If you had ever thought that New Yorkers queuing up at 7am for cronuts were insane, you clearly have not yet come across Melburnians. It’s been said that people here would start lining up at Lune in the wee dark hours of the morning. Some as early as 4:30 am. And the place doesn’t even open up for another 3-4 hours later.
And for what? You might ask. Well apparently, for the best croissants and pastries that you will ever have in Melbourne. Or maybe even perhaps, in your life.
Sister and brother duo Kate and Cam are the winning team behind this successful croissant empire – only opening shop three days a week from Friday to Sunday. Together the pair work 70 hours a week to prepare limited amounts of these artisan croissants and pastries that are known to sell out within the hour. Every week outside their little store in Elwood, you can witness the line of people who are willing to forego sleep just so that they can get their hands on these sought after baked goods.
About two weeks ago on a Friday morning, my friends and I decided to embark on this quest to Elwood for these highly acclaimed pastries. (Note: they have closed up shop in Elwood as of last week and are relocating to a new and bigger location in Fitzroy. So to avoid much disappointment, be sure to check their IG page for updates!)
3:30 am – Alarm goes off. And along with it, are my first few bouts of regret.
4:17 am – Get picked up by Jamie and we proceed to get Tony and Jess before making our way out to Elwood.
5:10 am – Parked the car. Walked around the corner and on arrival, we see that there are already eight other people lined up outside the door. Omg people really do line up at this hour, I thought to myself.
5:45 am – We’ve been standing in the dark for half an hour now trying to keep ourselves entertained and our mind off of the cold. It’s pitch black outside. I check my phone and see that it’s currently 10°C.
6:00 am – WE HAVE LIGHT! The light at the front porch turns on and the window stall opens up. Cam (the younger brother of owner and head baker Kate) starts greeting us all individually through the window stall, writing down our names and handing out ticket numbers which will mark our spot in the queue for later on.
We overhear the girl in front of us mentioning that this is her fifth time lining up for croissants at Lune. By this point, eight more people have quickly tagged on to the queue behind us. The locals here clearly know when the best time is to start lining up. Apparently on weekends it’s so much worse. People who turn up at 6:30am end up being 70th in line – resulting in them being left with the leftover pastries. Or even worse, no pastries at all.
6:17 am – We each get our ticket numbers and a menu to ponder over. Coffee orders are also taken at this time. We ordered a Mörk hot chocolate to keep us warm as we went back to the car and wait for the place to open up again at 7:30 am. They open at 8:00 on weekends.
Mork Hot Chocolate $4
7:25 am – Chilling in the car for a little over an hour. There’s a limit of six pastries that each person can order, so we used this time to mull over the menu and decide what to get. By this point, we’ve been awake for almost 4 hours and the promise of fresh delicious pastries was closer than ever ?
7:30 am – The bakery has finally opened and we are now waiting for our number to be called. You’d want to get back there on time because if they happen to call out your number and you aren’t there, you’ll have to forfeit your spot in the queue.
Our group was 9th to 12th in line which means that we had a pretty good chance of getting the choice of pastries that we had wanted. We noticed a lady who had only just arrived now to get a place in line. Cam advised her to check back in an hour as he MAY have some pastries leftover by then. But of course there is no guarantee that there would be many choices left to choose from at that point.
Negroni & Tiramisu Cruffins
7:57 am – We finally get what we’ve been waiting for this whole time. 24 pastries altogether. Each of us giddily (and carefully) carried a box filled with pastries back to the car to eat after hours of anticipation.
There were 12 different pastries on the menu (including a limited edition weekly special). We decided to order one of each so that we could all try a bit of each. We also choose to order a few extras to bring home to our families.
One of everything! This was only half of our haul 😛
Starting from the top left hand corner going across the rows, we had the:
- Rhubarb Crumble Danish $9.0
- Pain au Chocolat $5.5
- Cinnamon Kouign Amann $6.0
- Salted Caramel Pain au Chocolat (weekly special)
- Twice Baked Coconut Pandan Croissant $ 9.0
- Twice Baked Almond Croissant $8.0
- Kouign Amann $6.0
- Choc-Almond Pain au Chocolat $6.0
- Negroni Cruffin $7.5
- Tiramisu Cruffin $7.0
- Ham & Gruyere Croissant $7.5
- Traditional Croissant $5.0
We started off with the ham and gruyere croissant which was still hot from the oven. It turned out to be the perfect first choice as the only savoury piece from the batch. When it came down to the two types of Kouign Amanns available (regular and cinnamon flavoured), the group was divided. I personally liked the latter more as it was a tad bit sweeter to my liking.
I also particularly enjoyed their weekly special in the form of a Salted Caramel Pain au Chocolat filled with peanut butter frangipane and dark chocolate ganache. I am not usually a fan of salted caramel but this one really did hit the spot for me. I love that they do a special flavour that gets switched up every week. We heard that they had done a souvlaki croissant the week before. And before that was a twice-baked cookies and cream flavoured croissant ?
Look at all of those layers! ?
Now moving on to the actual croissants themselves. Although it was a bit plain compared to some of the other choices that we had had, the traditional croissant encompassed everything that a perfect croissant should be. Buttery, check. Beautiful layers, check. Little flaky pieces of crunchy pastry that went everywhere when you bite into it, DOUBLE CHECK.
My parents got to try the ones that I had brought home the day after and they couldn’t believe how good it still was by then. It still held its shape well without losing its crunch and wasn’t oily at all like some of the other croissants bought elsewhere.
The twice baked croissants are so-called as leftover croissants from the day before that are baked again for a second time and stuffed with delicious new fillings. The pandan ganache filling of the twice baked coconut pandan croissant wasn’t too sweet which was nice, and it didn’t detract from the buttery taste of the pastry itself.
The tiramisu cruffin (croissant-muffin) was really nice once you bit into the center with the filling. Unexpectedly though, it was the negroni curd flavour with the candied orange on top that had won me over as the more delicious choice out of the two cruffins.
Unfortunately after a few pastries in, I struggled to fit in another bite despite really wanting to try the rhubarb danish crumble that Jamie and Jessica had tried and were completely raving over. So instead of having it fresh on the spot, I had to settle for having what’s left of it the next day. But despite it being a day old already, I’d have to say that it was probably one of my favourites from the haul! The rhubarb was cooked so perfectly and the sweetness from the dollop of cream that was given for us to add on was just like the icing on top of a cake. If you’re planning on visiting Lune and don’t know where to start, I would highly advise you to try this danish crumble! 😛
I definitely have yet to come across a queue for food that is more hyped up than the one seen here at Lune Croissanterie. And it wasn’t cheap either. Altogether the pastries ended up costing us around $50 each. I’ve never spent so much on pastries before in my life!
But at least the service here was incredibly friendly. They are definitely considerate of their customers who take the time out to line up in the morning – greeting us all with warm smiles and a great attitude despite it being just 6 in the morning.
So would I do it all again? Maybe.
But at least now I can sort of understand the hype behind Lune. Although I really can’t say that it was entirely worth the 4am wake up call. However I wouldn’t be completely opposed to the idea of lining up again at their new location. Especially after hearing that their new store will be bigger and better. Which will hopefully mean more pastries and later queuing times for the future.
Waking up at 4am for croissants and pastries? I’d do it again.
29 Scott St,
Elwood VIC 3184