Food News

Sydney’s Black Star Pastry pops up in Melbourne

The maker of that watermelon cake has opened a temporary home interstate, with five full-time pastry chefs devoted to producing the star dessert.

By Yvonne C Lam
Sydney pâtisserie Black Star Pastry – makers of that signature strawberry watermelon cake – has opened a pop-up store in Melbourne's St Kilda.
The store launched on Monday underneath the Jackalope Pavilion's Rain Room art installation, with customers already queueing before the doors opened.
"There are a lot of locals who have been eyeing us up during construction," says Black Star Pastry's general manager Josef Murray. "Our first customer was a local lady who ordered 10 whole cakes, including five of the strawberry watermelon cakes, for her colleagues and family."
Outside Black Star Pastry's Melbourne pop-up.
Similarly to the Sydney bakeries, the Melbourne store has recruited five full-time pastry chefs devoted to producing the famous cake, which comes layered with almond dacquoise, slabs of watermelon, rose-scented cream, strawberries, pistachios and dried rose petals.
The team will produce up to 12 slabs, each containing 66 portions, of the dessert daily, with the fruit sourced from the Melbourne Markets in Epping. In Sydney, Murray says they churn through three tonnes of watermelon a week, but is unsure how many melons they'll need interstate. "After the weekend, we'll get a better understanding of the demand here."
The store is also offering a shortlist of the Black Star Pastry range including the raspberry lychee cake (chocolate biscuit base, vanilla cream, raspberry marshmallow), pistachio lemon zen cake (pistachio ganache, white chocolate mousse, lemon curd and pistachio dacquoise) and orange-almond cake with Persian figs. Coffee is supplied by Melbourne roasters St Ali.
Raspberry lychee cake.
The pastry business has only grown since it opened in Newtown in Sydney's Inner West in 2008 with Black Star now occupying four shopfronts in Sydney. Founder Christopher Thé sold his business to Jackalope Hotel group CEO Louis Li in 2018 and remained with the company in a research and development role, before stepping away from the business entirely six months ago.
The St Kilda pop-up follows a three-month residence in Carlton in 2017, and repeat appearances at the Melbourne Night Noodles Markets. Is the pastry group testing the waters before opening up a permanent location interstate?
"It's something we're considering," says Murray. "But for now, we're just looking forward to meeting the locals."
Black Star Pastry Melbourne, 2 Acland St, St Kilda, Vic, (02) 9557 8656, blackstarpastry.com.au
Open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-5pm. The Melbourne pop-up will run until April 2020.