112 Longueville Rd, Lane Cove, New South Wales
Pottery Green is a cosy and dark nook with rustic farmhouse wooden beams and walls, nestled in the otherwise somewhat run-down main strip of Lane Cove. The interior is cosy and warm in the winter chill, but there are also tables out on the footpath for brave souls or those who want to catch some sun. Amidst a tempting selection of cakes and pastries, they have a hot savoury selection boasting two types of sausage rolls: “plain beef” and “pork and veal”, for $4 and $5 respectively. For my first taste I plump for the pork and veal, and accompany it with the traditional vanilla slice.
Braving the chill winter air on an outside table, the goodies arrive on two china plates. The pork and veal sausage roll looks great, with a rich golden brown pastry casing, bursting at the ends with generously stuffed, caramelised meaty filling. On a first bite, the meat filling is deliciously moist, with meat juices seeping through the lower pastry layer. The meat seems to have shrunk a bit during baking as it has come free of the pastry tube and slides around freely inside, which makes things a little tricky on the structural integrity front.
The flavour is spot on for the meat, with chunks of onion, carrot, fennel seeds, and I think mustard seeds. It’s very flavoursome and nicely juicy, and there is more then a hint of sweetness from something which I couldn’t identify – possibly some sort of small berries. The pastry is slightly soggy on the bottom but this can be forgiven due to the intense juiciness of the meat. On top it is baked to a deep golden brown crisp, verging on but not quite burnt. It’s crunchy and retains some flake, which compliments the moist filling nicely. It’s very good.
Turning to the vanilla slice, this is a long and flat affair, dusted with quite a thick layer of icing sugar – rather too thick for my liking. The pastry looks moderately thick and biscuity, with two alarmingly thin layers of custard, not much thicker than the pastry layers. On one corner the custard shows signs of gelatinising with age, which is never a good look. Visually, it’s not particularly promising, but let’s judge it by the taste as well.
With a first bite, the pastry is revealed to be firm and crisp, but yields with a nice snap to the teeth, causing only a little custard oozing, although really this is mostly due to the minuscule amount of custard. The pastry is very nice, but dominates the entire flavour profile, so the slice ends up tasting like sheets of puff pastry with not much else on them. Scooping some custard out with a fork to get a good taste of it, it turns out to be very nice, with a creamy smooth but nicely thick consistency and a good vanilla flavour. It’s a real shame that there’s about a third as much custard as there should be, and its flavour is overwhelmed by the pastry. This could have been really good, but alas fails on basic construction proportions.
Pork and veal sausage roll: 9/10
Vanilla slice: 6/10