The damn HYPE around this place. The stories of fools queuing up before the crack of dawn and/or driving down from the Victorian border for this place. I'd be doing hot yoga at dawn, not queuing up for macarons.
Well the fit out is in a word, eccentric. I don't see the logic, or theme, or anything really. To me it's just some random shit that is meant to make you to take notice. Or am I that ignorant to not know what it's alluding to? In which case, it worked. You sure do take notice, of the mirrored walls and candied chairs. You'd expect a stratospheric experience at this place given the ridiculous hype, which in all fairness is what drew me to visit in their first week when they had opened ,and it was fairly early in the morning so only a few petit gateaux and tarts were available.
Nevertheless, I tried a croissant, a few macarons, a carrot cake and a lemon meringue.The croissant was fine, no better or worse than some of the artisan croissants available in Melbourne but it was only $3, so quite cheap in my opinion. The macarons were also good, but lets face it, macarons are dying a slow and miserable death. Someone should just put them out of their misery.
Now onto the cakes. The carrot cake and lemon meringue were a disappointment. The carrot cake was a deconstructed carrot cake, with cream cheese mousse of some sort, chocolate disk, dehydrated carrots and a few crumbs of actual carrot cake.The cake was impossible to eat because a) they didn't give me any take away cutlery, and b) the chocolate disk was impenetrable without causing the mousse to collapse out side ways. Either the chocolate disk was too thick (which is probably the case), or the mousse was too soft. Generally, it was nothing spectacular. Perhaps the carrot cake should have been well, the primary focus, and not a decor.
Now the lemon meringue. I can make a mean lemon meringue, baked, curd, or whatever. I know lemon meringue. Big call? Yes, but that's FACT. Their take on it was a biscuit base, with a dome and some gel, probably a gellan gel or something, because it seemed to "flow" without being too liquid. Overall It was sickly sweet (and I mean sickly sweet). In fact, I couldn't even finish it. How can you screw up a lemon meringue?! Anything with lemon needs to be tart, with a balance of sweetness. Not overpoweringly sweet. Even Pierre Herme's lemon cream which is pretty much lemon flavoured butter still has a tartness to it.
On my second visit their orange petit gateaux also collapsed as soon as I got into the car....which was parked outside. Nice to look at, but what's good a nice looking petit gateaux that can't even survive a walk to the car? I may as well make a mousse and eat it from the bowl. No velvet spray required.
Despite being underwhelmed by the structure and taste profile of the cakes, they are very very well finished. The glazing is flawless, and decors unique (petit gateaux). The entremets aren't as impressive.
But I probably won't be going back when we have so many other options in Melbourne.
12-14 Claremont St, South Yarra