The anticipation for Raisin’s opening in Shenton Park almost became too much after months of teasing locals with the promise of French and Japanese baked goods. Smudges from toddlers’ noses pigging themselves up against the windows and frequent sightings of yummy mummies thirsty for another good caffeine option in Shenton Park went on and on before finally in May, the doors to this bready haven were flung open.
For owners (and sisters) Nila and Winny, the creation of Raisin' has been two years in the making and the final weeks were essential in perfecting their carefully crafted artisan breads and pastries. Former pharmacist Nila and chemical engineer Winny (just your everyday bakers really) wanted to create something special. Well, holy matcha buns, they did and it was worth the wait.
It’s not really a place to idle away hours with only a few tables and one viewing booth (straight into the friendly bakers’ lair, where aforementioned toddlers are happily shown the art in rolling the sweet treats they’re snacking on). However, Fremantle architect Ben Braham has created a beautiful space to visit, with the Japanese technique of charred recycled jarrah contrasting with the freshness of blackbutt and the modern concrete floors. The set up is slightly different to what us Perthies are used to, with a self service concept for the central island which is laden with pastries and surrounding walls of tasty loaves (use the tongs, ploise, winter germs and all). It’s set up to get in and out quickly, though if you’re lucky enough to nab a table, you’ll be warmly welcomed by the staff.
The sisters have created a menu worth popping in for, including a selection of the sweetest of treats like fruit and custard brioches and salted caramel croissants (mon dieu). But what sets them apart in our books are the dainty, pillowy soft buns oozing with either French chocolate buttons or piped with matcha buttercream that sell for only $2 a pop. Something underpriced in Perth? How refreshing! I’ll have ten.
For savoury fans, you are well looked after here too. The hero of the bakery according to Nila (not by I, newly hailed queen of the buns) is brewing Australian grown, organic Sun Muscat raisins in water to create the yeast used in the bread. The Japanese yeast technique isn’t where the interest stops. The resulting loaves of quinoa and almond, brioche or red miso and edamame are artisan creations, as are the squid ink baguettes (yep, it’s charcoal in colour which looks odd but tastes delish). Buy them from the pidgeon holes and impress your friends at the next picker-nick or buy them stuffed with pulled pork and coleslaw, smoked salmon, egg salad or ‘all the vegetables’ vegetarian. If you'd prefer pastry to bread, try the bacon and potato salad pastry rolls which will 100% blow your mind.
If you weren’t already won over by Raisin, the fact they’re sourcing locally for as much product as possible might tip you over the edge. The excellent coffee comes from local micro roastery Humblebee, the flour is from Byford flour mill Millers and the outstanding yellow of the eggs yolks (feast your eyes on the custard for proof) are courtesy of Margaret River’s Little Creek Farm.
So, basically, Raisin is where the French art of buttery pastries and perfectly crusted baguettes meet Japanese flavour sensations. See you in the line, save us a matcha bun.
Get the opening hours, location and all the details by searching Raisin' in the directory.
Image credit: Emma Bryant