Freelance writer living in and reviewing Melbourne's West.
Published September 19th 2011
The Acland Cake Shop in Melbourne's famous Acland Street, St Kilda, remains staunchly unchanged in a street that in the last 15 years has moved away from gentle Jewish European ambience, black wearing student share house grunginess, little boutique shops, cafes and seedy little bars, to that of a flashy seaside resort with big apartment developments and big chain shops.
It is a little bit of old St Kilda and hallelujah for that. While the rest of St Kilda may look chi chi and pumped, the Acland Cake Shop still looks like your European mum's old style kitchen with plastic doilies, fake flowerpots, menus slid under glass tops, pine tables and a courtyard out the back. The owner still wanders around in black and white, serving, and making sure everyone is alright.
And let's not forget the desserts: giant bouncy meringues; goopy custard strawberry tarts; French vanilla slices; chunky marshmallow rocky roads, baked cheese cakes, chocolates ...
For many years it has been the tradition between myself and a friend to meet at the Acland Cake Shop for what we call a cheryl - a cherry strudel. She always orders the cherry strudel and I always order the apple strudel. Occasionally my eyes are seduced by something else but I'm quite faithful to my apple strudel. Sure, it is not as flashy as some of the other desserts on offer but the serve is generous, the apple filling chunky and is nestled on a sweet spongy cake layer then wrapped in a delicious pastry. Served warm with a serve of Chantilly cream and a strong coffee, it is a nice way to enjoy St Kilda.