a seriously good café.
Fantastic coffee at Le Monde (and it looks pretty too).
I stopped by on an afternoon when the forecasters were promising a depressing cocktail of wind and rain and cold weather, but the day ended up delivering nothing but blue skies and sunshine. And it was clearly a good omen.
Le Monde is not a big place but they manage to get in a surprising amount of seating. That said, you'd describe it as compact rather than cramped, and there's no danger you're going to spend your lunchtime knocking elbows with your neighbours. They've done a lot with the space they have.
The folks at Le Monde take their coffee very seriously indeed. A few years ago they teamed up with 5 Senses Coffee to produce their own unique blend and it has been awarded a 5/5 bean rating from the Coffee Guide. Their attention to detail here is effort well spent. My latte ($3.50) had a really nice, bold flavour and was topped with just the right amount of light, fluffy foam. They're in genuine contention for Sydney's best coffee.
So to the food. The sandwiches on their lunch menu come on your choice of sourdough, miche (a bit like rye) or ciabatta bread (all $10-12), and there is a good range of cooked options, including linguine ($13), veal osso bucco ($14) and salads (from $13). They also had a daily specials board with a soup of the day ($13), crumbed whiting ($15) and a roast pumpkin sandwich ($12).
There's plenty of variety and their number of meat-free options will undoubtedly please any vegos. I opted for a poached chicken, watercress and avocado sandwich on sourdough, with lemon preserve and Le Monde's own mayo.
I'm on safe ground saying it was easily one of the best sandwiches I've had in Sydney. The bread was toasted to give it some crunch, without going overboard. The chicken was unbelievably moist and tasty and the mix of flavours – particularly the lemon preserve with the avocado – was fantastic.
Rather than a plate, it came served on an attractive wooden board, which was a nice touch. This is a café that's clearly given some thought to presentation; they genuinely care how their food looks, which is an aspect of service that's often overlooked.
There's little doubt I'll be returning soon, this time with my sights set on breakfast. I can only recommend you do the same. Bon appétit.