Lune Croissanterie in Elwood finally closed its doors after 2 years of baking fresh croissants and pastries. Melbourne food lovers have been queuing up at insane hours of the morning to get their hands on these French delights since the tiny bakery opened.
For about 6 months I’ve been wanting to get up early to sample some of Lune Croissanterie’s croissants and pastries. My intentions have been good, but I’ve been turning the alarm off before going to sleep. The last time I queued for food was at N. Lee Bakery in Fitzroy, for their crackling pork banh mi, but that was at a respectable hour- around lunchtime.
Sunday 6th September was D-day. The last day that Lune would ever open it’s doors (or windows) in Elwood. So I decided to brave the early morning alarm at 5.30am and the chilly Spring morning and go for a drive or risk missing out on the whole experience entirely. The Lune queue is stuff of legends, or fucking crazy people. Perhaps more diplomatically the Lune queue is for food lovers and epicurists who make the journey from all over Melbourne, and often all round the world. One gentleman on holiday from Italy had secured a spot in the queue and the first guy in the queue had arrived at 12am. I love croissants, but I don’t fancy waiting 8 hours in the cold for them, even if they are the best ones on the planet.
The queue had sprawled around the corner on Tennyson St, when I arrived just before 6.30am and the woman in front of me (a local) who had been a couple of times before, said we would probably only manage to get plain croissants, which she deemed the best out of the selection of cruffins, danishes, and flavoured croissants. I was also prepared for the fact that I may return empty handed and this story would have been an entirely different one. Possibly full of expletives and a refusal to queue for food ever again. Happily this was not the case.
By around 7.30 am I got to the front of the queue, and was told that I would get croissants. Yipee. I was number 62 in the line and was told to arrive back between 9.30 – 9.45 am by the amiable Adam Reid, brother of pastry chef extraordinaire Kate Reid, whose former career as an aeronautical engineer lends itself to her perfectionist streak at making the perfect “zont.”
Since I had quite a bit of time to kill, I walked to Rippon Lea to have a bit of brekky at Hawk n Hunter, and bumped into a lovely Japanese couple who had come all the way from Brunswick to queue up at Lune. They arrived at 5am, and were 42 in the queue.
Just after 9am I walked back from Ripponlea, and at around 9.50am it was finally my turn. I was elated to find out that there were three varieties of pastries left; plain croissants, lemon curd cruffins and chocolate almond croissants. Each customer is allowed a maximum of six croissants, so I choose four plain croissants, one cruffin and a choc almond croissant. The croissants are still slightly warm and have beautiful aroma. The plain croissant has a crispy exterior, and the middle is soft and chewy, with flakes of pastry falling on the plate. The lemon curd cruffin, has the perfect amount of tart, surrounded by soft croissant pastry. The croissant is the best I have ever eaten, and surpasses the first croissant I ever tried in 1983 courtesy of my year 9 French teacher. It definitely was worth the wait. Would I queue up again ? I don’t know. The answer has nothing to do with the quality of the croissants but more to do with valuing sleeping in on the weekends.
As an added treat for father’s day, the entire tray of croissants and pastries was scoffed down by my folks and I. Mum said the difference between the croissants from Lune to the stock standard ones is like night and day, and from someone who has been cooking for over 60 years, that’s a sincere compliment.
Stay tuned for Lune re-opening in Fitzroy soon.