Wild Life Bakery

Huw Murdoch is a devotee of Tartine, the famous San Francisco bakery. After six years with Market Lane, he travelled to America a few times and met with renowned bakers including Richard Hart (Noma, Tartine) and Josey Baker (Josey Baker Bread, The Mill), inspiring him to open his own shop.

But the cavernous space he found – an old mechanic warehouse on Albert Street – warranted a cafe addition. The interior has striking circular windows that allow customers to observe the bread-making. Almost everything here is vegetarian, and toasties are the heroes. You might try one starring house-made kimchi; or another with walnut, basil and spinach pesto. All are grilled with a blend of cheddar, comté gruyere and asiago cheeses (there’s a lemony plant-based ricotta for vegans). A raft of daily sandwiches, baguettes and salads are also on offer.

Murdoch’s rustic loaves are fermented for 24 hours, and he and head baker Sam Heys experiment with different Australian-grown heirloom wheat varietals. Along with a staple white, seeded and fruit loaves, there’s an oat porridge sourdough inspired by Tartine’s original. Cakes and pastries – including the outstanding croissants and fruit-topped galettes – are made with cultured butter from Gippsland Jersey.

Pair any of the above with a Market Lane coffee, Mörk hot chocolate and Assembly tea, and you’ve divined the recipe for one of the city’s must-try bakeries.

Updated: May 16th, 2022

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