58 1/2 Espresso, Sydney International Airport

Sydney Airport Terminal 1, international departure lounge, Sydney, New South Wales
Sydney Airport website listing

Stuck in the airport waiting for a flight leaving late in the evening is a bad place to be. You know you’re going to get a meal on the plane that you’ve already paid for, but it won’t be until well after your normal dinner time, and you’re starting to get hungry. And the only thing available is airport food outlets.

Cafe 58 1/2

I felt the need for a snack to tide me over and help kill the time, and I spotted a literal pile of sausage rolls behind a glass counter display at this little cafe between gates 58 and 59. It’s called 58 1/2 Espresso – oh, I get it! Very clever. Hopefully the sausage rolls will be at least as entertaining, as I take the plunge and fork over the typical airport gouging price of $5.50 for one.

Sausage rolls, Cafe 58 1/2

The rolls are not being kept warm, so the woman behind the counter takes one and puts it into a microwave to heat up the interior. I sigh, expecting a soggy pastry, but after a minute or so she takes it out of the microwave and puts the roll into a sandwich press to heat and crisp up the pastry. This is actually not a bad idea, under the circumstances – at least it’ll be better than a soggy microwaved roll, I think.

Sausage roll, Cafe 58 1/2

Taking the result in a good old brown paper bag over to a table with a view of the runways, I proceed to examine what the unnatural environment of an airport and my hunger hath wrought. The pastry is a slightly disturbing bright yellow colour as if someone had just discovered saffron or turmeric and decided to use it in everything. Because of the sandwich press, the roll is squashed flat, but the pastry does have a nice crisp outer layer. Inside this paper thin crispy shell, however, the pastry is rather doughy and uninspiring.

Sausage roll, Cafe 58 1/2

Biting into my last meal on the ground, I discover the meat inside matches the dough in many respects. It is a bland, uniform texture, and a disturbing grey colour, devoid of any hue. It brings to mind the description “hot meat paste”. The flavour is actually not as bad as the appearance and texture, with a hint of spice evident. Overall, it’s actually not terrible. Nothing in it is so bad that it drags the whole down to the pits of despair. This is, however, solidly below average, and certainly not something to be tried again. Given the competition in the departure terminal though, there’s honestly not much better to be found.

Sausage roll: 3/10

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