57 Hampden Road, Battery Point, Tasmania
When Mrs SB&R and I were planning our trip to Tasmania, one of her work colleagues gave her a list of place to visit in Hobart. Jackman & McRoss was high on the list, recommended for its bakery products, coffee, and its signature scallop pie – a culinary item peculiar to Tasmania, which is well known for its scallop fisheries. Walking up the hill from Salamanca Place, we discovered the bakery nestled in the historic Battery Point area, which is mostly residential, with only a few shops clustered around one intersection. One of these shops is Jackman & McRoss, and it seems to draw a big crowd as the only eating establishment in the immediate area. Painted underneath the name on the outside of the Federation era building is the slogan “Bakers of fine breads, cakes & pastries”. It’s a shame the word “purveyors” isn’t in there somewhere.
Inside, the small area in front of the display counters is packed with customers queueing to order coffee or get a croissant or other pastry to take away. The counters are stuffed to the gills with amazing looking cakes and Viennoiserie. And to the right side is an opening beyond which several roms of what obviously used to be a house have been converted into places with cafe tables. We are fortunate to grab a free table at an inside room, and sneakily move over to a window table later on. On the menu are not one, not two, but three different sausage rolls: pork and apple; duck, cranberry, and walnut; and Thai spiced chicken! Also in the display counter is something I’ve never seen before, labelled with a little sign, describing it as: “vanilla slice with crème patisserie, fresh strawberries, & brisee pastry”. All right! Let’s try the highly unusual duck sausage roll, with the vanilla slice for afters.
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13 Market Lane, Manly, New South Wales
Continuing my quest to check out what are reputed to be some of Sydney’s best bakeries, I made the trek to Manly to try Infinity Bakery. This is a small shop located in the laneway running parallel behind the Corso, Manly’s main pedestrian thoroughfare, so it’s hidden away from much of the tourist foot traffic. The Manly outlet is one of three Sydney locations, with other shops in Paddington and Darlinghurst.
There are a few cafe tables, and a small selection of sandwiches and pastries (no vanilla slice, unfortunately), but mostly they sell loaves and bread rolls. But there’s also a warmer holding a few pies, sausage rolls, and two different types of vegetarian rolls (spinach and feta; and pumpkin, chickpea, and feta).
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1-1a Brown St, Newtown, New South Wales
I’d been wanting to visit this place ever since I first heard about it. They do a big line in pies, as one might expect from the name – both the savoury, meaty Australian sort, and sweet dessert types. The establishment is tucked away in a little side street off Newtown’s bustling King Street restaurant and university student shopping strip. If you didn’t know it was here, you’d probably never notice it unless you are a local to the area.
On a sunny winter Sunday I sought out the address and ventured into the old brick building, painted a neat light grey on the outside. The interior is funky and modern, with two large display cases arranged at right angles. The right one contains hot savoury pies of several different varieties, while the left contains sweet pies. Some of the hot pies on offer include: steak, cheese, and smokey bacon; lamb and rosemary; smokey beef brisket and mushroom; Sicilian style chilli lovers sausage and white bean; creamy chicken with hot seeded mustard and mushrooms; vegetable and lentil; sweet roasted duck with Cointreau and seasonal vegetables. While the sweet section has: Black Forest meringue; whipped lime; brown butter pecan; American style pumpkin; banoffee; creamy coconut custard; lemon brulee; Mississippi mud; and “the apple pie that ate Newtown” – an apple pie roughly the size of a car tyre, I kid you not.
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