No, it is not a typo, Bourke St Bakery has finally come Over The Bridge and added another little post in Neutral Bay. They make sensational baguettes and chocolate tarts, but there are times when, frankly, you just can’t be bothered driving to Surry Hills and standing in line to pick them up (yeh yeh yeh sacreligious for a “foodie” – did I mention I detest that word – but there are other things to do as well besides driving around to get things to eat, such as read food magazines and cook books). Though we did have trouble finding the place – a quick phone call (“look for the wheelbarrow”, pictured above) soon led us to a nondescript little corner. It’s a teeny little place with ten or so seats inside and the same again outside, so don’t come with hoards of your friends to sit down. The menu has pies, sausage rolls, sandwiches, even pizza, and there is also a daily soup. We had to try one of each of the sausage rolls – a vegetarian (chickpea, fetta, eggplant and spinach), the lamb and harissa, and the pork and fennel. The pork and fennel was the crowd favourite, the lamb second, and the vegetarian got thumbs down all round – it was dry, and there was way too much spice (cumin?) which meant you couldn’t taste much else. A tip for the staff – don’t put the paper napkins underneath the sausage rolls – they stick and then you have to peel them off! Then onto the beef and brisket pie. Phoar, look at that inside – good pie, proper chunks of meat and nice gravy. There isn’t any elegant way to cut or eat it. The non-diet continued and we moved onto the tarts – rhubarb, ginger brulee, and milk chocolate. The rhubarb surprised me in a good way, it was much better than I expected with a nice balance of sweet and rhubarb acidity, and a lovely pastry. The ginger brulee lives up to the hype – incredibly luscious custard with a perfect amount of ginger, I’ll be back for another. Its a perfect size given the richness. And the milk chocolate which is smooth and a always a good chocolate hit. After pretending that we were just thinking about it, we admitted we really wanted to try the carrot cake and got that as well. It was good, but as my friend aptly commented, its “just another carrot cake”, and not one you’d travel for. The tarts, now they are worth some miles, and now that they are in Neutral Bay, I’ll need to do less of them.
Bourke Street Bakery, Grovenor St, Neutral Bay