May 2020. After dark. Lune’s Fitzroy croissanterie. It’s deserted save for founder Kate Reid.
And that’s intentional. She’s secretly recipe-testing a notably non-croissant-related creation. “Burning the midnight oil – literally,” she tells Broadsheet, smirking giddily, as if she’d been breaking the rules.
There was plenty of dough and deep-frying, and a little bit of deception, but a lot went right that night. Not everything, though. An oil spill took Reid three painstaking hours to mop up. “None of the chefs knew I was using the kitchen, and they were gonna be in there at 4.30am.”
A year (and a ton more trials) later, though, Reid is preparing to lift the curtain on it all.
It will materialise as Moon Cruller, a brand-new venture with a brand-new specialty. “It’s 100 per cent the very naughty, very rebellious little sibling of Lune,” says Reid.
Lune – which Reid heads up alongside her brother Cam and prolific restaurateur Nathan Toleman (behind the Mulberry Group, which is responsible for a number of Melbourne venues including Hazel Dessous and Liminal) – is synonymous with croissants. And world-famous ones at that. But its soon-to-be-birthed sibling will be all about crullers, which – while not remarkably novel – aren’t as readily available in Melbourne.
They might look like a doughnut, but biting into one of Reid’s deep-fried choux-pastry rings will teach you a thing or two about judging a book by its cover. The outside? Twisty and crispy. The inside? Web-like, almost custardy and not at all what you’d expect.
The pastry itself – surprisingly – isn’t super sweet, but Reid makes up for it with glossy glazes in flavours such as vanilla and coffee. Or a rigorous toss in cinnamon sugar.