20 Feb Black Star Pastry Pop-up, Carlton
Wake up Melbourne! Australia’s most photographed cake is finally here. After experience as a pastry chef at places like Quay, Claude’s and Bel Mondo, Christopher Thé opened his first Black Star Pastry in Newtown, followed by two more branches in Roseberry and Sydney CBD.
Black Star Pastry has since blossomed in popularity, and Thé has made a name for himself not just within Sydney, but also interstate, which is evident by the queues at the Night Noodle Markets. It’s almost hard to believe Black Star Pastry has been around since 2008. Has Melbourne really been missing out on a brick-and-mortar store for this long?
Taking up a residency in a section of Cafe Italia in Carlton, we no longer have to book a plane ticket to Sydney, or wait until November to get our hands on their cakes. It’s a small area with only about 20 seats, but the deliciousness of the cakes means they’re not likely to last long on the plate anyway.
Not everyone will know that BlackStar also does savouries, like pork sausage rolls and an award-winning slow-cooked lamb shank and red wine pie. Though not available quite yet, they may eventually make their way into the menu.
BlackStar’s famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake will obviously be here. They sell around 5000 slices a day in NSW alone. Made up of mirrored layers of almond dacquoise and rose-scented cream surrounding a single layer of watermelon, and topped with strawberries, pistachios and dried rose petals, it’s a much fresher, lighter and fragrant cake than most.
Although the Watermelon Cake is the sibling that hogs the limelight, don’t skip on the others. The Pistachio Lemon Zen Cake has pistachio ganache, white chocolate mousse, lemon curd and pistachio dacquoise. There’s a bit of crunch from the dacquoise, a bit of smoothness from the white chocolate, and also tanginess from lemon. So good. There’ll be other treats like the rich Amedei chocolate torte, a Raspberry Lychee cake, and a Frangipane Tart with plum, and a crust of crushed pistachios. Though usually sold in single portions, larger cakes are available too, and celebration cakes can be ordered online for pickup.
Black Star’s Melbourne pop-up will be around for about 3 months in Carlton, but we (and many Melburnians) are hoping they’ll become a permanent fixture here.
Disclaimer: I was invited to the launch of Black Star Pastry’s pop-up as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time