I am almost embarrassed to admit how much I frequented bakeries and pastry shops in Sydney. With a strong cafe culture, it was difficult to find a bad cup of coffee. To accompany all these silky smooth cups of flat whites, obviously I did not resist the call of flaky pain au chocolate, moist cakelets, meat pies, ubiquitous sausage rolls, and tarts of both sweet and savoury varieties.
In Sydney, there are certainly boutique-style pastry shops like Adriano Zumbo and Bécasse Bakery that rival any luxury patisseries in major metropolis. However, it was the quality of neighbourhood bakeries that charmed me the most. You could always count on them for good bread, non pretentious sweets, and excellent coffee.
Black Star Pastry in Newtown was my absolute favourite. The cupboard-size store was jammed with customers queuing for decadent breakfast and take-home treats when I visited on Saturday morning. I was lucky to find a spot to sit by the window and precariously balanced plates of goodies on the low polished rock stool. The Persian Fig, Quince, and Orange Cake with Pistachio and Rose Petal was a highlight of my trip Down Under. The buttery cake was moist with orange soaking syrup and the exotic Persian flavour combination was emphasized by pretty toppings’ textural contrast. It tasted like the most perfect cupcake except for its diminutive size…which made me crave more.