4 Ennis Rd, Kirribilli, New South Wales
I’d had my eye on this bakery for some time, but on my previous visit it was too early to eat lunch, and I had only recently had breakfast. But I had quickly checked they had sausage rolls and vanilla slices, awaiting a more opportune moment. That moment finally did arrive last weekend, having visited the area for a jog along some harbour-side paths and a swim at the North Sydney pool. I earned this!
The Flaky Tart is a trendy place, doing a brisk trade in lattes and ‘cinos, and selling a variety of baked goods and pastries. An inviting sweets cabinet displays an array of tarts eclairs and lamingtons. I order the two items, paying about $7 in total, and take a seat at the sunny tables near the train station entrance. A local seagull flies up and lands at the opposite end of the table, and seems to take little steps towards me every time my attention goes to my phone on which I am entering tasting notes about the food.
The first impression of the sausage roll is that it is light as a (seagull) feather. The pastry is crisp and flaky, grilled golden brown on top without being burnt anywhere. The seagull takes a step closer, hastily snatching away some of the crumbs which have flown off as I take the first bite. The pastry is flaky all the way through, without that stodgy twilight-zone layer of soggy pastry next to the sausage. The meat inside is moist and tasty, having a slightly tangy herbaceous taste. It’s light in color. I’m not that experienced in the world of herbs to identify what herbs exactly, but its a nice recipe and the baker has clearly set out to put up something that stands above the standard fare. The dreaded tunnel-effect is threatening to appear, but it’s not due to a lack of meat – instead the pastry is so light and flaky that it has risen above the surface of the sausage inside making a narrow tunnel that I can see through. After entering notes on my phone I quickly swat the seagull away, finish off the last bit of sausage roll, and tip the plentiful bounty of cast-off flaky shards onto the ground (where they are eaten by pigeons).
Given a brief moment of respite, I open up the brown paper bag containing the vanilla slice. The individual serve is wrapped around in white paper. Opening that reveals a rustic, even artisan vanilla slice, with a hand-made, slightly haphazard construction. I truly feel that this slice was individually crafted for me, rather than just being sawed off of a massive slab and thrown into a bag. It’s very light and airy in my hand, and the pastry is invitingly crisp. I’m not a huge fan of powdered sugar on top of vanilla slices. Biting through the pastry sees sugar go everywhere, startling the seagull which by now has returned to the tabletop. The pastry is crisp, but perhaps a little tougher than it should be. Onto my backup strategy – take the top off and eat it open-sandwich style. Doing so reveals an astonishing secret – a first for us here at Snot Block & roll – you’ll never guess what happens next! There are two types of custard inside! The lower custard is reminiscent of the traditional gelatinous snot-block custard, although hand-spread into a neat layer. On top of that is a series of delicately piped custard florettes, with a cheesecake-style texture. Nice balance of sweet and vanilla creme flavors. Very nice, but let down by a little toughness and a lackluster topping. I am in danger of this bakery regularly featuring in my weekend run-and-swim routine.