Opened recently, Maison Clement within the Central Market Arcade in Adelaide specialises in offering a wide range of French pastries and dishes. Its owner Clement Labaere is notable for having worked in the Michelin-starred La Belle Siska. Many of their dishes are available at any time, with a small selection offered exclusively on Friday evenings from 4.30pm to 8.30pm.
One of the dishes available only during Friday evenings, the Salad Nicoise had generous chunks of tuna partnered well by refreshing lettuce leaves, boiled potato slices and a hard-boiled egg. Preserved anchovy fillets and olives added a delectable salty element that was not too strong. The creamy dressing tied all the ingredients together nicely.
Those that are feeling adventurous can try the cafe's Escargot, a French dish made from edible land snails. The snails had a taste and texture that is a bit similar to mushrooms and the garlic butter they were cooked in gave them a delectable garlicky flavour. It is advisable to eat them with the toast provided to balance out the rich buttery taste.
Escargot (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Offered as a special during our visit, the Croque Raclette is best described as being similar to a toasted cheese sandwich with ham and potato. The Raclette cheese did not taste too cheesy and the Dijon béchamel added a slightly sharp taste to the sandwich. We also liked that the bread was toasted to the degree we desired. Accompanying the sandwich was a small salad to provide a bit of freshness.
Croque Raclette (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Taking its name from the mountain of the same name, Mont Blanc is a pastry consisting of a tart shell filled with jam crowned by a topping of pureed chestnuts. The chestnut puree was light and airy and the jam filling was not too sweet. The tart base was not too tough and its buttery flavour complemented the chestnut puree well.
Mont Blanc (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Chouquette is one of the snacks offered at the counter, costing $0.40 per piece. This pastry had a light texture, with the crisp exterior contrasting well with the soft interior. A light coating of what seemed like crystallised sugar also helped to add a bit of crunch to the pastries.
Chouquettes (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Though the café is quite small, its décor gave it a comfortable and casual feel. Its location makes it convenient for shoppers in Central Market to drop by if they have a craving for French pastries and dishes.