9 Duneba Ave, West Pymble NSW
Arthur’s Bavarian Bakehouse is located in a tiny cluster of shops and restaurants in a quiet suburban street, one block away from the highway at West Pymble. I’ve known about this place for about 15 years and I don’t think anything about it has changed in all that time. They sell a selection of freshly made German style breads and pastries, plus homemade pies, sausage rolls and vanilla slices! There’s also a selection of German household groceries.
The window display proudly declares “Baking with passion”, and the planter boxes and little tables create an inviting friendly atmosphere.
I buy the products from the friendly server and take two brown paper bags to the tables and chairs just outside the front door.
The first thing I notice about the sausage roll is that it’s a really generous serving. Shards of puffy pastry flakes are falling off as I take it out of the bag. It’s all topped with herbs and melted cheese that has been baked to a delicious crisp. The outside is made from quality puff pastry, and it’s light and puffy and flaky and delicious all the way through – no tricksy and false appearances here! The filling is deliciously fresh and hot from the oven, seasoned well, and most importantly, is moist and meaty. There are onion pieces and herbs. I eagerly devour the whole thing – it needs to tomato sauce – this is truly a sausage roll made by those passionate about baking!
After such a knockout first course, I proceed to my dessert and hastily unwrap the vanilla slice. The top, dotted with visible black seeds heralds the traditional passionfruit icing – a first for the slices we have reviewed here so far. It’s quite large in area, but comprises only a single layer of custard between two sheets of pastry. The icing is glossy and blindingly white, and crazed with cracks like a mosaic. The pastry layers are well made, but not particularly flaky or crisp. These are more like a nice biscuit, or bready with slightly yeasty taste.
The paleness of the pastry is a theme that continues to the custard layer, which is pale in colour and is rather dense and gelatinous, not incorporating much air or creaminess. It’s straight out of a very cold refrigerator, and by itself the custard is a bit bland, missing any sort of vanilla-bean depth in the flavour profile. Bites taken together with the icing are fairly nice though, with an extra dimension of sweetness of the sugar, and tartness of the citrus and passionfruit flavours evident in the glaze.
Sausage Roll: 9/10
Vanilla Slice: 6/10