While staying in St Kilda this week, an afternoon stroll took me along the stretch of the suburb’s original street – named in 1842. Acland Street was later to be the centre of the Jewish community of Eastern Europe from around the 1930s. “How many cakes stores are there?” I overheard a passing stranger say in the midst of the stretch of the famous four. Monarch Cakes at 103 is the oldest and has been operating since that time and still makes the original recipes – using butter flour eggs and sugar – just the way a cake should be baked.
Owner Gideon Markham discloses that he was a long time customer of the shop before he bought it about 18 years ago. As a regular on the other side of the counter, his favourites were the famous plum cake, cheesecake and pecan slice. The Polish born Gideon liked it that we both have biblical names.
Today the most popular cake in the shop is the Chocolate Kugelhoupf. The shop is filled with sweet treasures that fill my heart – Polish Baked Cheesecake (made to a 100 year old recipe) Palm Leaves (Palmiers) Continental Custard Vanilla, Poppy Seed Delight and Lemon Tart. The window is brimming and the tables are full. It’s the Monday afternoon of the long weekend, and while Mr Markham was generous with his time, I thought it was time for me to move on, and let him go about his business.
In the stretch between Monarch at number 103 to Europa (established in 1982) at number 81, there’s also Le Bon at number 93 and newcomer Cakehole a fifth cake shop at number 95. Another taste test is required (all in the name of writing this of course) so I stopped in at the other popular old timer number 97 Acland Cakes for French Gateaux and coffee. Have you been to the Acland Street cake shops?
Monarch Cake Shop
103 Acland Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182 Australia
+61 3 9534 2972
97 Acland Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182 Australia
+61 3 9534 3785
95 Acland Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182 Australia
+61 3 9534 7141
Le Bon Continental Cake Shop
93 Acland Street, St Kilda Victoria 3182 Australia
+61 3 9534 2515
Europa Cake Shop
81 Acland Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
+ 61 3 9534 2156