Ned Radojcic isn’t a guy to do things by halves. When it came time to open Ned’s Bake, Toorak Rd’s Milanese temple to all things yeasty, crusty and delicious, he wanted to work with the best.
Ned flew to Berlin to meet with American master-baker Benjamin Tugwell, and Aussie baker Timothy Naughton (who’s done stints at both Baker D. Chirico and Noisette), and brought them both back to work in Ned’s. The result? Bread Nirvana.
Set one foot inside Ned’s Bake and you can tell this place is all about the bread. Batons of light rye, slashed ‘Chef’s Loaves’ of white sourdough and multigrain, gnarly green olive grissini sticks stuffed with olives the size of your fist (give or take). The loaves are displayed proudly in the central cabinet, stacked high on the shelves, even tied to wire mesh and displayed in the windows. It smells of flour and newly-opened ovens and your grandma’s kitchen. Leaving without a loaf tucked under one arm is almost blasphemous.
The over-the-counter bread does a roaring trade, but thanks to pastry chef Florian Fontaine (formerly of Melbourne chocolatier Cacao) there’s a good range of sweets on offer too. Everyone NEEDS to try the almond croissants, but there’s also raspberry tarts (designed with an Art Deco pop), lemon and almond twists, and fluffy sponge cakes with fig, orange blossom and chocolate cream. The brekky menu’s no slouch either—whatever you do, get the mascarpone pancakes with coconut ice-cream, strawberries and balsamic vinegar.
The end product is part café and part boulangerie. An upmarket brunch spot that pumps out some of the best bread in the city. Not many places can make a baguette and a schmear of butter feel like an actual meal—Ned’s is an exception.