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17° & PARTLY CLOUDY ON SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER IN SYDNEY
By Marissa Ciampi
August 28, 2019
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Cherry Moon General Store

A cafe, general stores and woodfired bakery in Annandale.
By Marissa Ciampi
August 28, 2019
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The woodfired breads at Cherry Moon are so good, the bakery regular sells out. But inner west locals don't just flock to the venue for its doughy goods, the cafe and general store also has impressive house-made ferments, pickles and tasty brunch fare.

The 20-seat venue is run by long-time hospitality vet and pastry chef Kimmy Gastmeier (RockpoolTetsuya's and The Porteño Group) and her friend Aimee Graham, with a little help from Aimee's husband Kenny Graham (Mary's UndergroundThe Lansdowne and The Unicorn) and the rest of the Mary's Group.

Fed up with the Sydney hospo scene, Gastmeier left for the Blue Mountains some years ago, where she started the Cherry Moon brand by baking her goods out of hired kitchens. But now, Cherry Moon finally has a permanent home — and Gastmeier and Graham are doing things the old-school way.

"I'm interested in artisanal food, woodfiring and staying true to the traditions of whole foods," says Gastmeier, who purchased a traditional scotch oven from an old Ballarat bakery (made way back in 1869) for the shop and rebuilt it with a master oven builder.

"A lot of people were coming in and thinking we're a regular cafe," says Gastmeier. "But we're more of a bakery and the menu really showcases the oven."

All of the bread is made using ancient grains like emmer and spelt, along with stone-ground flour from Gunnedah's Wholegrain Milling Company. The team also roasts whole pumpkins in the fire embers and smokes potatoes in whey, which is leftover from the house-made ricotta (served wrapped in fig leaf) and cultured butter.

Apart from all the bread, Cherry Moon is also baking pastries, galettes, fruit tarts and seasonal tarte tatin, along with Italian-style cream puffs. Portuguese custard tarts are cooked in the woodfired oven, too, as are sourdough pizzas.

A small cafe menu is also up for grabs and includes the likes of sourdough topped with avocado, tomato, basil and finger lime; and plates of woodfired cauliflower served with burrata, harissa, fermented zucchini and cashew and chickpea cream. Charcuterie and ploughman's lunches are also on the docket for the near future.

On the general store shelves, you'll find Aimee Graham's fermented goods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, keffir and tonics. Other drinks include coffee by Newtown's 212 Blu, a house chai blend and cold-pressed orange and green juices.

And, to round out this already impressive offering, Cherry Moon is also scooping ice cream made in-house using all native and foraged ingredients — at the moment, there are fig leaf and saffron, wattle seed, plum and fennel pollen, and peach melba varieties.

"I want it to feel like you're stepping back in time to grandma's kitchen," says Gastmeier. "So everything is served on beautiful old crockery, plates and silverware, and there's a lot of 1960s bric-a-brac." Speaking of grandmothers, it was Gastmeier's grandma who put her through chef's school at the age of 16, and the Cherry Moon logo is in her handwriting.

Images: Kitti Gould

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