Two Skinny Cooks, Berrima

1 Market Place, Berrima, New South Wales

Berrima is a lovely old town, bypassed by the busy Hume Highway some years ago, allowing it to fall back into a dreamy country town state. But it is within day tripping distance of Sydney, so the rustic village has been taken over by antique shops, handicrafts, art galleries, and gourmet food outlets, run by the friendly locals.

On the fine day when we visited the town, there was a vintage car club holding some sort of gathering, so the streets were lined with old cars – some really very old indeed – and all kept in good nick. After wandering the main street for a bit, and getting some lunch in Stone’s Patisserie (also reviewed), we stumbled across Two Skinny Cooks.

Two Skinny Cooks

This advertises itself as a “larder door”, and mostly does a trade in prepared meals to take home and reheat, and meal ingredients such as sauces and pre-marinaded meats to be cooked at home, plus various jams, chutneys, mustards, and so on. The titular two skinny cooks prepare it in a kitchen out the bac and package the goodies for people to take with them. But besides this, they also make pies and sausage rolls – both for carrying home frozen, but also a selection hot for immediate consumption.

Rolls and pies at Two Skinny Cooks

The sausage rolls come in three varieties: lamb and harissa; chicken, bacon and cheddar; and pork and fennel. Having already eaten lunch, I made the decision to sample only one today, and plumped for the pork and fennel. It was rather expensive at $6.50, especially given the somewhat petite size, but it came with a small tub of hand made tomato and onion relish on the side. So equipped, I took it out to the wooden seat outside the shop to try it out.

Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll, Two Skinny Cooks

The pastry looks almost like packaged puff pastry – it is thin and sheeny with egg white. Honestly, from appearances and the price, I’m ready to be disappointed to have spent so much. Eschewing the sauce for the first sample, I bite into the hot roll. The filling is delicious! It’s lovely and juicy, well spiced, with thin shreds of carrot and other vegetables giving body and balance to the succulent pork meat. Great chunks of fennel add the distinctive and complimentary flavour, and a sprinkling of fennel seeds on top of the pastry complete the picture. The pastry itself is… unremarkable. I almost ignore it savouring the flavour of the filling, so at least it isn’t actively negative. It’s not the best pastry, but it’s serviceable.

Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll, Two Skinny Cooks

After eating half the roll unadulterated, I tip the provided tomato and onion sauce on to the remainder. The sauce is spicy and chunky, with a tangy freshness you don’t get from commercial sauces. It too is very good, and adds another layer of complexity to the meat and vegetables in the roll. At $6.50 this is ridiculously expensive for the size. But tastewise, it’s really, really good. Much better than the roll eaten just previously at nearby Stone’s Patisserie. I must come back and try the other two flavours some day.

Pork and fennel sausage roll: 9/10

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