Saturday, 11 November 2017

Vieille Branche - Café Review

Vieille Branche means the old branch, apparently a term of endearment, meaning old friend in French.  And it's not easy to pronounce unless you're French:=)  Hubby and I had been here before when the Winter market was on in the courtyard, but had never eaten here.  So we took the plunge, and went for lunch recently.  We headed into the old industrial interior which has been turned into an eclectic mix of old wares and books, hanging down and climbing up the walls.

interior of the old industrial space

Okay, I'll get down to it right away. Mr P. and I were somewhat disappointed.  Although it is a lovely space with lots of interesting things to peruse (including all the old books we were sitting next to), we felt a bit left out.  The staff were off-hand, including the young lady at the front who waved a vague hand to a table which had a Reserved sign on it already.  So we didn't sit there!  Our order of frîtes did not arrive, so I had to hunt them up.  In fact, the young man didn't seem to know what frîtes were, or maybe it was our terrible French accent?  Then I had to hunt up the herbed mayo which was supposed to come with.  Not a good start folks.   

duck tartine $24 - it looks bigger than it was:) 

I chose a duck tartine, which as you may know, is an open-faced sandwich.  No surprises there, but for $24 I expected something pretty whizz-bang.  It ended up being a slice of bread which was near impossible to get into (frankly I would have needed a buzz-saw to access it) with a few thin slices of duck.  I would've needed tweezers to pick out the slivers of fig, and a microscope for the wee dots of blue cheese.  And of course, you get loads of (way too many) bitter greens to fill in the blank spots.  Not happy Jan (as the old commercial goes.)  Oh, but the incredibly fresh walnuts were fabulously crunchy. 

mushroom tartine $21.50

Mr P. chose the champignons (aka mushroom) tartine with prosciutto and pecorino.  Strangely the photo looks like blue cheese but it wasn't:)  He mentioned that he thought the mushies would be warm; they weren't, so that was a bit odd to him.  Not sure I would necessarily expect a warm topping on a sandwich, but that's Mr P. for you.  The prosciutto was lovely, full of flavour and an elegant sufficiency.  And I reckon he had a lot less of those nasty greens than I did:=)   

frîtes with herbed mayo $6

Okay, so finally the frîtes came out, and finally we got the mayo.  What can I say?  They were fries, and they were fine, if a little lukewarm.  And what's with the no-salt regime lately?  Suddenly, fries are coming out here, there and everwhere sadly salt-free!

sparkling blood orange with chilli $4

I really enjoyed this drink. I love a bit of chilli, and this had a lovely little hit of it. The waiter made sure I knew there was some chilli, as I don't think the menu mentioned that. So good work there, monsieur waiter. Mr P. had a vanilla milkshake $7.50. Sorry, no photo, but he reminded me it came in "one of those glass jars."  How was it, I asked him?  Standard, and okay, was his reply.  So there you have it.  

a kayak frame hanging from the ceiling  

Love all the diverse, and fascinating bits and bobs all over the place.  Gives you plenty to check out while waiting for your meals to arrive.

The Pickings' Verdict:  intriguing place to hang out, food overpriced in my opinion, and service a bit on the vague side, but I would like to go back just to try more things and see if I can catch the staff on a better day.

Vieille Branche is licensed, and open Tues to Fri 7.30am - 2.30pm; Sat 7.30am - 1.30pm
Sun 1pm - 6pm with Live Music

And they do weddings!

Ph: 07 3862 1840
10 Fox St., Albion Q 4010

Vieille Branche Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


  1. It looks like it had potential but alas...I will be giving this a miss. Thanks for the review!

    1. hi Jem
      we were disappointed i have to say. it seems very expensive for a one-piece sandwich that you needed a hacksaw to cut in to! and i wish that waitress had put some clothes on for goodness' sake - OHS reasons if nothing else.


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