Quentin Berthonneau, the man behind excellent southside bread and pastry shop Q le Baker, makes such a good, fluffy shokupan (Japanese milk bread) there’s a waitlist for it.
For the unacquainted, shokupan is like Wonder White on steroids, and it’s often used to make katsu sandos. And Berthonneau makes just 30 loaves of the stuff a week as part of his Shokupan side hustle.
In July Berthonneau began a series of collaborative pop-ups with venues around town, selling his in-demand loaves and a one-off creation made with it.
Next up he's joining forces with Chef Romuald 'Romu' Oudeyer, a chef with Michelin-starred restaurant pedigree – and Bistro Gitan and Mo Vida Aqui – on his CV, who – in non-lockdown times – brings Parisian-style dinner-party degustations to your home. (During Covid, he's delivering fancy four-course French meals to your place.)
At the pair's Braybook pop-up you'll find an Ebi (prawn) Katsu sando with rhubarb siracha, fennel, spring onion aioli and togaroshi ($16) or a Tonkatsu (pork) sando with caramelised apple tonkatsu sauce, cabbage and "Romustard" ($15). A side of Jerusalem artichokes chips with furikake will be available for $4, and for dessert it's chiffon cake with Pandan chantilly cream for $7.
"Since I do not deliver shokupan loaves to the Western suburbs, it’s a great opportunity for people to get their hands on it," Berthonneau says.
You can pre-order a sandwich through the Romu or Shokupan Instagram pages. (Loaves are not available pre-order.) As per Melbourne's stage four restrictions, you must live within five kilometres of the pop-up to attend.
The Shokupan x Romu Pop-Up runs in Braybrook, at 33 Beachley St, from 10am to 2pm on Sunday August 9.