This post is sponsored by Nuffnang
I was fortunate enough to be asked along to the pre-launch of Dulce Luna, a new Viennoiserie in Sydney, on the corner or York and King Street. On arrival I saw a sign letting people know of the upcoming opening and specials to be had on the opening day Wednesday 5th December, including free dulce lunas. I also saw people already interested in trying out these yummy pastries. If you’d like to read more about the launch, check out this post by Jeroxie.
Dulce Luna means Sweet Moon in Spanish, and it is quite hard to describe these lovely pastries. Gus, the founder of the store, describes it as the combination of a croissant, cornetti and brioche. Having only tried croissants, I would describe it as not as flaky, with a more sweet and slightly softer filling. As it is hard to describe, it’s probably a good idea to try them 🙂
The cute store was beautifully decorated with white and black features, sayings about pastries, chandeliers and matching wall lights. The entrance featured a two piece band, close to the glass cabinets filled with dulce lunas. Following this was a large coffee machine across from some stools, this then flows straight into the kitchen which had a lovely long bench and some very special machinery – including one large “fridge” which could be set to change from fridge settings to warming settings, depending on what was required for the dough or the rolled pastries.
You could sense the excitement of everyone involved with the store, and their passion for making quality pastries and coffee was clearly evident. I was told that whilst trying to perfect the recipe for their dulce lunas they didn’t even allow family and friends to try the ones that weren’t quite perfect – something I think my family just wouldn’t have allowed.
We chatted with the founder Gus, head Chef Herve and manager Cory, and were delighted by their stories of how the product was perfected and how everyone contributed to overcoming the challenges of opening a new cafe. We discovered that there is certainly a possibility that more Viennoiseries will be opened around Sydney and Melbourne (I have fingers crossed for one in Darlinghurst, as I can imagine eating this for breakfast, morning tea, lunch or afternoon tea at work).
Gus Mendez told us how the idea for this cafe started and the process leading up to the launch. “The whole idea about dulce luna popped into my head about 15 years ago, when I was on honeymoon and having breakfast with my wife and had these amazing pastries in Buenos Aires, Argentina.” He thought they would be perfect for home, Australia, and just wanted to eat more of the pastries.
“After 15 years in finance, I sold my business 2 years ago and thought I would revisit that idea and start discovering a bit about pastries. I was lucky enough to visit Paris, New York, and then go back to Buenos Aires and also to sample a lot of product here in Australia, and thought there is definitely a gap in the market, for something that’s a bit different.” Gus baked for months on end in his kitchen, then showed Herve what he envisaged would be their product, which then resulted in more cooking and trialing of recipes. “We believe it’s an Australian product, because it is quite unique, and brings a lot out of each of those products.”
Head Chef Herve Boutin has been in Australia for more than 20 years and completed the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), which took 3 years of preparation, before coming to Australia. He met Gus 6 months ago and loved the idea. “We put our passion and knowledge into the product…This product can only be home made.” Herve sums it up nicely: “It’s a great story of passionate people.”
When the food was on its way out, I was glad Nick was there (he was also very happy I brought him along), as this meant I got to try all the dulce lunas available. I tried the traditional one to begin with to try and taste the difference between this and a croissant. It had a beautiful, light texture with a very slight vanilla glaze on top. Next came the raspberry dulce luna which had both an amazing raspberry jam and raspberries on top, and due to my love of raspberries, this would have to be one of my favourites. The pistachio was also a big favourite of mine. The freshly ground pistachio flavour works beautifully with the pasty.
The almond dulce luna came out, and it was lovely, especially as it was made fresh and not with day old croissants which is what is usually done at most bakeries. The chocolate dulce luna was also a big hit – the chocolate was of great quality and being so fresh, it melted in your mouth. The quality and amount of chocolate in these is far better than your average chocolate croissant.
Two “dessert” dulce lunas also came out, luckily after some of the less rich ones (as otherwise I might not have managed to try them all). The first was the crème patisserie one, which had a beautiful vanilla custard-like filling, and the dulce de leche – well that can speak for itself, if you love caramel – you will love this
For those with a less sweet tooth, some savoury options are available and would be great for breakfast or lunch – including the ham, cheese and béchamel sauce, and the spinach and feta.
After trying all the flavours, everyone shared their favourite flavours. Some preferred the ham and cheese, others the raspberry and many the dulce de leche. One of the things I found most enjoyable with all the dulce lunas we tried was their freshness and the natural flavours that came through, nothing tasted artificial – because nothing like that is added. We were told of how every day the product will be made fresh and is best eaten within about 8 hours of baking. If you don’t get a chance though, a quick reheat in the microwave will work a treat, which is what we did with our take-home sample package.
There are also going to be certain featured flavours only available for a week at a time, including lemon curd and Nutella.
Lastly, we got to see the production of the dulce lunas, with dough that had been proving overnight. The proving process helps to develop a lot of the flavour. The dough then gets laminated with butter to form the working dough, which gets cut into triangles and rolled to the traditional moon shape. The filled lunas have to be done a bit more carefully to ensure the filling doesn’t come out.
I would like to thank both Nuffnang and Dulce Luna for this opportunity – attending the pre-launch was lovely, and it was great to meet so many vibrant and passionate people… and of course trying such amazing food. I am sure that customers will have a similar admiration when they try these quality, tasty dulce lunas, and meet the people who work in the store.
Now… Nick – when will you have a chance to pick me up another box of them?
Facebook members & Twitter followers of Dulce Luna can get these discounts for a limited time:
$12.50 for mixed half dozen box ($2.50 discount or over 15%)
$24.00 for mixed dozen ($5.00 discount or over 15%) till 31st Mar 2013
Sydney CBD Shop 2C,
66 King St (corner York St)