4 Ennis Rd, Kirribilli, New South Wales
In a first for Snot Block & Roll, this is a re-review! Mr Coker wrote up his original review of The Flaky Tart bakery in Kirribilli some time ago. As the review was very good and the bakery is not too far away, I decided to sample the wares myself. And then I figured why not write up my own conclusions!
A bit of research reveals that The Flaky Tart is not a one-off shop here under the Harbour Bridge at Kirribilli, but is actually a branch of the better known Flaky Tart bakery of Rose Bay, on the south side of the harbour. Perhaps I’ll have to travel over there one day to sample its wares as well.
But on this fine sunny day in Kirribilli, I purchased a sausage roll, vanilla slice, and because I was very hungry, also a chicken and mushroom pie. I found a wooden bench seat nearby, perched on the side of the steeply sloping Ennis Road, overlooking the shops and restaurants of Broughton Street below. As I sat, an inquisitive seagull appeared – perhaps the very same gull that eyed Mr Coker’s samples in the previous review!
The sausage roll seems a bit small but otherwise looks reasonable on the outside, with a golden pastry browned on top and showing distinct cracks as evidence of flakiness. On a first bite, the meat appears rather anonymous, with an unappealing grey colour and a smooth texture with no sign of any vegetable chunks. It is spiced with something unusual and borderline unidentifiable, giving it a grassy, citrusy flavour. Perhaps it was lemongrass. The pastry is good – crisp and flaky – but the uncanny strangeness of the meat within restricts this from being a good roll.
The vanilla slice, on the other hand, is very good. It’s a big, solid block, with two slabs of thick pastry surrounding a double textured layer of custard in between. There is a darker yellow, moister and more traditionally custard textured layer on the bottom, and a separate layer of lighter custard on top. The top layer is lighter both in colour and weight, as though it’s been whipped with air. Surmounting the topmost layer of pastry is a simple dusting of white icing sugar, but quite thick.
I devour the slice as the seagull watches hungrily with its beady red-ringed eyes. Sorry, gull, but this is too delicious to throw any crumbs to you! The double textured custard layers are delicious and sweet and have a good kick of vanilla to them. They are set off nicely by the crisp and flaky pastry, making this a win on both flavour and texture complexity. Very good indeed, and the poor gull departs to go scavenge lunch off someone else.
Sausage roll: 5/10
Vanilla slice: 8/10