THE SWEET SPOT
love at Austro, a new bakery-café putting an Aussie spin on Austrian classics.
MEGAN MILLER REVIEWS AUSTRO
WAS it the Danish pastry topped with golden potato gratin, or the custardand-honey high of the bee sting cake that tipped us over the edge?
You can’t help but order up a storm at Austro, its siren-call display case luring you with its shiny sweets as well as the more savoury and sizeable offerings.
After selling Yarraville’s popular Hausfrau bakery five years ago, Sally Roxon opened Austro in July. She and husband Christian Gattermayr also have Albert Park café Hapsburg Empire and the Standing Room coffee chain.
In the former Let Them Eat Cake site, Austro serves Austrian-born Gattermayr’s favourite family recipes, tweaked to a more modern, lighter Aussie way of eating.
Everything is made on site, and as much produce as possible is sourced from nearby South Melbourne Market.
Aside from its array of tempting pastries and cakes – like the deeply rich sachertorte and the spiced apple strudel – there’s a range of breads and a short dine-in menu: dishes such as a pretzel plate with cured meats, cheese and pickles, and avo on dense pumpernickel heady with caraway.
Don’t go away without having a pretzel – plain and salty, or served with ham, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut, or with baked egg and asparagus.
Tartines (open sandwiches) come with a range of toppings – pastrami, pickles and sauerkraut, sardines with olive tapenade, and roasted carrots and cauliflower hummus.
Reliably good Allpress coffee seals the deal. And you’ll dine with a colourful mural of the picturesque Austrian town of Hallstatt, painted by local artist Ava Clifforth, as a backdrop.
There are plans to open seven days a week and to offer afternoon teas and make gingerbread houses for Christmas. A liquor licence is also in the pipeline so beers can be paired with those thirst-making pretzels.