35 Union Street, Pyrmont, New South Wales
I found this place on a day walk around Sydney Harbour, following the Seven Bridges route. With “Pies & Pastries” in the name, this had to be a good place for finding material for this blog. Unfortunately, on the day when I first spotted it, I had just had lunch a few minutes earlier, at a place a block away, so I had to make an excursion to return on another day and sample the wares.
I assumed they would have a vanilla slice as one of the advertised pastries, but upon entering the establishment I discovered that they had more varieties of pies and sausage rolls than sweet baked goods, and that the pastries didn’t include a vanilla slice. I asked if they made them and perhaps rotated their selection from day to day, but the lady behind the counter said they only made the ones currently on display. Nevertheless, I’d made the trip specially, and they certainly had sausage rolls. Not just one, but two different varieties: beef, and lamb and rosemary.
Ordering one of each, I took them to a small cafe table by a window, with the real estate agent’s “harbour glimpses” visible outside. (i.e. If I looked down the grungy street running between the old buildings behind the casino, across the train tracks, and through a tiny gap between two buildings in the distance, I could see a minuscule patch of sparkling water in Darling Harbour.) The rolls cost $3.95 each and came served on a white plate with cutlery supplied.
Under external visible inspection, there was little to differentiate the rolls. Both had rich-looking, crumbly, flaky pastry, baked a deep golden brown colour – the lamb roll perhaps a shade darker. Tackling the beef roll first, this pastry proved to be delightfully flaky and very buttery – good evidence of hand-made puff pastry. The filling inside was a rich combination of minced beef with visible carrot and onion pieces. It was deliciously moist, seasoned with herbs and spices, but with a touch of restraint to as not to be overpowering, and there was also a subtle hint of tomato flavour as well. It was a varied and complex flavour profile, well set off by the excellent pastry.
Moving on to the lamb and rosemary roll, this displayed the same diligently hand-made pastry features as one might expect. The meat was very different – moist and succulent lamb meat, seasoned with fresh chopped rosemary and onions. If anything, this was even better than the beef roll, eliciting the word “delicious” in my hastily jotted notes on site. Overall, a very good showing. My only regret is that after the two sausage rolls I was too full to try any of the equally tempting looking pies. Maybe next time!
Beef sausage roll: 8/10
Lamb and rosemary sausage roll: 9/10