Outside, customers line up to enter Bourke Street Bakery.
In the quiet, suburban part of Surry Hillís Bourke Street there sits a small, cosy bakery attracting passers-by with smells of fresh pastries and warm baked bread. Peering through the windows, youíll discover beautiful tarts of rhubarb, loaves of bread with golden crusts, and coffee machines steaming as orders are placed at the counter. Whether you stop over for breakfast, lunch or have a catch-up afternoon tea with a few friends, Bourke Street Bakery is bound to have something to accommodate your appetite.
A few tarts by the window to get your mouth salivating
For a typical just-around-the-corner type of bakery, Bourke Street Bakery receives lines stretching outside the door and crowds of people surrounding the windows at almost any time of the day. If youíre lucky to avoid the lunch hour rush, youíll be guaranteed a seat either inside, sitting snuggly beside the window, or outside with wooden, picnic-like tables and benches.
Bourke Street Bakery first opened in 2004, with the name itself signifying the bakery originated right here in Surry Hills. The popularity and love for the freshly baked pastries by Sydney Food Lovers led the owners of this beloved local bakery to open more stores and stretch far beyond Bourke Street, with locations now in Alexandria, North Sydney, Marrickville, Potts Point and Neutral Bay. Although you might no longer need to visit Bourke Street to savour the treats of this well-known bakery; itís always a great experience to visit the place of origin and see where it all started.
Loaves and loaves of freshly baked bread
The interior of the bakery is indeed quite small, with enough room for three small group tables by the window and just a handful of people overlooking the glass cabinets by the counter. To the left-hand side of the counter, crusty, golden loaves of bread are propped up on wooden shelving, which adds a little authenticity to the ambience of the bakery.
Lemon Curd Tart and Ginger Creme Brulee Tart sitting inside the cabinet by the counter
Above the counter, small blackboards are hooked up, providing a written menu for hot food orders. Though the sweet pastries by the cabinet glisten and are almost impossible to avoid, Bourke Street Bakery also offers a range of hot foods such as different varieties of meat pies, sausage rolls, quiches and single-servings of pizza. Whether you order sweet or savoury when dining in, your pastry is served to you right away on top of a silver platter.
Just a few of Bourke Street Bakery's Sausage Rolls
For a hearty, hot food treat, be sure to try the sausage rolls at $4.50 a serve. The Lamb, Almond and Harrisa Sausage Roll is wrapped in a flaky, golden pastry and topped with a few sprinkles of poppy seeds. This particular sausage roll adds a little spin on the traditional varieties, making it an ideal choice for the food lover daring to try something a little more out there.
The sausage roll lovers who are fond of tradition will happily enjoy the Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll. Also encased in a flaky, golden puff pastry, this sausage roll is given a little texture, flavour and character with the addition of fennel seeds. Both rolls are quite filling and very meaty, living up to the expectation and mirroring the flavours and style of a beautiful homemade sausage roll. Add a squeeze of tomato or barbecue sauce over the top to complete the picture.
More pastries and sweets to see inside the cabinet
Once your eyes have been set on the desserts peering through the cabinets, itís difficult to skip a serving of the sweet treats. The sizes of the pastries are good for one, although depending on your tastebuds or appetite, itís possible to share between two.
The Lemon Curd Tart - crumbly pastry, lemony filling.
The Lemon Curd Tart ($5), though may look simple in appearance, is packed with a punch of lemon flavour. The texture of the curd is thick, smooth and creamy and works well in unison with the tangy, citrusy kick of the lemon filling. The shortcrust pastry is golden brown, crumbly and buttery in a way that melts in your mouth when eaten by the spoonful.
Rhubarb Danish - flaky pastry topped off with stalks of rhubarb
Rhubarb lovers will have difficulty in deciding how to eat the vegetable, either as a danish or a tart. The Rhubarb Danish ($4) features stalks of chopped, vibrant red rhubarb sprawled over the top of the flaky, buttery pastry. Dusted with a coating of icing sugar, the danish is crisp and slightly puffed around the edges. Like the danish, the rhubarb pulls apart delicately, spreading the rhubarb flavour to every piece torn off and popped into your mouth.
Rhubarb and Almond Tart - frangipane filling, crumbly pastry and stalks of red rhubarb.
The other rhubarb option is the Rhubarb and Almond Tart ($5). Inside the buttery, crisp pastry sits a cake-like almond filling and decorated with pieces of rhubarb stalks and a dusting of icing sugar. The almond filling, also sometimes referred to as frangipane, is dense and moist, and sweet yet not rich or overpowering. The almond flavour and texture adds a contrast in texture to the crumbly pastry and intense flavour of the rhubarb. To finish off your dessert or meal, be sure to order a cup of coffee ($3.30-$4) on the side.
If you ever find yourself casually strolling down Bourke Street and are in need of a quick bakery fix, be sure to stop by Bourke Street Bakery. Youíll be reminded of the beauty of a simple, yet cosy corner-street bakery ambience where treats are placed in brown paper bags for those on the go, and the bare brick exterior and mustard walls that evoke a warm, inviting feeling. The moment you see the golden, Bourke Street Bakery brush script typography spread over the window, youíll be sure to pop in and see what the fuss is over this popular Sydney cafť. You wonít be disappointed.
Sit and dine at Bourke Street Bakery with a few treats, and a cup of coffee.
Where: 633 Bourke Street Surry Hills NSW.
Why: It's a cosy bakery with great quality food and pastries, both sweet and savoury. Friendly staff and warm ambience.
Cost: Pastries from $3-$7, Hot Food from $4-$7, and Coffee from $2.50-$4.50.
When: Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat-Sun 7am-5pm. Best time to go is morning tea or afternoon tea to avoid the lunch hour rush.
Good for kids: Yes, although parents with prams should consider outdoor seating.
Take away: Yes.