Cult pastry shop Black Star was born in Sydney, but it’s gained a substantial following in Melbourne since the team brought its picture-perfect cakes to Carlton via a pop-up in 2019.
Since then, a permanent store has opened in St Kilda and another is set to open in Shanghai this year (the first international foray). But the newest outpost – in Chadstone Shopping Centre – is the brand’s main attraction in Melbourne.
“Being able to get the cake to a really accessible place was important for us,” says Black Star general manager Josef Murray. “Chadstone was a bit of a no brainer in that respect.”
As the Melbourne flagship, the store serves both as a cafe and a pick-up point for the tiered, eye-poppingly colourful cakes, which are prepared off-site in St Kilda.
You can expect St Ali coffee, a selection of savoury options (look out for the open croissant with goat’s curd, olives and three types of tomato) and of course, all of Black Star’s signature sweets, including that signature strawberry-watermelon cake, dubbed “Australia’s most Instagrammed dessert” by the New York Times.
“That was developed for a wedding 10 years ago,” says Murray. “The idea behind it was to evoke the taste and sense and visuals of romance. We want to, where we can, bring some sort of storytelling elements to our products.”
With the Chadstone store opening comes a few new additions to the cake menu, each with its own background story. Take the Black Sesame Zen cake, made with wafer-thin milk-chocolate feuilletine, shiro miso cream cheese and candied black-sesame cheesecake (raked to look like a Japanese rock garden and topped with black-sesame-macaron “rocks”). “We thought that with everything that’s been going on over the last few years, having a visual sense of Zen and peacefulness would be really lovely,” says Murray.
Also new is the seven-layer Mango Yuzu cake, inspired by summer in the tropics. It’s bright, sweet and delightfully textured with chewy coconut sago, mango pudding, yuzu jelly, coconut-cream mousse, and yuzu-coconut ganache on a coconut dacquoise base.
If you’re having trouble finding the store, look for the giant metal halo that sits above it. It’s made up of a mess of jumbled, multilayered letters that make out the brand’s name when you face them front-on. And it’s inspired by “logomania”, the design concept where a brand name is explicitly slapped all over a garment (for instance, a Louis Vuitton monogram bag).
“Because Chadstone is the fashion capital of Australia,” says Murray. “We wanted to pay tribute to that.”
Mon to Wed 9am–7pm
Thu to Sun 9am–9pm