Popular Balaclava bakery Dana Patisserie is now wowing Bentleigh with its burekas, friands, challah and croissant sandwiches after opening a second location this week that gives the kitchen more firepower.
The bakery began 11 years ago in an arcade off Carlisle Street, owners Dana and Amit Rosenwald moving to a tiny cake shop on Balaclava's main drag in 2013. But having outgrown the kitchen, fate intervened when their landlord offered them a second site that used to be a bakery. They spent five months installing a custom kitchen with three big ovens, large spaces for production and plenty of cold storage.
Pastry chef Cedric Borreau had a large hand in the fit-for-purpose design.
"After six years working in a small kitchen, he's thrilled," says Dana. "But we're still baking in Balaclava. You know, if you have a second child, your first child still matters."
Despite the increase in production, it may not be any easier to get your hands on chocolate challah on Fridays or the popular gluten-free brownies. Bentleigh locals have enthusiastically welcomed the new patisserie, which mixes the Rosenwalds' Israeli traditions with those of Borreau's French upbringing and training.
Apart from challah, the business doesn't bake bread, focusing instead on pastry, cakes and other sweets. So the team fills croissants, sandwich-style, with avocado, egg, feta and tomato or a Caprese-style mix of pesto, mozzarella and tomato.
"We thought people love the croissants, we make them, why not use them?" said Dana.
The menu at Bentleigh is slightly abbreviated for now while the team settles in and gets to know the locals, but that will change.
"We wanted to start with bestsellers and slowly introduce more and more. It's always nice to leave room for surprises," says Dana.
The small shop doesn't have room for tables inside, but has a handful outside so customers can enjoy Reverence coffee and pastries in the sun.
Open daily 7.30am-5pm.
347 Centre Road, Bentleigh, danapatisserie.com