I quite surprised myself when I recently joined the queue of hungry Sydney-siders all waiting for their Bourke Street Bakery fix without even batting an eyelid. This time last year, I would've taken one look at the line-up of people and just kept on walking thinking how ridiculous it is to wait in line to be fed.
But as I'm starting to understand that some things are just worth waiting for...
On this particular day I decided to head into Surry Hills and check out the suburb by foot. Usually we're hooning (within the legal speed limit of course) up Crown Street on our way to somewhere else and I can only glimpse the foodie gems on offer in this beautiful and bustling Inner-Sydney suburb.
My first stop was, without question, always going to be Bourke Street Bakery. I'd heard so much about their sausage rolls that it just seemed negligent not to stop by and fuel myself up for an afternoon of walking and window shopping.
The line moves fairly quickly, and before I know it I'm in the little bakery quickly making my sausage roll decision. The Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll ($4.50) sounded just too tasty to go past. The pork mince is luscious, but not too fatty, and the fennel adds just the slightest aniseed flavour to the mix. I'm in love. The pastry is thick and flaky, as I take my first bite little pieces of pastry rain down into my lap. It's not pretty, but it sure is tasty!
As there is limited seating inside the bakery, and a only a few seats outside that were already full, I decided to head over to the park across the road and have myself a little picnic.
The thing with food is that it's such a great way to make new friends. As soon as I unwrapped my sausage roll and placed it down to take some snaps this fine fellow joined me. He'd sniffed out my sausage roll from the other side of the park! He stared dolefully at me with his big brown eyes as I took every bite of my delectable sausage roll. I was saving the last bite for him and just as I was about to hand it over his owner shouted to me "that dog is nil by mouth"...sorry doggy, looks like you're on a diet!
Speaking of diets, mine starts tomorrow thus it seems remiss not to try a little sweet "something something" whilst I'm here- for research purposes of course. The lady serving me tells me her favourite sweetie at the bakery is without a doubt the Passionfruit Meringue Tart ($5.00). Sold!
I've never been one to be (overly) tempted by desserts, but I've been thinking about this Passionfruit Merguine Tart a lot! I'd possibly make the trip in from Parramatta just for one of these babies. The short-crust pastry was perfect, and the meringue soft, pillowy and sweet. It was like biting into a cloud of sweet heaven. The passionfruit curd was sweet, but had a slightly tart after-taste, which cut through the sweet meringue perfectly. This was pure bliss to eat.
And lastly a drink to wash it down with. The only cold drinks on offer appeared to be a range of Bourke Street Bakery labelled juices. I choose a Homemade Lemonade (which I 'think' was $3.00). Sugary, but sour all at the same time, and totally refreshing.
Another occasion sees me in Marrickville visiting Niecy-Poo, who is a devotee of Bourke Street Bakery's range of delicious sourdough breads. This branch of the bakery is much larger, with more seating than the Surry Hills store. Situated down a quiet street in the industrial area of Marrickville you'd drive straight past if you didn't know it was here...and that would be a shame.
On this particular day we're just making a pitstop at Marrickville so Neicy-Poo can buy a loaf of sourdough for tomorrow's breakfast. As we arrive at around 3pm the guy behind the counter tells us we can buy one, get one free. He then changes his mind and says "ah, just make it buy one, get two free". Score!
Luckily for me this means that I get to take a loaf of bread home with me. The Olive Oil Loaf ($4.50) tempts me, and Niecy Poo chooses a Large Sourdough as well as a Fruit Loaf.
I know exactly what we're going to be eating our Olive Oil Loaf with...I picked up two cans of Campbell's New England Clam Chowder when we were in Hawaii in January as I'm a bit addicted to it. If we hadn't done so much clothes shopping in Hawaii I could've fit more cans of soup in my bag...I need to prioritise better next trip.
The bread was lush, dense and heavy, the perfect accompaniment to the creamy soup. There was a distinct taste of olive oil, but it wasn't overpowering or too oily. It gave the bread a nice, slightly moist, texture.
Bourke Street Bakery at Surry Hills is at 633 Bourke Street (cnr of Devonshire Street).
The Marrickville store is at 2 Mitchell Street, Marrickville.