11 Old Hume Hwy, Berrima, New South Wales
The little town of Berrima sits just off the Hume Highway south of Sydney, perfectly positioned for a day trip or a stop on the way to Canberra. And a pleasant stop it is, with several interesting shops full of knick-knacks and places to eat and drink. One of those places is Stone’s Patisserie, which is run by a skilled pastry chef. Besides a luscious looking array of cakes and pastries, the premises has cafe tables and light meals. These meals include pies and sausage rolls.
The sausage roll I ordered looks astonishing, with an intricate latticework of pastry covering the whole thing, dripping with a rich golden brown egg wash in the crevices. This indeed looks like the construction of someone who has mastered the art of pastry. But have they mastered the art of the sausage roll? The physical construction is shortish but very fat, thick stubby cylinder more like a drinking glass than the more familiar longer skinny shape. It looks gorgeous. But how will it hold up on taste?
The pastry is thin and light, and gives way to a very hearty and beefy filling of rich, dark coloured meat. It tastes very much like a beef sausage, with really strong, firm texture and slightly salty seasoning. It’s nicely juicy. The pastry lattice supports the structural qualities very rigidly but contributes almost imperceptibly to the taste and texture, which is overall very meaty. There are a few tiny flecks of onion and green herbs in the meat, but they are sparse and aren’t contributing much flavour. If you like simple beef sausages you’d like this.
But alas, the whole is less than the sum of the parts. Despite the pastry looking wonderful, it is too light and contributes too little. Despite the meat being substantial and juicy, it’s not an especially interesting flavour, and is a bit too firm, making chewing a little more of a chore than it should be. This has some serious potential if it was tweaked, but as it is, not a great sausage roll.
Sausage roll: 6/10