It was not mere coincidence we were back in North Melbourne a week after last visiting. That time we decided to go a little out of our way following another great trip to Pope Joan, to Dolcetti, on the border with West Melbourne. During that adventure a close friend and local of many years told us we had to try Beatrix.
It played on our mind that there was a popular cake place that we hadn’t tried, and so began our walk from the back of Richmond one week later. After a bit over seven kilometres we had a tremendous appetite. As we walked up Queensberry it got quieter and quieter and then on a non-descript corner we found what we were searching for.
Beatrix is a tiny corner shop that is a temple to cakes and associated paraphernalia. It is one of those lines that even if many metres longer you would still be deciding and strategising your choice at the counter. Today is described as “quiet” but there is still a line, and most chairs of all varieties are taken.
When we get to the counter it is decision time and we feel it was a great choice and a good choice (though looking around at the pleasure on faces of all ages there were no bad choices). The pistachio lemon curd layer cake is exceptional. If there was a prize for perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, this would win it. Every mouthful was amazing and the next time around we’ll be ordering it again.
The carrot cake was very good, but given we were eating both at the same time, was completely outshone by its sibling. As carrot cakes go it was very good, but we were looking for enlightenment, which might need a reset of our expectations!
My coffee was okay and I’m not even sure why at a place doing such an amazing job on the cake making that I expected better. Next time I’ll join Catherine with a tea. While the staff are busy, they clear tables quickly and are friendly, even when waiting for pesky people like us who are still deciding once at the counter.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that this could quickly become a favourite where we’ve tried all the cakes available over a few months. It’s funny but there is not a lot of competition in such a classic arena. These are not the intricate cakes of a patisserie like Zumbo, or Chez Dre, but they are classical, incredibly delicious, and definitely extraordinary.