Ok, this is a straight up plug by my Melbourne mates, the crew behind Luxbite. Bernard and Yen are the co-owners who run this little patisserie in South Yarra that’s doing cakes, sweets and lotsa macarons. They open 8am-8pm 7 days a week and serve hot food until 12pm. The guys are all about the good stuff. They used to work at Pier, Quay and Rockpool just name a coupla places so that’s where they gleaned their skills and abilities.

Their inspirations have to be the French patisseries, like Pierre Herme and Laduree. In fact, they do a version of Herme’s Ispahan at their shop. They also travel often to Japan, to eat a lot of stuff, buy a lot if kitchen gear and just generally get inspired. I like the attention to detail they put into everything, it’s clear these two know what it is to make something special.

The macarons have to be one of the stars of the show. The texture, quality and colour are all brilliant. The flavors, have a heavy Malaysian bend, with stuff like pandan or kaya on offer. They also like to put 2 flavours into a macaron, like peanut butter and jam or banana chocolate so it feels cohesive. I had the pleasure of eating some macarons in Japan from big pastry shops recently and these are about as good I’d say. The significant difference is that Luxbite feels a lot more fun, full of youthful vigour and optimism. I’ve tried a fair few macarons and with their current menu, I’m a fan of their peanut butter/jam and hazelnut ones the most. It’s not overly sweet and the texture is just superb, crumbly, gooey, ooey delish.

I got the insider’s tour partly because I gotten drafted as a slave. So I worked a few hours in the morning pulling macaron shells off silpat mats and cleaning them. I’m not a pastry chef but I’m a chef nonetheless and quality is paramount regardless of whether you’re braising pork or baking cakes. They use really good chocolate, really good almond meal and just really good everything. They don’t skimp on cost in the slightest. The hot chocolate incidentally, they quenelle a teaspoon of it which you dunk into the cup and stir. It’s good shit. The almond meal, I had a hand sifting a 10kg box. It took me like an hour and a half or so. I also got to check out their piping machine, which is super cool and pipes out stuff according to specifications so they can make big shells for their cakes and smaller ones for the macarons. But other than this baby, everything else is painstaking, time consuming stuff and you’ll often see the guys working from 8am til 10pm.

I gotta say, I’m totally jealous of these guys because they’re younger than me but running their own thing and done up really well and sticking to their guns. If you’re ever in Melbourne, pick up some macarons. You won’t be disappointed.

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