We at Time Out have been fiends for pastry chef Christopher Thé’s work ever since he opened his first little bakery on Australia Street in Newtown way back in 2009. We still are, too. Only now with the arrival of Black Star in Rosebery, we don’t have to elbow anyone to get a seat.
It’s a much larger offering here, where the big airy warehouse space (it's part of the Cannery which also houses Kitchen by Mike
and Da Mario
) supports lots of tables and chairs, an open kitchen and a large glass counter where you’ll find a whole world of sweet treats – some you might recognise from the original Black Star
(hello, the lamb shank pie
There’s also a wider savoury selection here, so you can really make a go of it if you have time (or takeaway, if you don’t). You could start with a chicken and coleslaw sandwich, but the filling’s slightly under-seasoned and the roast capsicum doesn’t really work. The bread, though, is malty and chewy and damn delicious. Even so, we usually ignore bread when we can eat pastry and today is no exception. The just-set, custardy, hammy quiche Lorraine with its short, melt-in-the-mouth pastry is a good argument to never pick up a sandwich again.
The service has a propensity to be kind of limp and inattentive, depending on who you get (on our visit there are three people behind the counter, each with varying degrees of friendliness and competency – you might be luckier than us). And while the coffee at the original Newtown digs is reliably good every time, they haven’t quite got it perfected at Rosebery – ours come out a little burnt.
But the cakes. Oh, the cakes. There’s lemon myrtle chiffon cake covered in toasted coconut so light and spongy it looks like it’s going to float off the bench any minute. Biscuits shaped like pink kisses are like buttery, edible love notes. Rummy almond knots feature pastry so flexible and giving you could almost straighten them out and reknot them, if you weren’t so busy pushing them into your maw. Custard tarts with their tops attractively singed sit next to chocolate vegan brownies covered in party hats of caramel popcorn. Red berry Danishes glisten like a mouth-staining invitation.
A Black Star you can spread out in, and order all the things while you’re at it? Let us eat cake.