119 Rose St Fitzroy, VIC 3065
|Opening hours||Sat-Sun sittings 8.30am and 11am; Lune Croissanterie open Thu-Fri and Mon from 7am; Sat-Sun from 8am|
|Features||Accepts bookings, Degustation|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Payments||eftpos, Visa, Mastercard|
Where Kate Reid goes, queues follow. The aerospace engineer turned croissant queen used to hand out tickets guaranteeing pastries to the first eight earlybirds lining up outside her bijou bakery to prevent fisticuffs.
These days, Lune occupies a vast, purpose built bakery in a Fitzroy lane and production has increased eightfold.
Nonetheless, FOMO breaks out every second month when she releases bookings for a weekend-only pastry degustation known as the Lune Lab.
To recap, Lune began in a tiny Elwood kitchen, soon attracting lines 100-deep for her meticulously made croissants, cruffins (a croissant-muffin hybrid) and kouign-amann (a caramelised pastry swirl).
Unable to meet demand, Reid and brother Cameron teamed up with hospopreneur Nathan Toleman, shifting the bakery to an absurdly huge former warehouse with a climate-controlled glass box at its heart.
The Lune Lab is the peak experience. If you manage to secure a spot, you can skip the still-inevitable queue and slide onto a stool for a three-course pastry "flight"($60 with unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate): a splintery, airy croissant warm from the oven followed by savoury and sweet experimental pasties, which change with each menu.
And by experimental, we're talking seasonal ideas like a vol-au-vent-style pastry filled with a wintry slow-cooked pork hock and peas, with a side of celeriac remoulade, or a danish-inspired pastry with confit garlic, cool vinaigrette-tossed tomatoes, burrata and basil oil in summer.
It might be chased by a millefeuille layered with roasted pear, caramel and thyme, or a how-does-she-do-it danish cradling a square of crème brûlée and rhubarb purée.
Reid says the Lune Lab is a chance to recapture the early frisson, when people started arriving at 3am just to see what she'd come up with next and the kitchen was so near the counter she could chat to customers as she handed over their pastries.
To nab a stool at the Lune Lab, you must be quick on the draw with a mouse. Just eight seats are available at each sitting, 8.30am and 11am every Saturday and Sunday. Two months' worth of places are released on the Lune website at 7.30pm around the third Tuesday of every second month, usually snapped up fast.
For those who miss out, console yourself with 15 different pastries on sale at the counter. But first, get in line.