There is something very special and expensive happening at LODE Pies and Pastries, a venture born during the pandemic as online-order, bake-at-home versions of LuMi’s pies and now come of age as its own little Crown St pastry shop.
This sausage roll ($7) with its filling of differently textured bits of meat was good but did not blow my mind. It is at a high tier of sausage rolls, but it didn’t really do anything extremely special for me to grant it the rank of master.
Lode’s Fruit Tart ($10) changes on a semi-regular basis, and we were treated to this delicious mandarin version on our visit. This tart featured fresh mandarin atop a bed of semi-sweet creme patissiere, itself on top of a nutty and texturally complex mixture of mandarin jam and macadamia frangipane, all of which was encased in and supported by a base of multi-layered flaky pastry. This was a very strong sweet snack, and with Lode’s frequent iterations on the theme of fruit tart certain to be a recurrent drawcard for return visitors.
The Mr Peanut ($11), a log of sugar-dusted croissant dough filled with peanut frangipane, caramelised banana and a hint of dark chocolate was a bit sweeter than its fruity colleague, but still very good. This was an extra-dense log of sweetness and butteriness, with the tried and true breakfast combination of banana, peanut, and chocolate in the filling complimenting but not overpowering the pastry.
The LuMi Pithivier ($20), an unusually expensive pie with a pork and shittake mushroom filling in a laminated pie crust served with a chicken sauce is Lode’s flagship item, and ultimately not mind-blowing, especially at the princely sum commanded. The crust was clearly multi-layered and delicately built, but I didn’t feel that the flavours of the filling was good or special enough to earn it all the accolades heaped upon it online. Maybe the combination of pork and mushroom isn’t so much a novelty to my palate as it is to others. This pie, like the sausage roll, was good but just didn’t blow my mind.
COMMENTS: I thoroughly enjoyed the mandarin tart, as well as the bread-components of each pastry itself, but felt that the fillings of the savoury dishes didn’t quite tickle my fancy. Having said that, my partner is constantly wanting to go back (I resist), and that’s probably a market of goodness in itself.
Lode Pies & Pastries
487 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010