Andy Bowdy Pastry is opening a cafe in Enmore, on the former site of Ballers Polpetteria. Chef Andrew Bowden's cakes are so spectacular that they've been named as Sydney's top cult dessert and brides order extra so that they don't have to share slices with wedding guests.
Bowden first made a name for himself (and kick-started his massive Instagram following) as the pastry chef for Hartsyard in Newtown, where he created 10,000 peanut butter and pretzel sundaes during his three-year stint at the restaurant. He'll be running his first solo eatery with his partner Maddison Howes, who will leave her position as restaurant manager at Hartsyard in mid-October. Her new role will be front of house, soundboard and "chief taster" at the cafe.
"We're thinking we'll open early November," says Bowden. "I'll probably start moving stuff across on Monday."
While the basketball fan jokingly says he already knows what he'll name his future children ("I'm going to call them Michael and the other one Jordan"), he's finding it tough when it comes to cafe names.
"We have no idea. It's really hard," he says. "We just didn't want to call it Andy Bowdy Pastry. It's obviously not going to be just a pastry shop. I hate the whole idea of naming the shop after myself."
"I'll be doing a small variety of different pastries, which will change often," he says. The chef hopes to make down-sized versions of the mega pies that he created at Hartsyard (which once included an almond and pecan crust pie with spiced pumpkin custard, pork fat caramel, Jack Daniels and orange jelly), as well as his popular soft serve flavours. The chef would also like to produce his twist on Australian bakery classics, like neenish tarts and vanilla slices.
"We've got a liquor license there as well – we were thinking at a later date maybe opening for desserts on Fridays and Saturdays."
While the chef is known for his blockbuster desserts, he is also keen to focus on savoury dishes at the cafe.
"I've always wanted to own a sandwich shop, so I'll be doing sandwiches as well," Bowden adds. "I'm thinking American deli-style sandwiches – and not in the Reuben way." Expect an Italian take on a fish sandwich, as well as bagels heavily jammed with cream cheese and smoked fish. He adds that he'll be using hash browns in an unconventional way: "I've got a breakfast sandwich that will blow people's minds."
It will tie in with the American-style, all-day brunch approach they're aiming for, with Bloody Marys and mimosas planned for the menu.
Howes used to work in cafes prior to Hartsyard and will be in charge of drinks such as coffee, tea and shakes.
"When we say milkshakes, we're not talking about freakshakes, either. I want to go back to focusing on a tasty thickshake without it actually having to have a doughnut and rimmed with Nutella or covered in Maltesers," says Bowden. "I'll definitely be doing something with bourbon in it. I'd like to have an alcoholic thickshake on the menu."
Given that Bowden has spent the last year making cakes from the Rosebery factory at Gelato Messina, will there be some kind of collaboration with his former colleagues?
"I'd like to be able to do dessert nights eventually with other pastry chefs – so who knows, maybe down the line?"
And while November seems a long way away - given that Bowden and Howes need time to reconfigure the space and hire chefs - Andy Bowdy Pastry fans will not be deprived of dessert in the interim.
"Until I open, I may be doing some small little pop-ups in the meantime," he says. "I might just do 200 of something and see how it goes down."
So keep an eye on Andy Bowdy Pastry's social media for announcements - and feel free to suggest some names for their new (cafe) baby.
178 Enmore Road, Enmore, andybowdypastry.com