Vincent Natasia and Natasha Tobagus met in Melbourne while they were studying culinary at William Angliss Institute. There, the friends-turned-couple went on many hopping, from café and brunch places to croissanterie, indulging in many appetizing dishes which inspired the two to start a business together.
Moon Gypsy, a pastry shop-slash-café in Senopati serving a variety of baked goods, coffee and brunch lineup, is the result, actualised after the two went back to Jakarta in 2020 and spent time doing the groundwork to set up shop in an already booming market.
Both admitted that they have no background in bread pastry; Vincent was trained in hot kitchen, while Natasha studied patisserie and specialised in cakes. Any knowledge of it was textbook, so, Natasha especially, had to brush up on the know-how of dough-making.
“What we know of croissants is that they should have a bite to it. Temperature also matters. We had to study up on this again,” said Vincent, who referenced Lune Croissanterie, dubbed Australia’s finest croissant maker, as inspiration.
Baked goods in Moon Gypsy focus a lot on viennoiserie, from the buttery croissants, chocolatine and danish to seasonal pastries like “cruffin” (croissant-muffin) filled with earl grey creme and yuzu marmalade. Natasha, in particular, notes that she wants her variety of pastries to encompass a balance of flavours.
“Instagram is a source of inspiration, we like to develop our recipes from there. Personally, I don’t want our pastries to be sweet all throughout— just a perfect balance between sweet and sour,” said Natasha. For one, the strawberry pistachio danish gathers the sweet and sour from the fruit, while the nutty flavours of the pistachio creme offset the overall taste.
This variety in flavours also rolls to their all-day brunch menu, with dishes like the fluffy ricotta hotcakes crowded with seasonal berries and sunflower seeds—a breakfast dish that Vincent and Natasha always encountered in Melbourne’s brunch spots—along with fusion plates like the galbi benedict. They also roast their own coffee, with quintessential like espresso, long black and cappuccino, using beans with a more nutty flavour profile.
At 7 am, when the shop just opens, customers from joggers to work-from-cafe professionals may see owners and staff in the midst of preparing the dough or doing finishing touches through its see-through kitchen. The warm pastry scent wafting around is an added bonus to the brunching experience, but it’s also why both Vincent and Natasha purposefully set their kitchen out in the open to see.
“Our pastries are freshly made every day. If you come in the morning, you might catch us still baking. We want customers to be able to see the real process of how our products are made,” said Vincent.