Categories
Bakery Café

Brasserie Bread – Banksmeadow NSW Cafe Review

Another day, another feed. Today’s breakfast was eaten at Brasserie Bread, a bakery and cafe a mere ten minutes walk from our home.

The bulk of this review is actually about the second time I ate food from Brasserie Bread – the first time was a couple of takeaway sandwiches following a night shift several weeks before. The Smoked Chicken Sambo with avo, provolone cheese, roast tomato & aioli ($14) was quite good, while The Brasserie BLT Sambo with bacon, iceberg, tomato on Sourdough Batard ($12) was very middling.

While the wait for just a couple of sandwiches the first time felt like forever, the wait for dining in was actually very minimal. This is my story.

This glossy looking rhubarb and strawberry tart I must admit was only okay. I thought it was a bit too cakey and not tarty enough for my liking. Beautiful, though.

The apple crumble, in contrast, was relatively divine. Absolutely great interplay of crispy pastry textures, crumble, apple, and sauce.

My partner ordered the Eggs Your Way on Toast with Pepe Saya Butter, a mere $10 for a delicious and wholesome meal. She loved it so much that I caught her making heart eyes at the perfectly liquid yolk atop Pepe’s cultured butter. The chorizo that I spent $4 adding on was a waste – an absolutely not necessary addition to this already perfect dish.

The Slow Cooked Beef Brisket Sambo with housemade pickled cabbage slaw ($14), in comparison with the simple wholesomeness of the eggs on toast, was a letdown. I found the beef a bit unflavourful, a disappointment matched with its boring texture. Not even the yummy pickled cabbage slaw and sauce could save it. The second letdown of the dish was the oppressive quantity of soft crusty bread. I understand that Brasserie Bread is first and foremost a bakery, but I feel that they really missed the mark on the filling to bread ratio, and consequently I cannot recommend this sandwich.

COMMENT

I liked the little pastries and I liked the simple toast and eggs. The beef brisket sandwich was a bit of a letdown, but from memory their smoked chicken sandwich was actually quite nice. It was a cheap and cheerful local breakfast.

4/5 sauerkrauts

Brasserie Bread
1737 Botany Rd, Banksmeadow NSW 2019
1300 966 845

Categories
Bakery Café French

Croquembouche Patisserie – Botany NSW Café Review

Wow! This review has really been a long time coming.

When we moved to Botany in January 2020 one of the first things we did, before we even started unpacking, was load up Zomato and look for places to eat. Croquembouche Patisserie caught our eye, and since then we’ve eaten there at least ten to fifteen times over the course of a year.

Croquembouche bills itself as one of top French bakeries in Sydney, and as the only French (non-Vietnamese) bakery I’ve ever been to I’d have to agree. We’ve eaten so many things at Croquembouche that I will only review our favourites.

The Reuben Sandwich is huge and flavourful. It’s actually the first thing I ever got from Croquembouche and has become a regular favourite. I would recommend to get it toasted.

The Ham and cheese croissant with béchamel sauce is excellent. The croissant is fluffy, and the béchamel makes the whole thing very creamy. They do an alternate ham and cheese croissant with gruyere which is a bit more expensive but I don’t like as much – no béchamel.

The Citron tart is my partner’s favourite thing from Croquembouche. In her words, “it’s probably the best lemon curt tart [she’s] ever had. Its balance of tanginess and sweetness is pretty perfect, and I wonder if it has some other complex citruses in there as well. Lemon parts are one of [her] favourite desserts, and [she] thinks that Croquembouche has one of [her] favourite tarts [she’s] ever tasted. You can’t quote me word for word, because I refuse to have non edited words and thoughts on a public platform. You’d better not be continuing to write what I’m saying.”

There is a healthy assortment of crepes on offer, which are all delicious and packed with ingredients like cheese, meat, and mushrooms.

This salted caramel tart was quite good, and not too sweet. This is coming from someone who generally doesn’t like salted caramel.

Croquembouche also offers an assortment of hot meat pies and sausage rolls. They’re pretty standard, and not really at the level of perfection as their other stuff.

Through the course of the year we had an assortment of fruity dessert pastries, which were mostly good and not too sweet.

This was an expensive but elevated hot cross bun.

The level of glaze on this apricot tart is enough to reflect stars in distant galaxies.

$10 for a bacon and egg roll and a coffee is actually quite a good deal. Unfortunately I think not everyone in the café can make coffee, and the wait for coffee during the morning rush can end up being a bit long.

My girlfriend loves chocolate mousse.

Some kind of savory bread of which I have no recollection. Looks cheesy.

This was a really nice sandwich, maybe Cuban, maybe something else, packed with ingredients including a generous amount of pickle. I’d get it again.

Look at this slice of unnamed tart.

Tart of berry. Small but concentrated.

This is one that surprised me. You would never expect such a dish sitting in the counter to have such perfectly poached eggs. Indeed this an entire brunch dressed as a sandwich. Really good, but flies under the radar.

I had a couple of these truffle and salami sandwiches throughout the year. Very tasty, but very oily.

The Salmon and Dill and Chicken and Dill sandwiches are also quite yum. A very pleasant dill taste mixed into a mayonnaise-like sauce with either salmon or chicken rillettes. I’ve never had one uneaten for long enough to take a photo.

THOUGHTS OTHER THAN EFFUSIVE PRAISE

If there’s one somewhat negative component of Croquembouche Patisserie it may just be the exquisite amount of care and time they put in to make the coffee and toast the sandwiches. I’m often in a rush in the morning before work, so I know to get my sandwiches untoasted and without coffee. Their food is also quite rich and buttery, which may be a problem in terms of long-term cardiovascular risk.

Having gone so many times in 2020 and not at all since moving to Western Sydney in February 2021, I wonder if these guys think I’ve died.

Croquembouche Patisserie
1635 Botany Rd, Botany NSW 2019
(02) 9666 3069

Categories
Café

Rolling Penny – Newton NSW Cafe Review

Tempted by the positive reviews on Google Maps, we rolled into Newtown for a very sunny 8AM breakfast at Rolling Penny. Our waiter cheerfully let us know that there was a whole new menu starting today, which disappointed me very deeply as I had already had my mind set on what I wanted. Luckily what I wanted was still on the menu, albeit renamed and with a small price increase.

Rolling Penny Twice Cooked Roast Chicken

The Twice Cooked Roast Chicken ($18) with burnt butter sauce, mixed greens, roast garlic, beer pickles, garlic sprouts on brickfields ciabatta roll is the latest reincarnation of Rolling Penny’s famous chicken baguette. The sandwich had a mild and balanced flavour, with the creamy white sauce accentuating the umami of the moist chicken. The bread was soft on the inside yet crispy on the outside. My partner didn’t like that the pickles interrupted the otherwise warm and smooth taste of the chicken roll, but I enjoyed that they were there to punctuate the blissful smoothness with a bit of sharp tang. Overall the chicken roll is comparable to the chicken baguette at Cafe Mckenzie, and if you like one then I recommend you try the other. I can recommend this expensive sandwich.

Rolling Penny Portabello Mushroom

Excuse the awful photo, but the Portabello Mushroom ($17) with mushroom jerky, braised leeks, smoked mozzarella, radicchio & truffle aioli on a brickfields ciabatta roll looked as good as it tasted. We made the decision to add pancetta ($5), which turned out to be absolutely the right choice. The mushroom roll was incredibly juicy and rich, with lots of cheese and umami flavours. This got old quickly, however, and I found that the pancetta really did a great job at adding some variety in terms of texture and flavour. I would even go so far as to recommending the pancetta as an essential add on to this roll, which unfortunately takes the total to $22, a thoroughly expensive sandwich. I did not like the mushroom roll as much as the chicken roll.

The lighting and our positioning was unable to suitably capture the visual appeal of Rolling Penny’s Divorced Eggs ($18.50) – 2 poached eggs, salsa verde, romesco sauce, toasted pistachios, Meredith farm feta served on brickfields rye and caraway. The Divorced Eggs was visually arresting, a celebration of bright and contrasting colours with its salsa verde and romesco sauce. We did not, however, enjoy this dish as much as we did the two rolls. The two sauces were good, but too tasty, and the overall ratio of sauce to bread and other less tasty components hung on the too tasty side of the scales. Each mouthful, especially towards the end of the meal, was so drowned in flavour and saltiness that it was difficult to enjoy. The eggs were well poached, and I did peek a giant pot of eggs with an Anova sous vide cooker on the counter. The toasted pistachios were my favourite ingredient of the dish, and added some variety to the otherwise mushy texture of the sauce and eggs. I wouldn’t get this again.

Last of all, the coffee was very good. My partner liked that they gave me a red cup and an orange saucer, and her an orange cup with a red saucer. I didn’t notice.

Overall verdict: I enjoyed the chicken and mushroom rolls thoroughly, although both were quite expensive. I would recommend coming here but it has to lose a point for 1. price and 2. the divorced eggs.

Rolling Penny Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato