Sydney, not surprisingly, is a pretty competitive place. With this many big businesses and however many million people live here now no one is going to be shocked. What you wouldn’t expect though is that one of its major battlefields is bread.
Like any Australian city, or town, there are plenty of bakeries to choose from. A jam drop or a caramel tart are never too hard to find .. not to mention a decent pie or sausage roll. The standard fair is pretty easy to find. However, a new generation of bakers are making serious waves in the local food scene. Sonoma, Brickfields, Zumbo and Iggy’s are a few of the big players but one of my absolute favorites is taking bakery to a whole new level.
There are a few Bourke Street Bakery locations around the city now (seven by my count) covering east, west (both inner and outer), south and north and having been to many of these locations personally – I can vouch that the quality is consistent across the board.
Firstly, the bread…WOW. With winter upon us – I can recommend the potato and rosemary sourdough. It is the perfect cure for a cold winter morning … toasted with a bit of butter. The thing is, there is no real complexity on show here – it is bread. Much of the bread does not even go to the extent of a couple of extra ingredients (like potato and rosemary), it is just honest, simple and really well made.
Then there are the pastries. Starting with the savoury, the pies are really a step up – think beef, beer and bacon and brisket, red wine and mushroom. The pastry is flaky or firm as needed, the ingredients are quality and flavoursome and importantly, the sauce is free and liberally applied. I have a list of the 50 must eats in Sydney and in amongst them is the Bourke Street Bakery sausage roll which is impressive given that its sits alongside restaurants like Quay & Tetsuya’s. Naturally, it isn’t your average sausage roll. Lamb, almond and harissa makes a nice change from the usual minced beef(?) that you usually find. Personally, I can’t go past the pie and I can’t often summon the will power to eat a sausage roll as well. However, for a first timer, or the particularly hungry put it on the list.
The other reason why I make the decision to bypass the sausage roll, is that I have developed an addiction to a certain cake. The ginger crème brulee tart. I have tried, I have summoned all the willpower I can muster, but, having now tried it, I find it impossible not to order one. It is like a gingerbread man wrapped around a crème brulee, it is fantastic. Words honestly can’t describe. There are plenty of other cake options too – so if you don’t like ginger, or crème brulee, you can try something else (seriously though, if you do fall into this category then you have my sympathies).
Competition is good for everybody. In this case it is particularly good for those of us who still like carbs in our diets.
Contact: Bourke Street Bakery – 8 outlets. Website.