288 Rathdowne St, Carlton North
(03) 9348 2998
Open: Wed-Fri: 8.30am-5.30pm, Sat-Sun: 9am-5.30pm (closed Mon-Tues)
CUPCAKES are all the rage in Melbourne at the moment but you’ll be hard pressed to find any sweeter than those at Sweet Source.
Chef Zoi Condos’ chocolate and vanilla creations are the first thing you notice as you enter the cosy Rathdowne St café. And, if you go with your instinct, they’ll be the first thing you taste. Sure, Sweet Source has plenty of lunch options –baguettes start at $7.20 and the salsa verde tart is $6.50 – but when you’re at a café like this there’s no shame in going straight for dessert.
Condos obviously has a soft spot for comfort food. After all, it’s not often you find Lime Delicious on a menu. Just like the lemon ones grandma used to make after a lamb roast, it’s a steal at $5.50. But then again, so is the chocolate Smartie brownie for $3.20 a slice. Other options include a fruit pie and Linzer torte but only the extremely strong willed could say no to one of Condos’ spectacular cupcakes piled high on the antique cake stand on the counter.
Topped with vanilla frosting, each is so fluffy you’d swear it was fresh out of the oven. In the interests of research I’ve tried both the chocolate and vanilla options and on both occasions found it was the perfect size for my sneaky mid-afternoon snack. Each cupcake is $3.50 well spent but if you’re watching your sugar intake then perhaps you could compromise with a bite-sized one at $1.90.
Coffees are $3 and if you’re part of the burgeoning chai latte movement you’ll pick one up for the same price.
Carlton North locals have been getting their sugar fix from Sweet Source for about a year. Condos opened the doors after years of fine-tuning her pastry chef skills in New York, London and more locally at Stephanie Alexander’s Richmond Hill Café and Larder.
Clearly, she knows what she’s doing in the kitchen so next time you’re in the neighborhood nab yourself a window seat, browse the collection of Gourmet Travelers and sink your teeth into a cupcake. You won’t be disappointed.