12 Princes Highway, Sylvania, New South Wales
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.
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.
Continue reading Paul’s Famous Hamburgers, Sylvania
150 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne, New South Wales
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!
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.
Continue reading Drummoyne Bakehouse Cafe, Drummoyne, pt. 3
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.
In the front window was a tray of vanilla slices!
Continue reading Two Brothers, Lane Cove
Shop 1/27 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon Beach, New South Wales
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.
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.
Continue reading Paterson’s Pies, Avalon Beach
Unit 101/7 Hoyle Ave, Castle Hill. New South Wales
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 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.
Continue reading Exquisite Cakes, Castle Hill
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.
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.
Continue reading Pennant Hills Hot Bread, Pennant Hills
7 Ramsay Rd, Pennant Hills, New South Wales
Continuing to clear the backlog of previously unposted reviews, today we return to an expedition to Pennant Hills to visit some friends. After spending a late morning visit, I was heading home and getting peckish around lunchtime. So I stopped at Pennant Hills Marketplace, and old fashioned and somewhat run-down shopping centre, with 1960s era buildings on two sides of an open car park. One of the shops here is the nondescript Andrew’s Patisserie.
I search for a vanilla slice, but alas they don’t seem to have any. Oh well, better settle for a sausage roll. They look all right in the warmer.
Continue reading Andrew’s Patisserie, Pennant Hills
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.
Continue reading Paddy’s Pies, Neutral Bay
1-1a Brown St, Newtown, New South Wales
After my first review of The Pie Tin, I try to get back there as often as I’m in the area (which is not all that often). Their range of pies is ever-changing, and it turns out they also rotate their sausage rolls!
One day (a while back, as I’m still clearing out old tasting notes that I neglected to write up fully at the time), I wandered in and found in the warmer: Caramelised apple and pork roll with fennel and cayenne pepper!
Oh my! Taking one to a table on its individual aluminium plate, I inspect the goods.
Continue reading The Pie Tin, Newtown, revisited
Shop 7/19-25 Grosvenor Street, Neutral Bay, New South Wales
I’ve been going back through old photos and notes, and found several reviews that I made quick notes on, but never found the time to post here. With COVID-19 lockdown in place, it seems like a good time to clear out the backlog!
Bourke Street Bakery is a good choice for sausage rolls, of several different varieties. Previously I’ve sampled no less than the pork and fennel sausage roll, the lamb, almond, and harissa sausage roll, and the chicken, pumpkin, and tarragon sausage roll. But on another occasion I visited the place and they had, believe it or not, a fourth type of sausage roll: Chicken and sweet corn. Naturally I had to try it to see how it compared to the others.
It’s thin and flat, as is typical for the Bourke Street Bakery style of rolls. Apart form that it looks decent, and as we know from past experience, these rolls punch well above their weight as judged by appearance. The pastry does look good, and there are thin crispy bits of burnt juices stuck to it, promising of a rich and moist filling.
Continue reading Bourke Street Bakery, Neutral Bay, extra