So it’s been a while since we were back from Sydney but I haven’t had any time to start my posts !
Sophie has been down and out with her first bad flu so the past three days have been a crazy, stressful blur. When it rains, it pours – her falling ill just had to coincide with my first week back at work ! But what can I do besides just sticking to my motto of #keepcalmandbeamom?
I’ll probably blog about how we dealt with her first flu soon – right now everything is a little too fresh for me and I’m still traumatized (as are my husband and baby) so I’m going to play catch-up with my Sydney posts and reminisce about more carefree times instead !
One big biiiiiig highlight of our trip was our visit to Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills !
This is our second time in the super hip area and both times the weather was just wonderful. Sunshine, cool winds, crisp air – we felt like we could just trundle along with Sophie’s buggy and walk forever !
So eventually, stomachs growling, we made it to the BSB for our much anticipated sausage rolls.
I know what you’re thinking – how good can a sausage roll get? But I also know what you’re thinking of – those limp, pallid specimens you find at heartland bakeries with spongy wet pastry and nitrate filled hot dogs.
Now picture these:
Them rolls are on the top left hand of this photo filled with good, good things.
And they are hearty, traditional comfort food at its finest.
Flaky, buttery but solid (no chi-chi 100-layer french confection was this ) pastry encased soft, moreish and unbelievably juicy fresh pork sausage with fennel bits. The Pork-Fennel combination is an oldie but in this case also a goldie. There were four of us, but those three rolls were gone in a blink of an eye, leaving us eyeing the empty plate longingly.
The turnover on the right was also very, very good. It’s a spinach olive four cheese turnover – and full of umami goodness. Green, stringy spinach with briny olives and gooey, pungent cheese in a buttery puff.
K’s absolute favourite, however, was that non descript, slightly burnt looking tart in the bottom plate. Oh do not be fooled by its humble appearance.
Tis a Ginger Creme Brulee Tart, and impossibly scrumptious.
Think ginger-perfumed milky custard in a traditional sweet tart crust with a layer of torched, crispy crackly caramelized sugar and crushed pistachios on the top. It was spicy, crackly, milky, crunchy, buttery and savoury all in one. Aunty Cat loved it so much she took away FOUR of them, which we systematically demolished over the next few days in the comfort of their home.
The house made drinks with their vintage looking stickers were very good, too. I had the Iced Chocolate Milk, which had just two ingredients (Belgian Chocolte and Fresh Milk) and a day-long expiry date – just the way food should be ! K’s Pear and Vanilla Iced Tea was yummy, too – fruity and smooth without the astringent taste of over-steeped tea you usually taste in iced teas.
Seating was outdoors and very ramshackly-hipster, if you get my gist – flimsy benches rickety chairs which look like they came from a tip but are, really, you know, “upcycled”. The bakery sits right in the middle of a suburban neighbourhood and we saw families, yuppies and old grannies with their dogs.
Here’s a candid of us taken by C which captures perfectly the truly piggy expression of gluttony glee that spreads itself across my face every time good food is placed in front of me.
And there’s the line going in !
I would totally have eaten another sausage roll if we hadn’t planned to hit up Bill’s next for our fix of their famous Ricotta Honeycomb Hotcakes. And I can’t wait till we are there again on another idyllic day, perhaps with Sophie Rose old enough to stuff her own sausage pastry into her tiny rosebud mouth !
They now have several outlets but the one in Surry Hills is the flagship.
Bourke St Bakery
663 Bourke Street, Surry Hills (corner of Devonshire and Bourke Street)
After that we took another nice long stroll to Bill’s – the bistro style modern brunch place run by celebrity chef Bill Granger. We’d had his hotcakes on our previous visit and wiped out the whole syrupy plate without looking up and I knew we couldn’t come to Sydney without having them again !
Unexpected, but so very delightful, were the photos Chloe helped us snap on the way there ! The quaint terraced houses, part residential, part boutique businesses made for such pretty backdrops and the light was just right 🙂
My favourites, which are going to be printed and going on the walls at home !
I’m so glad I decided to wear my tutu Flutter Dream skirt from Rowena at Tutu Le Petite for that morning’s brunch ! It looks so girly and fits just right in the mood of the pictures 🙂
And this one, which took my breath away when I opened it up on my laptop.
The beautiful autumn colors, with the light streaming through and dappling everything around us with a warm, reddish glow, my baby in my arms and my husband by my side. 🙂 It was a perfect moment !
And also, when, of course, my daughter decided to take an epically noisy and smelly dump. What a reality check.
Well, lucky Sophie got her diaper changed in some really picturesque surroundings.
In the process nearly knocking Chloe and Aunty Cat out with the noxious fumes of her body waste.
Next stop, Bill’s !
Bill’s is celebrity chef Bill Granger’s eponymous brunch place. The food and decor are fresh, light and clean and the restaurant prides itself on super fresh produce and simple, traditional breakfast meals.
On a normal day you can expect an hour’s wait but we got our table after only 15 minutes – during which three ladies from New Zealand cooed over Sophie, repeatedly calling her a “beautiful bubba” and saying that both of us looked like dolls -blush-
Anyway once we were seated I pounced on the menu and immediately located what I wanted to order.
And the dish I was dying to try (and which I am totally going to recreate at home for brunch when I have more than 10 seconds to brush my teeth)
Bill’s Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado Salsa.
Crispy battered corn fritters with peppers and zucchini with a large generous dollop of creamy guacamole. So simple but so good ! Again, I’m a sucker for multiple textures in one dish so this was just the bomb to me. I think the trick is to get the batter just right – it was only just holding all those fresh vegetables together – rather than the doughy, greasy variety you generally find here.
And .. the Ricotta Hotcakes !
Dayum these are good. The addition of Ricotta cheese in the hotcake batter makes them unbelievably light and fluffy with a slightly creamy tang, and when you top them off with that luscious honeycomb butter and caramelized bananas … it’s magic in your mouth, that’s what it is. And because all the sugars are natural, you get more of a warm, molasses like taste rather than the in-your-face saccharine quality of refined sugars.
Yup, these are bucket list level hotcakes.
359 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
After all that excitement it was back home – we usually were back in Chloe’s apartment by 5 or 6 pm everyday so Sophie could take a bath and we’d all settle in for a delicious, home cooked, leisurely dinner with wine in their winter garden. Really, really missing those idyllic days.
Going to re-live them through my posts !!