So Marrickville is the current hip and happening suburb of the inner west, but what about its neighbour, Dulwich Hill? Before the hipsters discovered Marrickville, it was Dulwich Hill that basked in all the glory, from long-time locals' favourite Minh Vietnamese restaurant to the (sadly relocated) Eumundi Smokehouse.
Double shot flat white $3.40
Strawberry Fields Patisserie is part of the new wave of cafes to sweep across the suburb, tucked down a side-street off Canterbury Road. It sits just past the cul-de-sac behind the Commonwealth Bank on Marrickville Road, on the site formerly occupied by Faye Cahill cakes (now moved to Addison Road, Marrickville).
Simon Bimson is the owner and pastry chef behind the business which opened in late February this year. In only four months, the spot has already become a regular stop for locals, drawn in by the display case loaded with pastries or the action going on in the open kitchen next-door.
We take one of the eight narrow tables perched outside, a surprisingly peaceful haven with park benches littered among Council flower beds. There's no table service here but it just means a good excuse to check out all the offerings at the counter.
Pork, fennel and sage sausage roll $4.50
Our drinks arrive first, and we can't help but coo over the cornflower print tea cup and the milk poured into a miniature glass bottle. My double shot flat white is fair at best, but even then I'm still kicking myself over the lost opportunity to order the large size which is served French style, in a bowl.
The savoury items are all pastries: croissants, sausages, quiches or scrolls. We start with the pork, fennel and sage sausage roll sheathed in a layer of pastry that is crisp and flaky.
Smoked trout and dill quiche $5.50
The smoked trout and dill quiche has a soft thin crust and we find plenty of smoked trout set into the gentle wobble of baked egg custard.
Bacon and egg scroll $4.50
But my heart belongs to the bacon and egg scroll, striking in appearance with its centrepiece of egg, an orb that breaks open to release a rich ooze of golden runny yolk. The bread is soft and light, studded with caramelised onion and delicious bits of crispy bacon.
Strawberry Fields Forever fruit tart $4.20
Sweets include macarons ($2.90 each), brownies, lemon meringue tarts and tiramisu. It's only after we've placed our order that they just start drizzling melted chocolate over a batch of mille feuille vanilla custard slices.
We can't go past the namesake desert, the Strawberry Fields Forever fruit tart. There's a small obsession with The Beatles here, from the logo to the posters behind the coffee machine and even the naming of the savoury scrolls: John, Paul and Ringo.
The petite tart is generously packed with glazed strawberries, and the creme patissiere is fragrant with fresh vanilla bean.
French apple tart $4.20
The French apple tart has the same admirably thin pastry case at the strawberry tart, filled with a base of delicate frangipane. Slices of apple on top are elegant but have been sliced so thin we find the flavour of apple overwhelmed by the almond frangipane.
Almond croissant $3.95
We finish with a behemoth of almond croissant, a decadence far removed from the day-old croissants stuffed with almond paste and re-baked.
Here the syrup-soaked croissant takes on an almost cake-like consistency, filled and topped with a slather of creme d'amandes, a mixture made from butter, sugar, almond meal and eggs. This is definitely a pastry to share, except maybe the crunchy bits at the edge.
And if you're still feeling hungry, there are French sticks on the counter and loaves of potato, rosemary and truffle oil bread to take home too.
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Strawberry Fields Patisserie
Shop 2, 420 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hills, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8021 2294
Tuesday to Friday 9am-6pm
Closed on Mondays
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Dulwich Hill - Sideways Deli Cafe
Marrickville - Cornersmith
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7/02/2012 12:25:00 am