Most pastry chefs will tell you the secret to a good croissant is the butter, but the team at Weirdoughs is taking a different approach.
The new plant-based bakery is the latest venture for Amanda Walker and Mark and Sam Koronczyk, owners of vegan empire Lord of the Fries. Joining them are co-owners Ruby Shine and Shaunn Anderson, plus Mark and Attil Filippelli, the brothers behind Matcha Mylkbar, Il Fornaio and inventive Sydney pasta bar Mark + Vinny’s.
“About 18 months ago we started experimenting in making croissants vegan,” says Mark Filippelli. “We started selling them at Il Fornaio and at Matcha Mylk Bar, and they really quickly developed a big following.”
Kane Neale, the former executive pastry chef at Shannon Bennett’s Vue Group is credited with perfecting the recipe for vegan butter, which is made with macadamia, cashew and coconut oil.
“A traditional croissant is usually just three ingredients, but there are like twelve ingredients in ours,” says Filippelli. “There’s different nuts, different quantities, it’s just testing and testing and testing to get that right consistency and that same experience.”
Weirdoughs has two menus: one for daytime trading, and one for Weirdoughs After Dark, which takes place on Friday and Saturday nights. You can pop in during the day for a gold custard doughnut, filled with turmeric custard and rolled in rhubarb sugar; the Croissant Cube; or a plant-based spin on a ham and cheese croissant. Jam and Vegemite are made in-house, so you can opt for a simpler croissant with your choice of condiment.
The flavours get more decadent when the sun goes down. There are Aperol spritz doughnuts dusted with blood-orange sugar, oozing champagne custard and topped with popping candy; pepperoni, olive and mozzarella pizza croissants; and croissant kebabs are in the works, too.
There’ll be ice-cream as well – vanilla, eggplant and lavender; or chocolate-cauliflower.
Weirdoughs will change up the flavours monthly. November revolves around a Thanksgiving theme, with pecan, maple and sweet potato making repeat appearances, pumpkin-spiced lattes, and hot chocolate with house-made fudge.
St Ali provides the coffee beans – a special blend developed just for Weirdoughs – or try one of five different chais if caffeine isn’t your thing.
After the sun sets, layered wooden shelves will be illuminated with UV-lit doughnuts and croissants.
“When you step in here at night, we want it to feel different,” says Shine. “The music will be going, and you’ll walk in here, and you’ve just stepped out of your day for five minutes and hopefully go on a little bit fuller, happier and weirder.”
241 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Mon to Thu 7am–4pm
Fri 7am–4pm, sunset–late
Sat 8am–2pm, sunset–late