So, I’m back from my little Sydney holiday! Which of course means that after over a week of not posting at all, I will be bombarding you all with Sydney reviews. Non-Sydney readers, I promise I will try and break them up with local reviews and recipes when I can!
Anyway, I thought I would kick off my series of Sydney posts with none other than its most popular eatery (according to Urbanspoon).
We popped into the Bourke Street Bakery on a sticky, 36-degree Saturday, fresh off a long and painful screaming-children-filled train ride back from the Blue Mountains. We were a little hungry so we shared three savoury items between the two of us.
Pork and fennel sausage roll ($4.50)
The pastry was wonderfully crisp and flaky. The pork filling was tasty, juicy and had the perfect amount of fennel. It was very impressive. I wasn’t quite as mind-blowing as the pork sausage roll of Adelaide’s Red Door bakery, but it was nevertheless satisfying.
Lentil roll ($4.00)
I’m sure we’ve all had bad memories of cheap puff pastry encased spinach-and-cheese things where the spinach was basically non-existent and the ‘cheese’ was some very questionable tasteless white paste. It’s an unfortunate fact that vego options tend to be neglected when it comes to traditionally ‘meaty’ foods like pies, burgers and sausage rolls. Thankfully this is not the case at Bourke Street Bakery, however.
The lentil roll had a good balance of lentils and spinach with a bit of curry-like seasoning. It was tasty, filling and every bit as enjoyable as the pork roll before it.
Beef pie ($5)
The beef pie had a filling of rich, tomatoey beef ragout. The chunks of meat were fork-tender. At the risk of sounding un-patriotic, I will say that this pie didn’t need tomato sauce. It was good enough on its own!
Of course no trip to the bakery would be complete without a sweet ending, so we returned to the counter and agonised over the selection of tempting pastries.
Ginger brulee tart ($5)
Anyone who’s heard of the Bourke Street Bakery knows about their ginger brulee tart. And now I know why.
The ginger flavour was noticeable but not overpowering or unpleasant (and I’m not an enormous fan of ginger). The pastry was perfectly tender and crumbly, defiantly resisting moisture from the creamy custard filling. What amazed me most however, was how thin the pastry was without being too fragile. It yielded easily to light dental pressure yet didn’t feel like it would disintegrate in your hands. There was just enough pastry support the filling, which is exactly how a tart should be.
The brulee top didn’t have that characteristic crack, but that was understandable as the tarts had obviously been sitting in the display all day. It still provided a nice bitter foil for the sweet, gingery custard.
Raspberry and chocolate mousse tart ($4.50)
The chocolate mousse was creamy, smooth and rich. Very rich. I am usually pretty good at handling large amounts of dark chocolate, but I struggled to get through half of this tart. I only made it because of the lovely tart raspberry filling. I think there could have been a little more of this.
Also, I normally don’t say much about drinks in my reviews (other than coffee) because a) I don’t know shit about wine and b) anything else doesn’t really need a mention. I’m mostly a water drinker anyway. However…. when we were standing at the counter we couldn’t help but notice the selection of house made milk drinks in the fridge. There was iced chocolate, iced coffee and salted caramel milk. Salted caramel milk. Drinkable caramel! Why hadn’t I thought of this before?! As you can probably imagine, it was amazing. Any sweet-tooth’s dream.
What can I say? There is a reason this place is famous. I enjoyed everything immensely, with the exception of the chocolate tart which was a little too rich for me.
Before visiting I had read quite a bit about the queues. We turned up at 1pm on a Saturday to a small queue of about 8 people, which moved so quickly I barely had time to figure out what I was getting. Given that it is a bakery and most of the stuff that anyone is going to order is already made and sitting in the display, I don’t think the queues are anything to be afraid of. Just go here!Bourke Street Bakery 633 Bourke Street Surry Hills, NSW