Yarraville locals have been pressing their noses against the windows of pastry chef Matt Forbes’ first cafe venture, Cobb Lane Bakery, for months now (and, to be fair, so have we).
After earning his chops at world-renowned restaurants like Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, The Waterside Inn and Noma, Forbes moved to Melbourne and took up dessert duties at such esteemed eateries as Gordon Ramsay’s Maze and Vue de Monde. Lately, his pastries have been garnering a cult following at Melbourne cafes including Clement, Dukes Coffee Roasters, Twenty & Six and A Little Bird Told Me.
For his part, Forbes reckons the reason people dig his cakes is that he concentrates on taste. “I’ve got a big thing about flavour. It’s got to taste good before it looks good,” he explains. “A lot of people focus on the aesthetics of things, but it definitely comes second. Flavour’s the champion.”
Along with selection of doughnuts, Danish pastries and bread baked on the premises, there’s a brief breakfast menu with simple fare like salmon on rye and Scotch eggs with black pudding and rarebit. “They’re just things from my childhood, and my training in the UK,” says Forbes. “We’re trying to give it a bit of a British thing.”
The current menu will soon be joined by a selection of tarts and cakes, as well as pork pies and house-made black pudding (“I don’t know whether that’s doable or not,” admits Forbes).
Everything on the menu, however, stays true to Forbes' maxim: “If you eat something, and it looks fantastic and it tastes like crap, you’ll never want to eat it again,” he says. “But if you eat it and it tastes amazing, you’re going to want to eat it time and time again. It’s pretty simple.”