Category Archives: nsw

Vanilla, Lithgow

32 Main St, Lithgow

A few months ago, I took a winter weekend getaway driving trip with Mrs SB&R and Canine SB&R to the country town of Mudgee. Along the way, we stopped for a break and to stretch our legs at the intermediate town of Lithgow. Lithgow is a bit of a sleepy town and there wasn’t much open on this morning, but we located a cafe named Vanilla for a hot drink and a sweet treat. It also seemed to be operating as a florist.

Vanilla cafe, Lithgow

Stepping inside is like stepping from a freezer into a nice warm living room with a roaring fire in the fireplace. It’s warm and cosy, and populated with a few locals enjoying a respite from the harsh weather of the former coal mining town. The cake selection in here looks pretty good. And they had vanilla slices!

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San Antonio Sourdough, Balmain

349 Darling St, Balmain

On a fine spring day Mrs Snot Block & Roll suggested we go on an expedition across the water to the Sydney suburb of Balmain. A convenient way to get there is to catch a ferry, so we made our way over the cool green waters of Sydney Harbour to the relevant wharf and walked up the steep hill to the main street, where an array of shops and food outlets awaited. Here, in search of sustenance we found San Antonio Sourdough.

San Antonio Sourdough, Balmain

Taking a look at the counter displays inside, the sweet treats looked extremely tempting, and they also had some pies and sausage rolls. I got a sausage roll and, because they had no vanilla slices, I opted for a pecan tart for afterwards.

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Golden Bakehouse, South Turramurra

219C Kissing Point Road, South Turramurra, New South Wales
golden-bakehouse.business.site

It’s a warm late winter Sunday – the perfect opportunity to take Mrs and Canine Snot Block & Roll for a drive! Of course, I had to do some research to make sure there was a nice bakery awaiting at our destination. And for this trip I chose something that has been tantalising me for some time now. Whenever I do a Google search of Sydney for bakeries, popping up like a gleaming apparition with an astonishing 4.9 star average rating, is Golden Bakehouse at South Turramurra.

Golden Bakehouse, South Turramurra

It’s a strange thing. Despite the amazing Google rating, photos of the bakery look distinctly bland and average. This looks like your run-of-the-mill suburban bakery, dishing out good hot bread and banh mi rolls, but distinctly average patisserie goods. Something seems rotten in the State of Denmark here…

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Stoneground Bakery, Hunters Hill

Shop 7/52-56 Gladesville Rd, Hunters Hill, New South Wales
stonegroundbakery.com.au

On a grey and rainy Saturday Mrs Snot Block & Roll decided we could use a nice warming lunch at a bakery-cafe somewhere. I checked Google Maps to see if I could find somewhere promising and new within a short drive, and located Stoneground Bakery in a suburb acceptably far from home. Online reviews seemed positive, and the website offered various pies and other goodies.

Stoneground Bakery

So we drove over through the gentle drizzle and were fortunate to find a vacant table on the footpath outside, but under cover of the awning, where we could sit with Canine Snot Block & Roll while we inspected the wares and then ordered some lunch.

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Paul’s Famous Hamburgers, Sylvania

12 Princes Highway, Sylvania, New South Wales
paulsfamoushamburgers.com.au

With COVID-19 lockdown still in the easing off stages here, I haven’t been making as many trips as usual. But today, on a fine and mild, sunny winter Sunday, I ventured to Sydney’s deep south – The Shire. Not for a sausage roll, but to sample another legendary Sydney food item: one of Paul’s famous hamburgers, from the Princes Highway-side shop known simply as Paul’s Famous Hamburgers, in the Sutherland Shire suburb of Sylvania.

Having negotiated the tricky turnoff directly after crossing Tom Ugly’s Bridge, I arrived at Pauls’ Famous Hamburgers a few minutes before 11:30, figuring I’d get an early lunch to avoid the crowds. They only open at 11:30, but even before there were signs of stirring within the shop, a queue was forming outside. It got up to about a dozen people before 11:30 passed and the shop opened – at which point I jumped on the back of the queue to avoid even more people getting in front of me.

Paul's Famous Hamburgers of Sylvania

While standing in the approved COVID-19 socially distanced queue, marked by taped crosses 1.5 metres apart on the footpath, a woman came out and moved along the queue with an order book, taking people’s orders. I ordered a special with cheese (which comes with beef patty, lettuce, tomato, raw onion, bacon, fried egg, and cheese), plus beetroot and Paul’s special sauce (home made aioli mixed with chili sauce), a large chips with regular salt (as opposed to chicken salt), and a peanut butter crunch milkshake. Having declared my Aussie colours in the previous hamburger review on this site, the additional beetroot was a complete no-brainer. In fact, no matter how famous these burgers may be, I’m a bit put out that beetroot is only presented as an option and not part of the standard package.

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Drummoyne Bakehouse Cafe, Drummoyne, pt. 3

150 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne, New South Wales
drummoynesbakehousecafe.com.au

We’ve reviewed the Drummoyne Bakehouse twice before, once for the sausage roll and vanilla icing topped vanilla slice, and once for the vanilla slice topped with icing sugar. But on this cloudy, drizzly late autumn day, when I’d ventured here mostly for a comforting hot pie for lunch, I casually added “and a vanilla slice” to my order, remembering how good they were. The woman serving me asked if I wanted icing sugar, or passionfruit icing… and indeed the slices visible in the display had clearly visible passionfruit seeds. Well!

Vanilla slice, Drummoyne Bakehouse

I took my pies and slice to nearby Drummoyne Park, where Canine Snot Block & Roll could run around on the grass while I indulged. The pies were great, but then I turned my attention to this unexpected boon.

As in previous reviews, the slice is a visual marvel, three layers of very crisp looking pastry, two of mid-yellow creamy custard. This one is topped with a thick layer of rich yellow icing, with a couple of black passionfruit seeds visible. there is some hand-made roughness around the edges, but the whole thing looks scrumptious.

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Two Brothers, Lane Cove

6-8 Burns Bay Rd, Lane Cove, New South Wales

While still under COVID-19 restrictions, Mrs Snot Block & Roll had a necessary appointment at her optometrist in a nearby suburb, so we had an excuse to make a small outing of it, picking up a coffee (for her) and a sweet treat for myself along the way. The normally bustling Lane Cove shopping village was a bit more sparsely populated than usual, with most of the shops and cafes open for business. One of them was Two Brothers Cafe Restaurant, which, while not open for seat-in dining due to the rules, was serving take-away drinks and snacks.

Two Brothers, Lane Cove

In the front window was a tray of vanilla slices!

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Paterson’s Pies, Avalon Beach

Shop 1/27 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon Beach, New South Wales
facebook.com/patersonspies/

In the last of the backlog of old reviews, I visit the far northern beachside suburb of Avalon Beach – which I just learnt was named “Avalon Beach” and not “Avalon” like I thought. Wikipedia says it used to be named Avalon, but the “Beach” was officially added in 2012. Anyway, here is the bakery known as Paterson’s Pies.

Paterson's Pies, Avalon Beach

It’s a streetfront facing dedicated pie shop, listing pies and sausage rolls as their primary products, followed by quiches, croissants, and coffee. There’s nowhere to sit inside the small shop, which just has a service counter and a fridge of drinks.

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Exquisite Cakes, Castle Hill

Unit 101/7 Hoyle Ave, Castle Hill. New South Wales
yourexquisitecake.com.au

In another old unpublished review, I find myself in the north-western suburb of Castle Hill. I’d made a trek out here to visit a game shop to browse their selection of board games and see if I wanted to buy something. Alas, I discovered when I arrived that their shop is in fact more of an industrial estate showroom, and only open three days a week – not including the day that I’d chosen. Undaunted, I sought a local source of nourishment and decided to try Exquisite Cakes.

Exquisite Cakes, Castle Hill

Exquisite Cakes has a premises in the Castle Hill Homemaker Centre, the sort of large place you find in industrial areas that has a bunch of furniture showrooms, carpet and floor tile places, hardware stores, and similar businesses that need huge floor space to show off their wares.

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Pennant Hills Hot Bread, Pennant Hills

Shop 2/3 Hillcrest Rd, Pennant Hills, New South Wales

The next old entry that I have to clear otu from my review backlog is also located in Pennant Hills, just a minute’s walk from the previously reviewed Andrew’s Patisserie, although I visited this place several months later! Yes, also nestled in the old fashioned 1960s shopping centre here is the descriptively named Pennant Hills Hot Bread.

Pennant Hills Hot Bread

At least that’s all the sign says. A Google search indicates that the business is actually registered as Thai Son Hot Bread, but that name appears nowhere on the premises signage. Yes, as you can tell from the name, this is another in the endless supply of suburban Vietnamese bakeries that can be found all over Sydney. many of them are excellent, so let’s see what this one is like.

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