HOT: Adriano Zumbo Patissier, 12-14 Claremont St, South Yarra

Zumbo1 1024x694 HOT: Adriano Zumbo Patissier, 12 14 Claremont St, South YarraSome days when I’m feeling blue, I thank god for Adriano Zumbo. His eponymous patisserie in South Yarra is a Willy Wonka riot of mirror, neon and cake and the long pastry cabinet never fails to lift my spirits.

When faced with so many fantastical desserts it’s hard to know where to start. But if you go on Tuesday I have a tip for you – for the foreseeable future you can buy one tart get one half price as part of ‘Two Tart Tuesday’.

Zumbo4 1024x755 HOT: Adriano Zumbo Patissier, 12 14 Claremont St, South Yarra

With that in mind I order the precisely swirled lemon meringue tart and the luxurious ‘Me So Nutty’ with gianduja caramel, milk chocolate gianduja soft ganache and topped with golden hazelnutsZumbo3 1024x755 HOT: Adriano Zumbo Patissier, 12 14 Claremont St, South Yarra

I also can’t resist a ‘Zonut’ with flavours that change every week. So popular are Zumbo’s version of the croissant/donut hybrid that customers are limited to only four at a time.

Zumbo2 1024x632 HOT: Adriano Zumbo Patissier, 12 14 Claremont St, South Yarra

As I bite into one I can understand why! The outer crust is so crisp and light I create an explosion of pastry crumbs with every mouthful, and the filling is so smooth and rich with  a Mexican dark chocolate – whipped ganache with hints of cinnamon and chilli. The topping? More chocolate and marshmallows!

For other treats I have also been known to queue for Zumbo’s macarons (Zumbarons) on occasion and they are one of the best I’ve ever tried due to their consistency and precision in texture. There is also hand-crafted ice cream or savoury pies, sausage rolls and quiches.

There are a few small tables and chairs inside the bakery where you can enjoy your coffee and cake on the spot, though during busy period it can get crowded so it’s more of a takeaway place. Taking one of the distinctive orange boxes out on the street will bring a spring to your step, I promise!

Adriano Zumbo Patissier is a joyride for Melbourne sweet tooths and if you enjoy those treats make sure you visit Fancy Nance around the corner, Zumbo’s new high tea salon which turns afternoon tea on its head.

Adriano Zumbo Patissier, 12-14 Claremont St, South Yarra 1800 858 611

Open 7 days 7am – 7pm

 HOT: Adriano Zumbo Patissier, 12 14 Claremont St, South Yarra

HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 20 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

If you like high tea then shoot down the rabbit hole into the Adriano Zumbo-created dessert wonderland called Fancy Nance.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 18 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

Fancy Nance is this famous patissier’s new high tea salon that’s named after his mother, Nancy. It occupies the site behind his eponymous patisserie on Claremont Street and is the former premises of George Calombaris’ Mama Baba and Manu Fiedel’s short-lived Le Grand Cirque.

Can another celebrity chef make a go of this site?

Based on the spectacular high tea I tried today, I hope so. This is high tea unlike anything I’ve tried in Melbourne.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 4 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

The setting is quite unique. The space is cavernous and the industrial framework can be quite cold (literally and figuratively). But the designers have carved up the centre into cosy plush booths to give it a bit of warmth. There’s a sleek brass cocktail bar with chic brass detailing once the venue opens in the evening.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 5 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 16 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 6 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

Both ends of the room are book-ended by exuberant, psychedelic Alice-in-Wonderland inspired street art and you can watch the long open kitchen at work preparing your delicacies.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 15 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

There’s no traditional three-tiered stand. Instead, you’re given three choices – $65 for twelve course degustation of sweets and savouries, $45 for seven mini savoury and sweet courses or scones with jam plus tea, coffee or hot chocolate for $15.

The courses come one after the other…and dessert comes first. I don’t have a problem eating dessert in any order during a meal but I did think it was curious…so I asked a waitress why the topsy-turvy approach. Apparently it’s just the way Zumbo likes to do it and in a traditional three-tier stand going from top to bottom you’d start off with sweets.

The ingredient combinations and attention to detail in presentation is quite stunning. Not everything was too my taste but 10 points for creativity!

To give you a rundown of the current menu:

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 1 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

Linzer cake with vanilla chantilly, grapefruit with white chocolate ganache, olive oil and shizo and a tube layered with passionfruit curd, lemongrass pannacotta, lime tapioca and coconut espuma.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 3 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

Choux bun covered  in freeze-dried cherries and filled with…tarragon ice cream.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 7 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

The dish is an wow-inspiring colour bomb but I can’t say I loved the savoury, anise flavour of the filling.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 8 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

A deconstructed apple pie with a cinnamon marshmallow and sorrel leaf plus Zumbo’s signature macarons (or as he calls them, zumbarons).

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 9 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

There’s a reason these macarons are famous – the texture is just perfect, with a crispy-shelled but still moist biscuit sandwiching a not-too-sweet ganache. It also comes nestled on top of a WHOLE BOWL of chocolate beads which you can dig into at leisure!

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 10 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

The one concession to tradition – the scone – was perfect too, fluffy and light. [spoiler] What no one warned me about was that one of the jams was capsicum! I actually quite liked the unexpected peppery flavour and I worked out that one of the ‘creams’ was actually a whipped ricotta. The other jam is sweet (cranberry) and you can pair that with double cream…or cheese if you so wish!

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 11 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

The pastries are a segue into the savoury courses, with a petite pain au chocolat, a raspberry and coconut danish and a tartlet with caramelised olives and topped with smoked ricotta.

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 13 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

The traditional smoked salmon finger sandwich is turned into a cured salmon, crunchy rye, slices of fresh apple and creme fraiche. The other ‘sandwich’ is melting pork rillette inside a salt-flecked pretzel turned into a bun shape!

Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 14 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

The final course is a cube of osso bucco decorated with delicate pea shoots. 
Fancy Nance 21 Daly St South Yarra 19 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South YarraI really enjoyed my high tea at Fancy Nance. Their version of high tea is a playful take on an old tradition and you’ll be surprised at every turn. Given the menu changes periodically I can’t wait go down the rabbit hole again! Later the small space at the front will become a cafe and patisserie called ‘Little Frankie’.

Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra 1800 858 611

Wednesday – Sunday 11am-6pm

No reservations, walk-ins only

 HOT: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly St, South Yarra

HOT: Bibelot, 285 – 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 2 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot is a dessert boutique, artisnal paitisserie and gelateria that’s just opened in South Melbourne thanks to the creative team behind Chez Dre.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 11 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot is located next door to its sister cafe, with entry from Coventry Street. From the plain glass outside it’s hard to imagine all the amazing sweet things but once you step inside the room expands out into a Alice in Wonderland/Willy Wonka fantasy of chocolate, cake and ice cream.

I was invited to the preview night and returned on Mother’s Day of my own accord to try their high tea.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 21 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

It’s hard to know where to start. On the right there’s a whole wall of artfully presented chocolate bars, packages of enrobed fruit and nuts, buttery biscuits, preserves and coffee and teas.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 22 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

On the left is the gelati station, with a changing rotation of house made gelati and sorbets housed in pozzetti tubs – plus TWO chocolate taps.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 4 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

I highly recommend the pistachio gelati, which is creamy, flavoursome and studded with real nuts.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 5 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Top it with some dark chocolate sauce that crackles as soon as it hits the cold and you’re onto a winner.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Head along the patisserie for delicate and beautifully presented jewels of cake, rows of pastel coloured macarons and hand made chocolates.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 6 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 3 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 7 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 1 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 9 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 20 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 10 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

At the back of the store is the ‘high tea salon’ though you’re welcome to sit for a drink and a cake there as well. The plush emerald velvet banquettes and armchairs and matching greenery give it an opulent yet inviting air. If there’s no space left in the salon then you can still enjoy your treats on the outside tables or standing by the narrow bench, European style.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 12 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot’s Mother’s Day high tea offering was a test run for their future high teas, which will start Thursday to Sunday from June. For $95 (kids under 7 are free) I received a platter of gourmet savory treats with a bread basket filled to the brim, a mixture of French and Australian cheeses, Istra charcuterie and Mt Zero olive tapenade.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 13 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Next up was a pretty strawberry pot au creme then a quick roll into a platter of petits gâteaux (miniature versions of what’s available in the cake cabinet) and curiously flat miniature scones.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 15 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 16 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 17 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 18 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

To end, two handcrafted bonbons plus throughout there was tea, coffee and a glass of champagne.

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 19 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

I was bowled over by the quantity and quality of the food – but at $95 I thought it was expensive compared to other high teas around town which are equally fancy. Other than the price my only other misgiving is that high tea at Bibelot is not a quiet, restful experience as the salon is at the back of the busy shop.

Bibelot brings the sensibility of a French patisserie to South Melbourne and it’s my new favourite destination for all things sweet. Judging by the roaring trade on Mother’s Day, it may already a favourite for other Melbourne sweet tooths (teeth?).

Bibelot 285 Coventry St South Melbourne 8 HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

Bibelot, 285 – 287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne

Open 7 days, 10am – Late

minilink HOT: Bibelot, 285	– 287 Coventry St, South Melbourne

HOT: Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn

Humble Patisserie 4 HOT: Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn

Humble Patisserie is a sweet little cake shop and bakery in Hawthorn. While the store is humble in size (there are only a few tables and chairs tucked inside and on the pavement), the cake, pastry and  confectionery spread certainly is not.

Humble Patisserie 3 HOT: Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn

I love the super-cute fit out, with Orla Kiely wallpaper behind the counter and riotously up the ceiling and a large storybook rabbit wielding a baguette and wallpaper matching scarf.

Humble Patisserie 2 HOT: Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn

It’s the kind of place where it’s impossible to choose just one thing to eat. Everything is baked fresh daily on site. They are justly famous of their pastries, especially the almond croissant, and their homage to classic Australian biscuits and sweets such as the Wagon Wheel and coconut ice.

Humble Patisserie 1 HOT: Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn

If you have to whittle down your choices, I highly recommend the Kingston and one of their mini tarlets, a buttery biscuity crumb filled with creamy lemon curd or a rich peanut butter and chocolate ganache.

Humble Patisserie 140 Auburn Road Hawthorn HOT: Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn

Humble Patisserie wholesale to a few other cafes in town but I suggest you make a trip to visit this nostalgic little bakery for a sweet treat and a coffee using Axil beans.

Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn (03) 9818 2463

Mon to Sun 8am – 4pm

minilink HOT: Humble Patisserie, 140 Auburn Road, Hawthorn

HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 1 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (Saturday 28 February – Sunday 15 March) is kind of like my idealised version of Christmas (lots of eating without the present traumas) which makes the Artisan Bakery & Bar the ultimate Christmas Village, a place to celebrate some festival cheer.

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 2 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 3 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 6 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

Every day until Sunday 15 March, from 7:30am to late, head down to Queensbridge Square on Southbank to sample delicious bread-based wares from Peter Rowland as well as a rotating calendar of local and international bakers producing their most famous baked goods, including Éric Kayser (Maison Kayser, Paris) and Justin Gellatly (co-founder of London’s Bread Ahead).

DSC09924 521x820 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

I ‘accidentally’ inhaled one of Justin Gellatly ‘s famous doughnuts for breakfast and oh my god…I have to say it was one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Spongy, fluffy and dripping with salted caramel cream with a shard of crumbling honeycomb on top.

DSC09926 820x545 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

Apparently guest baker’s products have been selling out every day by 10am so I’ve diarised Éric Kayser‘s visit (Tuesday 10 March and Wednesday 11 March) in the hope that he’ll turn out some of his famous eclairs.

I was also invited by Peter Rowland sample some of Artisan Bakery & Bar’s mostly Victorian menu.

We started off with little pots of Irrewarra Sourdough’s granola, some fluffy and tart Victorian yoghurt and homemade fresh fruit compote.

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 9 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

Then the carb-loading began, with wooden boards containing a selection of Irrewarra Sourdough and Woodfrog Bakery’s bread, Mount Zero olives, Milawa cheese, Mytleford butter and picles and condiments by Peter Rowland ($20 each).

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 8 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

Then a selection of tartines ($14) – basically fancy open-toasted. Nothing better than melted cheese on bread! Our selection included double smoked leg ham, heirloom tomatoes, pickled red onions and chutney…

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 12 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

…sauteed mushrooms and onion jam…

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 7 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

….pulled beef, corn relish and pickled gherkins.

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 10 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

To end was Tivoli Road Bakery’s out of this world fruit loaf – a light fruit-studded bread almost akin to Christmas cake – plus a selection of Milawa cheeses plus Tivoli Road’s famous salted caramel and lemon curd doughnuts.

The Artisan Bakery Bar Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015 Queensbridge Square Southbank 15 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank
The Artisan Bakery & Bar is not just a place to eat and imbibe – there are workshop classes running onsite too, including free Little Foodies baking classes for children. Spaces for adult and kids classes are limited and bookings essential.

DSC09946 820x546 HOT: The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

The Artisan Bakery & Bar, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival 2015, Queensbridge Square, Southbank

7 days a week 7:30am-late until Sunday 15 March

HOT: 5 and Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne

5 and Dime Bagel 16 Katherine Place Melbourne 2 HOT: 5 and Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne

5 and Dime Bagel’s New York style boiled bagels have been gaining a loyal following from farmer’s market shoppers for the past two years.

 While you can still buy 5 and Dime Bagel at Flemington and Gasworks farmers markets, they have opened a permanent store in Katherine Place, near the King St end of Flinders Lane. They are one of half a dozen new, small, food enterprises that will hopefully turn that rather dead area of the CBD into a vibrant culinary destination. 

I love 5 and Dime Bagel for their chewy but not too dense texture and slightly crunchy crust. They are hand rolled, boiled and baked fresh every day on site and then distributed to other outlets as well as tumbled into wooden trays in their new premises. 

5 and Dime Bagel 16 Katherine Place Melbourne 1 HOT: 5 and Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne

The small cafe is reminiscent of an old-school American diner. Not the ones with kitschy, brightly coloured decor but the sort of subdued neighbourhood hangouts I can imagine found in tumbleweed Midwestern towns. When I walked in I was immediately reminded of the film The Last Picture Show. 

5 and Dime Bagel 16 Katherine Place Melbourne 4 HOT: 5 and Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne

The cafe offers bagels with a rotating selection of flavoured cream cheese (schmears) and fillings, all made in house. You can buy bagels to take away ($2 or 6 for $11) or sit down for a simple bagel sandwich and an espresso or filtered Promised Land Coffee. 

5 and Dime Bagel 16 Katherine Place Melbourne 3 HOT: 5 and Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne

My tip is to go for the dill bagel. The dill bagel has no added salt, which is unbelievable as it is so full of flavour. Combined with their house cured salmon/trout and cream cheese combo and it’s one heavenly sandwich.

They are purists with their bagels too. It is usual for bagels to be toasted in other cafes but here they don’t toast them because the bagels are so fresh. They bake constantly, throughout the day, so even if you arrive at the end of the lunch hour the bagels are still fresh.

 I can’t get on a plane to New York so 5 and Dime Bagel is the closest I’ll get to having a New York breakfast. And now you don’t have to wait for the weekend for your bagel fix!

5 and Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne

Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 3:00 pm

minilink HOT: 5 and Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne

HOT: Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

Pop Up Scroll 86 Smith Street Collingwood 5 HOT: Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

In a continuation of Melbourne’s love affair with sweet baked goods, Pop Up Scroll is a temporary pop up shop on Smith Street pedalling scrolls and I was invited for an afternoon tea of scroll tasting.

 A former Chinese herbalist shop has been transformed by the married owners (a pastry chef and interior designer) into a gelati-coloured doll’s house with retro features.

Pop Up Scroll 86 Smith Street Collingwood HOT: Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

Inside is a temporary purpose built kitchen (the lease expires in May), a counter luring customers with different scroll flavours and some cute seating along the wall and in the window.

 Pop Up Scroll 86 Smith Street Collingwood 2 HOT: Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

Twice a day scrolls are freshly baked, glazed and topped. Their sell out is the original cinnamon scroll with cream cheese frosting and it is my favourite. Unlike traditional cinnamon scrolls, say from Scandinavia, these scrolls are not dense, yeasty and bread-like. The dough is based on a brioche recipe, which means the texture is butter and fluffy. Really it’s more like a doughnut than a bread product – and hence you can easily eat more than one!

 Pop Up Scroll 86 Smith Street Collingwood 6 HOT: Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

In fact, my recommendation is to buy mini scrolls ($3) rather than the large scrolls ($4) so that you can try more than one flavour. Other favourites include the peanut butter and banana and decadent chocolate with salted caramel. I’m not such a fan of the coconut and white chocolate scroll as the dessicated, caramelised coconut topping was tooth-achingly sweet, even for a seasoned sweet tooth like myself.

Pop Up Scroll 86 Smith Street Collingwood 1 HOT: Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

 You can pair your fragrant scrolls with a coffee by Coffee Supreme and if you’re desperate for something savoury they do offer a few options.

 After the 6 month lease is up there are plans for a more permanent shop for Pop Up Scroll in the inner north (which will then be called Eat a Scroll). Until then, get your scroll fix on Smith Street.

 Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

Monday-Friday 8am-4pm

Saturday 9am-4pm

minilink HOT: Pop Up Scroll, 86 Smith Street, Collingwood

HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop in Ascot Vale an awesome organic vegan bakery for non-vegans. The magic that they create with their baked goods without the use of eggs, milk, butter or cream has to be tried to be believed.

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop 151 Union Rd Ascot Vale 1 HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

The quirky, retro-tastic cafe has seating along the window and one side of the wall, while the other length of the room is a looong cake cabinet. Breathe in the aromas of cinnamon and cake-baking and settle down for a sweets session.

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop 151 Union Rd Ascot Vale 2 HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop 151 Union Rd Ascot Vale 5 HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

For lunch there are a few savoury options – a savoury scroll and bagels filled with vegan ingredients. I tried the ‘chickpea tuna’ bagel which believe it or not really did taste like tuna, although the texture wasn’t as easily replicable. It was a pretty tasty sandwich, despite being squished down to a hard pancake with the over-enthusiastic use of the sandwich press.

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop 151 Union Rd Ascot Vale 9 HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

But really the main reason you go to Mr Nice Guy is to eat sweets. To be precise, you’ve got to try one of their fluffy chocolate, vanilla or cinnamon based cupcakes in out-there flavours such as ‘Zombie Brains’ and ‘Beetlejuice’ ($4.50). Followed by one of their large sticky scrolls in traditional cinnamon or coffee or the PB&J with lashings of chunky peanut butter folded inside the swirls and a dab of strawberry jam on top ($4.50). Maybe even go for one of their chocolate-infused Polish babkas ($4.50).

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop 151 Union Rd Ascot Vale 6 HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

It’s all good. Most importantly, the texture of the cakes is incredible and you could easily fool a non-vegan with these treats.

Mr Nice Guy will have you exclaiming ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter!’ as you scoff into their cupcakes, doughnuts, slices, brownies and cakes. They cater for lots of different dietary requirements, from kosher to soy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, corn-free, fructose-free and low gi! It’s so hard to choose from just one visit that you will just have to keep returning, and returning.

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop 151 Union Rd Ascot Vale 7 HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale 0416 848 610

Mon to Fri: 9am – 6pm

Sat + Sun: 9am – 5pm

minilink HOT: Mr Nice Guy’s BakeShop, 151 Union Rd, Ascot Vale

HOT: Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane ) and Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

Agathe Patisserie Rear 97 Chapel St Windsor Entry via Artists Lane and Prahran Market 163 Commercial Rd South Yarra 2 HOT: Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane ) and Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

You know the reason why I could never be (willingly) gluten-free or sugar-free? Because I’m a pastry FIEND. And I love discovering French patisseries in Melbourne, with my newest find being Agathe Patisserie in Windsor.

Agathe Patisserie Rear 97 Chapel St Windsor Entry via Artists Lane and Prahran Market 163 Commercial Rd South Yarra 5 HOT: Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane ) and Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

I have been stalking and drooling over Agathe Patisserie on Instagram for a while and finally had the opportunity to visit Agathe at her little artisan stall at Prahran Market, where she sets up on Saturdays. The rest of the week she bakes in a pop up store/lab in Windsor.

 

When I threatened to buy one of everything I wasn’t kidding. It was really, really hard to choose what to buy (with a major case of FOMO given I don’t get to Prahran very often) so what the heck!

Agathe Patisserie Rear 97 Chapel St Windsor Entry via Artists Lane and Prahran Market 163 Commercial Rd South Yarra 1 HOT: Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane ) and Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

In the bag went a plain croissant, a salted caramel brioche/croissant ball, a croissant square with  almond cream, raspberries and pistachio, a chocolate croissant, an escargot, an almond coated croissant with chocolate inside and a canele.

Of the selection my choices were the almond croissant, with its beautifully flaky centre and sticks of dark chocolate, and the plain croissant.

Agathe Patisserie Rear 97 Chapel St Windsor Entry via Artists Lane and Prahran Market 163 Commercial Rd South Yarra 4 HOT: Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane ) and Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

Just look at those airy layers – it was so buttery and light that I ate it unadorned. Didn’t want any jam weighing it down!

Agathe Patisserie Rear 97 Chapel St Windsor Entry via Artists Lane and Prahran Market 163 Commercial Rd South Yarra 3 HOT: Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane ) and Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

I had high expectations of the canele but I found mine just a little bit too dense, though the outside was beautifully caramelised. Given other people have rhapsodised about them I’d give them another go (twist my rubber arm!).

Agathe Patisserie make her cakes to order and her items are only stocked in a few select locations at the moment. So set aside some time in your diary to make a visit and don’t miss out!

Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane )

Friday and Saturday from 8 to 12

Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

Saturday 9 to 4 (or until sold out)

 HOT: Agathe Patisserie, Rear 97 Chapel St, Windsor (Entry via Artists Lane ) and Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra

HOT: By Josephine 365 Sydney Road Brunswick

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By Josephine is a Brunswick patisserie and cafe straight out of a Paris salon.

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The pressed ceiling and all-white walls present a luxurious feel to the little daytime cafe, which specialises in macarons, pastries and savouries made on premises. The only thing that’s brought in is the bread and ultra-flaky croissants, both from Cavallini in Clifton Hill.

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The owner of By Josephine (named Josephine), is French and she made her name from hand-making macarons and selling them to various restaurants and cafes around Melbourne before setting up her store. They are the raison d’etre for the shop so you must not miss them!

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The macarons at By Josephine ($2.50 each) were of a very high quality, with the light, crispy-shelled biscuit sandwiching just the right proportion of ganache or flavoured buttercream.

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On our visit we also sampled some of the other sweets – a buttery sable with quite salty dollops of salted caramel ($5), a perfect chocolate moulleux ($6) dusted with raspberry powder and served with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a few miniature meringues, a melt-in-the-mouth raspberry marshmallow ($1) and finally an excellent ham and cheese croissant.

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For drinks the cafe serves Coffee Supreme coffees, French Kusmi teas and variations on iced chocolate. We had an iced praline ($5) with globs of chocolate mixed with ice and milk plus caramelised nuts garnishing the top.

By Josephine is a beautiful place to indulge your sweet tooth and is a little bit of France in Brunswick. Next time I really want to try the high tea at By Josephine which includes a selection of mini treats and savoury delicacies for $42.

By Josephine 365 Sydney Road Brunswick 0420 276 361

Wednesday to Saturday: 9am – 5pm

Sunday: 10am – 4pm

minilink HOT: By Josephine 365 Sydney Road Brunswick