Alexandria is not a suburb I usually would venture out to unless is for client meetings. So when comes to food, I am a little clueless where to go for lunch in this warehouses town. That's when twitter comes in handy and the knowledgeable ones are more than happy to shed some light on my quest but majority points me to Bourke Street Bakery, so as the GPS in my car moment later.
From the tiny shop in Surry Hills, BSB (Bourke Street Bakery in short) has extended with two more outlets in Marrickville and Alexandria respectively. I've been to the one at Surry Hills, and the Alexandria's outlet is perhaps double the size with more seating inside and a few stools outside for those who just want a quick bite and go. As I only have 30 minutes for a quick lunch before meeting, instead of going for the lunch menu on the chalkboard above head, their famous sausage rolls are my best options and never disappoint. BSB' sausage rolls are truly a revelation, I can guarantee you will never look at them the same way ever again.
"Tomato sauce with your sausage rolls?" The lady behind the counter asks me as I order two sausage rolls to take away. I respectfully decline the offer as I would prefer to enjoy the flavour of the roll on its own without any unnecessary additives. A little uncooth as I chomping down two sausage rolls inside the car, the passenger seat at the front immediately covered in pastry crumbs and the car is now a gas chamber filled with intoxicating smell of sausage rolls!
The lamb, harissa and almond sausage roll is an instant favourite. The lamb mince is not mushy and still had some bite to it, soft and tender, studded with chopped onions, raisins and almonds that adds sweetness, all wrapped inside a flaky golden puff pastry speckled with poppy seeds which is incredibly buttery. The Harissa chilli flavour is not as strong as I'd hoped for, nevertheless it infuses a hint of Moroccan flavour with the lamb.
Pork and fennel sausage roll is simply incredible! The pork mince used in the roll is fatty, juicy, moist, tender, succulent, soft, your name it, is all in there! There are also chopped carrots and fennels inside that add sweetness with the occasional zingy sparks of cumin seeds. "Haa-Le-lu-jaHH!", that's all I can hear in my head, loud and clear, on every bite.
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The sausage rolls are for my lunch but deep down I am here for the tarts. You simply can't leave Bourke Street Bakery's without grabbing a few of them tarts neatly stacked in the glass display at the counter. Priced between $4.40 and $4.80, there are up to eight varieties of these decadent tarts to choose from.
"1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. 6.. 7.. 8.. You want all eight of them?" she counts rather loudly to herself.
"Err... yes please... it's for client meeting," I am shamefully lying about my gluttony. These babies are going home with me and share between me and The Pom.
We start from the lightest also the most expensive ($5.00), the lemon curd meringue tart is exceptionally light. The snowy dome of meringue on top is airy and soft like fluffy cloud, a subtle hint of caramelised smoky flavour from blowtorch, whereas the lemon curd underneath is rich and tangy, but also a rather intense egg flavour which I believe the curd is made from using duck eggs rather than chicken eggs.
The raspberry chocolate mousse tart is surprisingly delicious, light chocolate mousse is not overly sweet with chocolate shaves coated on top, the richness of the tart is cut through by a slither of sharp raspberry jam at the bottom. Then there is the most famous tart from BSB, the unique ginger brulee tart is incredibly delicious, inside a firm crusty base is filled with sweet ginger custard that is intense yet comforting, chopped pistachios sprinkled over the top adds texture. If ginger is not your thing, then the strawberry vanilla brulee tart can easily be your favourite, filled with smooth and creamy vanilla custard, and a dollop of strawberry hidden underneath just to remind you that you have some fruit in your intake, so is all good.
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(~*sugar overload, where were we?*~)
The chocolate tart is sheer indulgence. The smooth dark chocolate filling is dense and rich, nicely balanced with the pastry crust, so simple, so sinful. The Pom declares that the chocolate tart can easily be his favourite, go figure. The lemon curd tart is simply a crowd pleaser, same as the meringue tart, the lemon curd is smooth and tangy, just firm enough to hold its shape but still heavenly creamy.
The last two are my least favourite, I guess I am simply not an almond tart person. Either with rhubarb or pear, the almond tart itself is actually quite moist and mealy, not overly sweet just perfect enough to let the flavour of the fruit speak for themselves. I can imagine it would go well with a cup of tea.
Bourke Street Bakery 474 Gardeners Rd
Alexandria New South Wales 2015
P: (02) 8339 1001
Mon - Fri 7am - 4pm
Sat - Sun 8am - 3pm