While the Kiwis claim to have invented both pavlova and the lamington, Eddie Stewart, co-owner of newly opened Tokyo Lamington, is adamant Australia has lamington bragging rights.
"From what I've researched, it started in Queensland with Lord Lamington," Stewart says. Historians agree it was devised by Armand Galland, the French chef to Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland until 1901.
The Tokyo Lamington story has taken an unusual path. It began in the streets of Tokyo as a cafe serving lamingtons with crazy flavours such as fairy bread and popcorn butter.
Last year, Stewart and his partners opened a lamington-focused pop-up in Sydney's Chinatown before nabbing the former site of Black Star Pastry in Newtown.
"We don't have to explain lamingtons; there's a real connection with them here in Newtown," he says.
The Newtown demographic has pushed Tokyo Lamington to develop a vegan line, including the Virgin Vegan Lamington, a riff on a red velvet cake, filled with house-made, plant-based cream cheese, dipped in chocolate sauce and rolled in vegan red velvet cookies.
And because Sydneysiders do not live on lamingtons alone, they've branched out into a savoury line, too. They've added an Australian spin on one of Japan's favourite snacks – nori-wrapped rice balls – topping their onigiri with bacon and egg
Open daily 7am-3pm.
277 Australia Street, Newtown, tokyolamington.com