Everyone's definition of what makes a good pastry is different. For us, any type of dough doused in sugar, glazed in butter and served fresh out of the oven will do just fine. For some, however, pastry perfection means a whole lot more. Indulgent macarons, the perfectly iced cupcake, lemon tarts and chocolate mousse cakes are probably the tickets to making bona fide sweet tooths froth at the mouth in pastry ecstasy.
So in celebration of all things pastry, here are our top 10 picks of Sydney's best patisseries.
Just off King Street in Newtown, this hole-in-the-wall patisserie is unlike anything you've ever seen. With rebels in the kitchen and hipsters on the floor, Black Star is one of a kind. What sets them apart from the rest? The creativity tablespooned into every single mixing bowl. And the end result? An eclectic combo of offerings, sure to wow all of one's senses.
For beginners, we recommend the strawberry watermelon cake with rose cream (four potions for $24). Then, try the lemon meringue tart with basil jelly, a genius concoction that will have you ordering a dozen at a time. For the kids, there's Ginger Ninjas ($4), which have replaced the somewhat jaded gingerbread man at this happening hotspot.
277 Australia St, Newtown; 02 9557 8656; www.blackstarpastry.com.au
Step through the baroque-style doors of this Sydney institution and you're half way to the heart of the city of light. Macarons, flans and cakes abundantly adorn the interior of this humble, Parisian-inspired patisserie in the Rocks.
This patisserie's focus lies in the light, buttery batters of their cakes. From classic to contemporary, La Renaissance offers some of the best cakes around town. Each one is unique yet all are beautiful. We suggest the Passion de Pierre ($52 for the large) for anyone who loves passionfruit. For the chocoholics, the list is large and decadent. We'd opt for the heavenly chocolate mousse cake, made of traditional creamy Valrhona chocolate mousse, encased in a patterned joconde ($49 for the large).
47 Argyle Street, the Rocks; 02 9241 4878; www.larenaissance.com.au
Opening in 2004, Bourke Street Bakery was Sydney's answer to San Francisco's Tartine Bakery. Pioneering the artisan bakery movement in the inner city, their products are respected as some of the best. They are the originals and their authenticity shines through in all their offerings, from their rustic sourdoughs, flaky pastry tarts, and seasonal fruit muffins to their warm sausage rolls and pies, decadent cakes, gourmet sandwiches and even homemade lemonade.
Known for their long lines on Saturday mornings, we suggest making the quest on a quieter weekday afternoon. You avoid the rush and you can completely appreciate the full range available in store. We suggest trying the middle-eastern inspired lamb, almond and harissa sausage roll ($4), followed by their signature ginger crème brulee tart ($4.40).
633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills; 02 9699 1011; www.bourkestreetbakery.com.au
Sweetness' specialty is their confectionery marshmallows, their go-to product. Spectacularly light and fluffy, they are available in every possible flavour and even covered in chocolate. We suggest a mixed nine pack ($8); you’ll find it impossible to just stop at one.
It's hard to resist everything this patisserie produces. From caramels, biscuits, tarts and jellies, to cakes and truffles, this is a utopia for anyone with a sweet tooth. With its perfectly packaged products finding their way onto the shelves of Sydney's best delis, grocers and gourmet food markets too, there is no question quality is first class, as is the friendly service.
38 Oxford Street, Epping; 02 9869 3800; www.sweetness.com.au
Adriano Zumbo is a household name for taking an unconventional approach to the art of patisserie. Take his macaron menu for example: pancake and maple syrup, malted milkshake and salted butter popcorn are but a few of the flavours available. There's nothing that compares, however, to his wacky Willy Wonka-style creations. He's a true creative force who's found a niche and is exploiting it. And if you're feeling adventurous, we suggest heading over to the Star because we hear his new dessert train is a sweet ride.
Shop 1, Cafe Court, the Star, Pyrmont; www.adrianozumbo.com/the-star-pyrmont/
You are spoilt for choice at this inner west favourite. Specialising in rustic sourdough breads, the olive baguette is one of the best on the market, they also produce a range of classic Parisian-style pastries, tarts and cakes. Each carefully constructed and perfectly decorated, Victoire bakery is the go to when you're time poor and need something to 'wow' dinner guests with. Victoire doesn't over complicate things either. There is no desiccated coconut, no fluro-coloured icing, and no garish chocolate work. Simple, elegant and refined patisserie classics made from quality ingredients.
660 Darling Street, Rozelle; 02 9818 552
From the family that brought you La Renaissance Patisserie comes their latest and most impressive venture, Baroque. Think bistro meets bar meets patisserie, and everything is on show in their exhibition-style kitchen set up. We suggest trying their famous macarons, available in a variety of flavours: dark chocolate, salted caramel, rose and jasmine to name but a few.
Don't fret if macarons aren't your choice, though. There's an extensive dessert menu on offer too, which we're certain will delight. Unfortunately, they don't have a retail outlet, so the only way to sample their scrumptious sweet offerings is to dine in.
88 George Street, Sydney; 02 9241 4811; www.baroquebistro.com.au
Located in the historic Strand Arcade, this pokey patisserie, founded by ex-Infinity Sourdough chef Leanne Beck, is one of Sydney's top patisseries. With delectable, decadent chocolate brownies and light-as-air lemon meringue tartlets, this place quickly rose to fame. Not surprising, considering their dazzling window display is enough to startle even the more savory inclined amongst use. Our picks are either a lemon meringue tartlet ($2.50) or a chocolate brownie ($3.50).
The Strand Arcade, 412-414 George Street, Sydney; 02 9231 0472
Flour and Stone is the brainchild of ex-MG Garage pastry chef, Nadine Ingram. And Ingram is no ordinary Patissier. She has learnt from some of the best in the industry and now offers her own simple, honest and wholesome creations, such as a lemon drizzle cake and fine apple tart. Ingram also offers some more interesting, inventive options, such as the beetroot and seed cake, as well as the lamington pannacotta at $5.50. The contrasting textures, the crisp coconut coating against the smooth creamy pannacotta centre, create the perfect pop and crunch.
53 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo; 02 8068 8818; www.flourandstone.com.au
Located next to Glebe favourite, Clipper Cafe, is this humble patisserie called La Bannette. Since it's arrival in the big smoke from the sunny Northern Beaches, this place has got everyone talking with it's sweet aromas of caremelised sugar, melted butter and golden, baked pastries. Irresistible displays showcase their freshly baked collection of tarts, cakes, pastries and biscuits, all of which exude rustic, artisanal charm. We suggest trying the chocolate fig tarts with a rich chocolate ganache filling adorned with a darkly caramelised fig and raspberries. It's heaven in a bite.
18 Glebe Point Road, Glebe; 02 8095 9688
September 12, 2012 by Maxwell Adey