When Black Star Pastry founder Christopher Thé sold the business to hotel group Jackalope in 2019, many wondered what the master pastry chef would do next. The answer is Hearthe, a community cafe inside a light-flooded former butcher opposite Stanmore train station.
While Thé’s famously beautiful cakes are very much on display at Hearthe, it's by no means Black Star 2.0. The creations here are inspired by Australia’s landscapes and infused with indigenous ingredients. Highlights include a desert lime-flavoured goats curd cheesecake with a strawberry gum biscuit and a crown of Geraldton wax bubbles. There’s also an edible riff on paperbark: filo pastry mimics the flaky texture of bark, which is layered with paperbark dacquoise, macadamia, smoked ganache, a eucalypt caramel and finished with drizzle of white kunzea honey.
You’ll also find classic viennoiseries like croissants (they’re baked twice a day) and pain au chocolat. And, to go with two types of CWA-style scones, Thé has devised a menu dedicated to specialty cream. Choose traditional dairy-based whipped cream, or vegan options including a classic cream; one flavoured with wattleseed and another with a hibiscus and white peach swirl.
While Hearthe is mainly targeting grab-and-go customers, it also offers a native ingredient-heavy cafe menu. Think bacon and egg rolls spiked with a bush tomato relish, or granola with wattle and saltbush seeds. You can also dig into plates such as Akoya oysters Kilpatrick with sea blight; rice congee with smoked barramundi dumplings; and fried yam hash with hot-smoked salmon, coriander seeds and warrigal greens.
To drink, there’s coffee by inner west roaster Little Marionette, plus beer and wine by the glass. If you’re here for a long lunch, start with cocktails such as a green ant G&T or a native digestif.
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