Melbourne’s CBD has just added its newest dessert joint, and it’s extra special because Jess Liemantara a.k.a Jess Lemon is the executive chef/creative mind behind it. esmé patisserie is a different take on dessert cafes, not only because this is the Indonesia-born Masterchef Australia’s contestant on the helm we’re talking about, but also because of her knowingly whimsical, out-of-box approach to tarts.
For your reference, most cafes in Melbourne don’t really serve cakes, the majority of them usually would only have pastries on the display. The sophisticated ones (Tori’s, Sweet Canteen, Brunetti) usually only serve cake slices, like strawberry shortcake, sponge cake, matcha cake, cheesecake, your regular stuff.
For me personally, the dessert scene in Melbourne feels too broad. We indeed have everything when it comes to selections, yet frankly speaking, I have never felt the urge to keep on going back to any of them. So a dessert cafe like esmé, coming from a Masterchef graduate, has a good chance to take things to the next level.
As an establishment under Kaleida Hospitality, esmé is a French word that means “to be loved”. This philosophy infuses their delicate handcrafted tarts, each one with a story and characteristic to tell them apart, a play of layers of textures and flavors.
They are located right in the heart of the city, just across the street from Melbourne Central, on Lonsdale St. It is placed right next to Roarti, Jess Lemon’s other venture, and also Kata Kita which is also an Indonesian restaurant.
esmé patisserie is fairly tiny, and it can fit around 14 people maximum, but the feeling that they evoke when you enter their premises is quite luxurious. In my opinion, it made other dessert places in Melbourne feel more laid-back.
Things were looking very dashing and appealing in here, and that’s exactly what they went for. I did want to try everything. On a side note, their branding follows the atmosphere neatly, with bougie packaging that would make a great gift for a sweet tooth like myself.
esmé patisserie MENU
EVERYTHING in the display looks super cute. They serve six different tarts and 12 different flavors of macarons. They also serve coffee in the cafe, which brings a perfect pairing to balance out the sweets.
I got myself a Creme Brulime tart and a Sour Cherry Macarons, both of which were delicious. Despite of being on the soury side of the spectrum, I was pleasantly surprised at the balance of the taste of both the tart and the sour cherry.
The second time I went to esmé patisserie, I saw that they had expanded the tart selection and this time I went for this Tiramisu tart, which was also mind blowingly delicious!
I wasn’t quite sure what coffee they used here, but the oat magic that I ordered was extremely bitter. Even my friend could smell the bitterness from across the table. However, hers was fine. Thankfully, the sweetness of these cakes made a good save to my palate otherwise, I would have been unable to finish them.
Now that esmé patisserie has opened in Melbourne CBD, the dessert scene finally takes a fresh turn. Though the tart might be on a smaller side, Jess sure knows that it’s just the right portion.
The staff was friendly, and a special shout to the lady at the counter. She went the extra mile explaining the different flavors in each tart and macaron. However, it does slow down the queue.
I would say esmé patisserie comes in the top five best dessert places in Melbourne along with Leyeahllow, BlackStar, Bibelot & Crux & Co. It’s THE place to get an afternoon dessert or a sweet little treat for your loved ones!
- esmé patisserie
- Operation Hours :
- Tue – Thur : 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM
- Fri – Sat : 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
- Sunday : 10:00 AM – 09:00 PM
- Monday : CLOSED
- Type : Cafe
- Price : $
- Coffee : Yes
- Cuisine : Dessert
- Alcohol : No
- Dessert : Tarts, Macarons
- Indoor Capacity : +-14
- Outdoor Capacity : –
- RSVP : Walk – in
- Waiting Time : –
- Toilet : Not Sure
- Wifi : Not sure
- Vegan / Vegetarian : Vegetarian