More new-wave eclairs for Melbourne and gluten-free pasta hits shevles

New-style eclairs at Melbourne's Cacao Lab.
New-style eclairs at Melbourne's Cacao Lab. Photo: Supplied

■ Chocolate-maker Tim Clark will focus on new-style eclairs at Cacao Lab, a new 22-seat cafe in the CBD's Driver Lane. Clark expects the chocolate and salted caramel eclairs to be his top sellers, but he is also creating macarons, cakes and chocolates, with dessert evenings to come.

■ Chef Andy Logue has left Fitzroy North's Pinotta, with Heidi Modra staying as the sole owner. James Wilkinson (ex Meat Market, Money Order Office) has stepped behind the stoves, serving food that's less rustic and more French than Italian.

■ A shed at the back of an old Canning Street corner store has been transformed into pint-sized Cafe Bu, with a coffee window opening to Pigdon Street and an umbrella-shaded sunroof overlooking Carlton North backyards. The coffee is 5 Senses, and there's a tiny list of open toasties and pastries. It's open daily at the rear of 585 Canning Street.

■ Food blogger Andy Buchan loved Thai street food so much that he decided to share it at Soi 38. Teaming up with chef Top Piyapanee, they're serving a changing roster of Thai barbecue dishes at Lonsdale Street's Emerald Peacock. The pop-up is dishing up dinner Monday to Saturday until May 3.

■ Chef Aaron Turner made a brief visit during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, but returned to Nashville, where he has been since his Drysdale restaurant Loam closed last June. He has been staying on a family-owned farm, but is considering setting up a business stateside.

■ Be the first to see inside Kong, Richmond's hotly anticipated Korean barbecue restaurant from the Chin Chin team, for an exclusive free reader dinner next month, hosted by Epicure editor Nina  Rousseau. See Epicure's Espresso in coming weeks for details on how to score a seat.

■ Hamish Nugent and Rachel Reed, whose Bright restaurant Tani Eat & Drink picked up the New Regional Restaurant of the Year gong in The Age Good Food Guide 2014, have sold their second restaurant, Dinner Plain's Tsubo, to their former chef, Samuel Yanto, and his business partner, Voltaire Silva. The Japanesque snowfields restaurant operates from June to October.

■ Italian pasta company Barilla has toiled for years to produce a gluten-free pasta that cooks and tastes like the usual kind. Successfully launched in the United States and Europe, the gluten-free penne, elbows and spaghetti are now available in Melbourne. Kew's Centonove makes 90 per cent of the pasta it uses, but has GF pasta for customers who request it. "You'd be hard-pressed to pick it from dried pasta," says owner Jesse Davidson.