Casa Nata: Home of Portuguese Tart

Casa Nata: Home of Portuguese Tart


Pasteis de Nata (aka Portuguese Tarts) were originally made by monks of the Jeronimos Monastery in Belem, Portugal.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! Today you can buy a Pastel de Nata at any corner caf© or bakery in Portugal. Enjoying a tart and a coffee is a huge part of Portuguese culture.

Casa Nata's vision is to bring this little piece of Portugal to Melbourne, to celebrate the traditional and authentic processes of making Pasteis de Nata. Just like in Portugal, you can come in and enjoy the theatre of watching them being made while having a coffee and a tart... or two... or three... says..

Casa Nata Is Thornbury's Temple of Proper Portuguese Tarts

And it's currently delivering to a rotation of suburbs each week.

If anyone's embracing the idea of doing one thing and doing it well, it's the duo behind Thornbury's Casa Nata. Ruben Bertolo and Nelson Coutinho's High Street bakery is devoted to just one specialty: creamy, authentic past©is de nata. Both children of Portuguese parents that migrated to Australia in the 80s, the pair is more than familiar with the custard-filled pastry, but felt it wasn't being properly represented here on Aussie shores. So, they decided to do something about it, got cracking on perfecting a recipe and opened the doors to Casa Nata in April.

The menu is a testament to the idea of quality over quantity, featuring nothing more than Atomica Coffee alongside just one version of the signature dessert.

"And that is it for now. It still blows people's mind that that is all we do," says Bertolo, also admitting they don't plan on expanding this offering too much any time soon. "If we do add anything else, it definitely would never be something that would distract from the tarts."

Of course, the hero status of these beauties is well-deserved, each tart taking three days to produce and the recipes kept firmly under wraps. You can, however, catch a glimpse of the chefs in action, thanks to the store's open kitchen.

Given the timing of Casa Nata's autumn launch and the months of restrictions Melbourne's been navigating since, the space is yet to greet any dine-in customers, but Bertolo and Coutinho hope they'll get the chance to change that soon.

"It is our first store, so for us COVID-19 is the norm," says Bertolo. "We have just had to adapt to fit the different restrictions." Challenges aside, he admits the pair have lucked out with their new home and growing fan base, saying "It's been great seeing how much joy our tiny product can bring."

Until restrictions ease, those within five kilometres of the store can still swing past for a tart fix, with click-and-collect also on offer. Otherwise, there's delivery available to a rotating roster of suburbs, running every Thursday through Sunday.

Find Casa Nata at 846 High Street, Thornbury, from 9am-3pm Thursday-Sunday.

By Libby Curran |
SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

❊ Address ❊

 ⊜  846 High Street,  Thornbury  View Map
 ✆ Telephone: 0431 180 838
846 High Street, ThornburyVictoria0431 180 838

❊ Web Links ❊

Casa Nata: Home of Portuguese Tart

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Casa Nata: Home of Portuguese Tart