207 Ben Boyd Rd, Neutral Bay, New South Wales
Continuing to clear out some old reviews that I neglected to post soon after sampling, we move on to Paddy’s Pies at Neutral Bay. This small, rustic establishment is just around the corner from the incredibly good Bourke Street Bakery (previously reviewed not once, but twice), and so I’ve always neglected it in favour of the more upmarket and hipster looking Bourke Street. But on a fine October day I decided to bite the bullet (hopefully not too literally) and sample the less visually inspiring place.
It’s a small shopfront, which is basically just a little take-away pie and coffee place, not a full-blown cafe of any sort. There are some stools against a counter on the front window and a single table outside, but this isn’t a particularly inspiring place to stop in and eat your wares. The shop has generally very good online reviews, so I suppose there’s something to it.
The pie warmer inside has an interestingly diverse range of pies and also several different types of rolls, including tuna and mayo rolls, cheese and crab rolls, spinach and feta, and a “premium” sausage roll, described as having “double sausage, Philadelphia cheese, and special spicy mayo”, as well as a regular old sausage roll. The pies look decent, but I’m not entirely convinced by any of those rolls. I believe on this day I wasn’t especially hungry, so I only sampled the regular sausage roll.
The first thing you notice is how small it is, and this for the steep price of $4.20. Although that may be par for the course in this relatively posh suburb of Sydney. The pastry looks crisp, golden, and flaky, with a nice shiny egg wash but only over part of the top, dripping down the sides. The construction overall looks a little sloppy, and the meat filling is pulling back away from the pastry a bit on the ends, indicating perhaps a bit of dryness. Hmmm.
Getting to the business end of things, on biting into it the pastry is actually pretty good. It’s very flaky, with a nice crips outer layer, and well cooked, with no sogginess near the middle. The meat filling is flavourful, with well balanced seasoning, gratifyingly chunky bits of onion, and flecks of fresh green herbs. The flavour is spot on, with those herbs and a hint of black pepper. But… the meat texture is awfully mealy, like some filler has been added to the meat. It’s a shame, because otherwise this had a lot going for it. In terms of flavour and the crispiness of the pastry, it’s darn good, but that meat texture is unappealing. It’s the only let-down, but it’s a big one.
The pies still look good, so maybe I’ll try them one day, and perhaps even some of the other varieties of hot rolls, but for regular sausage rolls avoid Paddy’s and go around the corner to Bourke Street Bakery.
Sausage roll: 6/10.