Industrial effort: The coffee is good and strong and the blackboard menu tempts from afar. Photo: Sasha Woolley
The queue - good thing or bad? Please discuss. The good thing is that while queuing, you get time to study what's on offer, read the blackboard menu and work out what to order by the time you get to the cash register. The bad thing is, in that time they may sell out of the very thing you are queuing for.
The opening of Newtown's Black Star Pastry in Rosebery has given cause for more research into the subject. Pastry chef Christopher The brings a big fan base to what is fast becoming a food hub in the inner south. (At Kitchen by Mike next door, there are even longer queues - 24 wait in line by 1.30pm on this day, as opposed to 17 at Black Star.)
Worth queuing for are the hefty sausage rolls ($5.20), Young Henrys beer and brisket pies ($8), and a close-to-perfect quiche lorraine that's like creamy scrambled egg mousse flecked with smoky bacon, caught and held against its will in rich, buttery pastry ($6.50). There are two salads of the day, such as roast pumpkin, feta, spinach and green beans, or a crunchy red cabbage and celery slaw studded with shredded pork - at $5 a side or $7.50 a plate.
A selection of sweet treats including gluten-free delights. Photo: Sasha Woolley
A new wood-fired oven supplies a small range of dense, darkly crusted sourdough loaves with a satisfying chew, put to good use in fat sandwiches of roasted chicken with avocado and rocket.
Queuing time (which can be avoided by going off-peak) can be spent admiring the industrial corner site and the broad expanse of windows both out to the street and into the pastry kitchen. Note also the gorgeous copper-framed stools and powder-coated black La Marzocco Linea machine.
Coffee is a stronger part of the whole here than in Newtown, with barista Daniel Jackson making sure that Little Marionette's Crowd-Pleaser blend lives up to its name with its almonds-and-cream sweetness and balance. There are loose-leaf teas and Joostice juices if you're all coffeed out.
Cult following: Strawberry and watermelon cake. Photo: Steven Siewert
Prices overall seem modest given the quality and the dedicated following. Tweeters and 'Grammers have already iconised the strawberry and watermelon cake, but better by far is the sublime chocolate eclair, a sleek jet-age missile of crusty choux and dreamy chocolate creme patissiere, and a deceptively simple custard flan that is guaranteed to sell out when you're just three people away from ordering. Damn those queues to hell.
Do … join the far queue.
Don't … expect to park nearby.
Dish … House-made salad, $5.
Vibe … Pastry geek chic.
- 02 9700 7686
- Prices - Breakfast $4-$6.50, Lunch $5-$12, Coffee $3.50
- Features - Cheap and cheerful, Family friendly
- Chef(s) - Christopher The
- Owners - Christopher The
- Opening Hours - Daily 8am-3pm
- Other Branches - Black Star Pastry, 277 Australia Street, Newtown
- Author - Jill Dupleix