The Eagle Has Landed. Matt Forbes, British baker and pastry chef extraordinaire and whose wares have been popping up all over Melbourne’s best cafes, has opened up his own bakery café in Yarraville and called it Cobb Lane.
The name evokes a cosy, slightly hidden establishment wafting aromas of freshly baked cob loaves and that’s exactly what you get. The 16 seater café looks warm and inviting and is a soothing mix white brick and blonde wood. I particularly liked the cartoonish pale blue pendant lamps twisted into comical asymmetry – for some reason they brought to mind Dr Seuss!
Most importantly, the space was filled to the brim with delicious baked goods from doughnuts to pastries to cakes to bread. Oh my!
If you’re dining in then the tightly written menu is also excellent. The fare sounds simple – toast (of course), house made granola, salmon on rye – but is well done.
I ordered the creamed corn with kipflers ($17) and it was simply perfect – a creamy melange of house made creamed corn, gently poached pullet egg, softened leeks finished off with a liberal dusting of parmesan and sourdough croutons. You can opt for bacon lardons for an extra $2.50 but I don’t think it’s necessary.
Not content to pick a favourite when I inspect the glass cabinet I decide to take almost one of everything (we had visitors after all).
Highlights included the yuzu and white chocolate tart was decadent with a touch of tartness ($7.50) – an interesting twist from the ubiquitious lemon tart, the earl grey and hazelnut sponge with a passionfruit cream and bedecked with a milk chocolate hat ($8), the chocolate tart spiced with cardamom and hiding a slick of salted caramel between the pastry – so rich it really deserves to be shared ($7.50) and the springy carrot cake with a frilly top of cream cheese, walnuts and candied orange peel ($5).
Being April they are currently selling hot cross buns ($3.50) – a soft, lightly spiced and fruit studded rendition of the Easter treat. I rate them highly.
The sandwiches are made to order and both the smoked mushroom with tomato, hommus and cos ($10) and rare beef with horseradish, shallots and sorrel ($11) were delicious, with thickly sliced crusty bread holding the well-balanced fillings in place. We accompanied our sandwiches with a small side of salad made of toothsome barley and buckwheat tossed with strips of zucchini and diced tomato ($5).
And finally those famed doughnuts ($4.50)? Crispy and chewy fluff balls deliciously filled and leaving a tell-tale trail of sugar, they alone are worth the trip across town.
I hope that they will start selling the desserts in a jar that they showcased at Taste of Melbourne and the waitress assured me that they’re always looking to expand their range. In the meantime, there’s lots to love at Cobb Lane, whether you have a sweet tooth or not.