Have you already tried Pasteis de Nata? You know, this delicious Portuguese egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon? I had the opportunity to taste the best Pasteis de Nata from Portugal in Belem and I still remember, such an amazing taste…crispy on the outside and melting on the inside! When I arrived in Melbourne, I couldn’t imagine not to eat this fabulous dessert again so I spied all food markets to find it and finally, I found it in Victoria Market: Casa Nata! Bertolo and Nelson Coutinho of Casa Nata have been so successful that they decided to open their own official storefront in a heritage-listed building on Thornbury’s High Street! And for sure, I can tell you that Casa Nata makes the best Pasteis de Nata in Melbourne! Let’s discover it!
Pasteis de Nata, a huge part of Portuguese culture
Both founders descent are Portuguese and grew up eating traditional Pasteis de Nata, their vision was then to bring this delicious piece of Portugal to Melbourne to celebrate the traditional and authentic process of making these little wonders from Portugal.
Pasteis de Nata (aka Portuguese Tarts) were originally made by monks of the Jeronimos Monastery in Belem, Portugal. The idea started back before the 18th century when the monks used egg whites to starch clothing. The left-over egg yolk was then used to make cakes and pastries.
As a result of the liberal revolution, the monks began to sell these custard pastries to a local sugar refinery. Eventually, the recipe was sold to the sugar refinery and they opened what we now know as Pasteis de Belem which is still open to this day and know a fantastic success! You’ll have to be patient if you want to taste a Pasteis de Nata over there!
Today you can buy these custard tarts at any corner café or bakery in Portugal. Enjoying a tart and a coffee is a huge part of Portuguese culture.
Casa de Nata, a Portuguese touch in Melbourne
Just like in Portugal, you can drop by Casa Nata and thanks to their open glass-box kitchen where you can get a front-row seat, you’ll enjoy the theatre of watching them being made while having a coffee and a tart… or two… or three…
Their opening had been years in the making, having taken the time to visit Portugal and learn from the country’s top pastry chefs to perfect their technique and recipe.
They opened their shop in June but had to close because of the lockdown, but you can still order online to enjoy the taste of a Portuguese tart from the comfort of your home. They are currently taking pre-orders which are available for pick-up. Just, place your order by 5 pm the previous day.
Pictures: Courtesy of Casa Nata