DIY Crumble is something no one asked for but we are so thankful for it anyway
If you’re strolling down King Street, you probably won’t notice the newest kid on the block. Just when you thought dessert franchises couldn’t get any more niche, dessert chef Luke Stack has brought his very specific crumble passion to the crazed food frenzy consuming the inner west. Enter Crumble Top, the answer to all your (previously non-) but now very existent crumble cravings.
Upon entering the rather narrow (aka inner west sized) store, we’re faced with a few important life decisions: first we have the filling, the essential base of the dish, with choices ranging from the classic granny smith to the more exotic pear, cherry and citrus (I opted for strawberry and rhubarb personally). After we’ve gotten past this stage, there is the crumble top itself. I went for a safe cinnamon, but if you’re looking for a culinary adventure, escape to the country with the rural wattle seed variety. PSA for the coeliac population, there are gluten free crumble options available (albeit limited to few flavours). The next checkpoint is the sauce, which at first I felt was perhaps unnecessary, but it really added the depth of complexity which took this dessert from a store-bought Nanna’s crumble, to a crumble franchise phenomenon. I settled on the classic vanilla bean, after tossing up between toffee and coconut. And finally the ice-cream, but this of course is no Bulla. Lemon curd was an obvious choice for me, but Lavender and Ginger may also intrigue the seasoned palate. If you’ve somehow come to Crumble Top looking for non-crumble options, there are a couple of alternatives available (e.g. thickshakes), for those who want to ruin the fun.
If you head down King street from campus, you’re bound to come across it in about 14 minutes time to be extremely precise. Walking towards Enmore, it’s on the right hand side of the road. But if you can’t hold those crumble cravings, it’s probably about a 7 minute jog. Or if walking is just not on the cards, they’re also on Uber eats, which we all know is the Newtowner’s guide to eating out, or the lifeline of a near-deceased student in the Fisher 24-hour zone. RIP.
Stack’s dessert venture is still in its baby stages, opening just earlier this year. But with the immense growth of niche food markets, Crumble Top has a promising future in all sorts of hipster locations such as Darlinghurst, or Bondi even! The place is definitely not for the faint hearted - it’ll set you back $13 for a standard crumble, and that’s after making your way through 4 frankly overwhelming decisions of choosing your flavours. For me it was quite exhausting to say the least. In crumble’s defence though, it makes for a great social dish because while you may be able to effortlessly smash out a whole tin, you can definitely manage with sharing. I don’t know how much potential there is for brand growth, given its name is pretty specific - perhaps 9 more crumble flavours? I really don’t know what the commercial dessert horizons hold. What Stack does extremely well however, is bring an Aussie icon into the 21st century, where we need to be spoiled for choice before we fork out over a small house deposit.
As far as the store goes, it does well what it came here to do. They make a mean crumble. The crumble to filling ratio was generous, boasting a perfectly cakey texture behind its crunchy exterior. I went for a flirty strawberry-rhubarb filling, encrusted by a cinnamon crumb which can only be described as an autumnal dream. We were then graced with the silkiest of vanilla bean anglaises (fancy word for sauce) and a lemon curd ice-cream that meant business. Now I’m pretty picky when it comes to food, but as the acidity of the lemon curd cut through the sweetness of the other elements, I was floored and freshened at the same time!
At the end of the day, I highly recommend giving this newbie a chance before judging any further. It’s the perfect end to an evening, if the pissy $10 steaks at the Royal Hotel didn’t do the job. Even if niche desserts aren’t your thing, you’ve gotta get those fruit servings somehow, amirite? As they say, an apple crumble a day keeps the house deposit away.