Swanston Street’s #1000 Bread opened last autumn, and its popularity – fuelled in part by an excess of Tiktoks made by fans – is yet to die down. With good reason. The bakery, run by Kathy Wang, offers Eurasian breads and pastries that combine flavours and techniques familiar to many Melburnians, but with Wang’s unique spin.
“We have really tried to bring something different to Melbourne,” Wang says. “We’re not a traditional bakery and we’re not exactly an Asian bakery. It’s just the kind of concept that works in a place like Melbourne.”
A completely self-taught baker, Wang previously worked in childcare and early learning before she started #1000 Bread. Like so many, during lockdown she was baking more than ever, and started thinking about opening her own shop. “When the spot came up on Swanston Street I thought, ‘Why not?’” she says.
Save 20% when you buy two or more Broadsheet books. Order now to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas.SHOP NOW
The name #1000 Bread came from Wang’s dream of 1000 people trying her products (a number she has now far exceeded). These products include mochi bagels, cube croissants, filled doughy pretzel batons, perfectly rectangular shokupan and flaky egg tarts.
The mochi bagel is a traditional New York-style bagel that is boiled and then baked; but it is made with glutenous rice flour, and features a red bean paste and matcha filling. “It’s like Japan meets New York,” says Wang.
The cube croissants – #1000 Bread’s version of the pastries popularised by London bakery Le Deli Robuchon – come in flavours including strawberry, Biscoff and matcha. And the pretzels are filled with things like black sesame paste and a matcha milk filling. “I wanted to make something where if you had never tried these flavours before, maybe you would if it was combined with a pretzel.”
The newest addition to the store is the tiramisu volcano croissant – a towering cone-shaped pastry filled with tiramisu cream and coffee liqueur, complete with chocolate icing. But Wang’s favourite dessert to make is the comforting honey butter toast, a sweet and savoury dish made with the #1000 Bread shokupan.
Everything is presented in the bright display cases that run along the walls of the bakery and are restocked throughout the day. Upon entering the small lime green and peachy orange shopfront, visitors take a tray and set of tongs and choose their own pastries from the shelves before checking out at the counter. This self-service style is common in bakeries around Asia, and one that Melburnians are used to seeing at chains like Breadtop.
The back of the store is where Wang and her team bake everything from scratch. The bright green colour of the #1000 Bread logo was chosen because it represents vibrancy and freshness. “There are no shortcuts. And people can really taste the difference.”
315 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Mon to Fri 9am–7pm
Sat & Sun 10am–6pm