“If you eat one thing in this town, make sure you go to Daily Provisions in Union Square and have a cruller.” That’s what New York Times restaurant critic and food writer Oliver Strand told Lune’s Kate Reid when she visited the Empire City for the first time in 2017. It was 12 months after Strand published his glowing review of Lune, with the headline Is the World’s Best Croissant Made in Australia?.

“Of course you have to listen to Oliver Strand,” she tells Broadsheet. “I went and I had one and it literally changed my life.”

Crullers are ring-shaped, just like doughnuts, with a soft interior similar to eclairs and a crunchy exterior more akin to churros. It’s hard to make comparisons, though – crullers are their own thing entirely.

“The outside is, like, caramelised and has this crust. It’s crunchy but not crunchy crunchy. The inside is custard-y, almost like a soft canelé. Deep-fried choux pastry, that’s all it is,” Reid says of the Daily Provisions original.

And that’s the standard she’s set for herself and Moon Cruller, her sweet new venture that opened on Fitzroy’s Rose Street on Friday May 28, a few blocks from Lune.

Although she didn’t have a recipe, Reid’s gotten her crullers as close as she can to the New York ones by spending hours deep-frying and perfecting the dough. “I’ve never experienced a cruller like [Daily Provisions’] until I started developing ours,” she says. “And hopefully Moon will end up developing its own signature – what can only be a Moon cruller.”

There’ll be six flavours available at any given time, with menu mainstays in cinnamon sugar, vanilla glaze and chocolate glaze. The other three will be variations of pink, yellow and light brown glazes; for the first weekend, expect raspberry, passionfruit and cappuccino cruller with coffee glaze and chocolate toppings on hand. (In the future, there might be strawberry or rhubarb; lemon or pineapple; and maple or salted caramel.)

There’ll also be all the usual coffees (including half-and-half, which is made with half-milk and half-cream), with beans from Coffee Supreme. Hot chocolate and chai lattes will be available too.

Moon is landing in a converted space outside the Lune head office, where Reid runs the business alongside brother Cam and restaurateur Nathan Toleman of the Mulberry Group (Hazel, Dessous and Liminal).

“Lune is very brutalist, stark and industrial, so we fitted out the offices to feel a bit like a New York apartment,” Reid says. “[Moon] feels a bit like an extension of a homey kitchen, with plants and greenery.”

There are white subway tiles all along the back walls, with a beautiful carrara marble benchtop over a deep forest green base where you order. A small curtain separates the shopfront from the main office, and art on the wall will constantly change – right now it’s a fun print that once lived in the now-closed Bar Clarine.

A small standing bar opposite the ordering counter is good for a quick coffee, but the space has been designed mainly for takeaway, with no seats – it’s part of the reason Reid decided to go through with opening in lockdown.

“I think we all felt anxiety and disheartened over the last few days with the news, so we thought we’d bring fun and joy to our area, even if it’s just in Fitzroy or within five kilometres,” Reid says. “I want people to feel like there’s something to look forward to.”

Crullers aren’t new to Melbourne – Shortstop, Doughboys and Rustica have been frying them on the side for years, but they still fly under the radar for the most part. Reid hopes Moon Cruller makes more Melburnians aware of the delectable pastry .

“Again, the same philosophy as Lune – focusing on doing one product the best you possibly can gives the best opportunity for a high-quality experience.”

Moon Cruller
50 Rose Street, Fitzroy

Hours:
Fri to Sun 8am–1pm (or until sold out)

mooncruller.com