Bourke Street Bakery is one of the most well-known and successful names to hit the pastries scene in Sydney, so it’s a wonder that it took us so long to actually make our first visit. We’re happy to report that it is very deserving of all the hype that it gets and in fact, we loved the original Surry Hills store so much that we both went to the newer Potts Point store to sample more sweet goodies later! We’re now seriously addicted to the creme brulee tarts.
Surry Hills Store
As expected, on a Saturday afternoon there are queues winding outside the door. But rest assured that the lines move fast and soon we’re inside the cramped shop-front. There’s rows and rows of pastries and baked savoury goodies all neatly arranged, and we’re a bit overwhelmed about what to order because we want to try everything. We decide to order in 2 rounds – get the savouries first for lunch and double back for the desserts later.
Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse Tart
I’ve heard a lot about the lamb harissa roll and it did not disappoint. It was wonderfully flavoursome, with interesting hits of almonds and raisins sprinkled in amongst the spiced minced meat and flaky pastry. The beef pie was also a hit; the innards are hot and hearty with a tomato based sauce, diced onions and generous chunks of beef. We gobble it down and head back for round 2: the sweets.
Lamb harissa roll with raisins and almonds, $4.50 and Beef pie, $5
We bought a few extra pastries to take home to share, so I didn’t get to sample the carrot cake and pear danish but they looked delicious and judging by the fact that they were almost sold out of both, I’m sure that they tasted as good as they looked. We did end up eating the dark chocolate, raspberry and marshmallow tart on the spot and it was delectable. The chocolate was rich but not overpowering, the raspberry added nice zesty notes and the marshmallow was lightly gooey, reminding me of cream cookies I used to have as a kid.
Pear Danish ($4), Carrot Cake ($4.50), Dark Chocolate tart ($4.80) and Macadamia and Honey Sticky Bun, $4
I also loved the macadamia and honey sticky bun; it sounds simple but it melted in your mouth, with fantastic caramel flavours mixing with the nuttiness of the macadamia. It’s tough getting a table at the original Bourke Street Bakery on the weekend, but there’s a lovely little park right across the road where you can enjoy the goodies and if you’re lucky like we were, the crowds will disperse and by the time you back for more there will be a table free for you.
Milk Chocolate Ganache Tart
Potts Point store
On a rainy Sunday afternoon, we head to the Potts Point café to satisfy my craving for some creme brulee tarts. The café at this location is much more roomy than the original Bourke Street Bakery and you are much more likely to get a seat inside. It’s bustling as usual inside but it’s not long before we are served.
We settle on 3 types of tart to try out – a strawberry vanilla crème brulee tart, lemon curd tart and passionfruit meringue tart. All 3 were gorgeous, with their respective innards all encased in a sturdy biscuit tart base that is the signature of Bourke Street Bakery.
Strawberry vanilla crème brulee tart, $5
Lemon curd tart, $4.50
Passionfruit meringue tart – $5.50
My favourite was the strawberry vanilla crème brulee tart (surprise surprise) with it’s caramelised sugar topping, cracking satisfyingly as I took my first bite to reach the creamy eggy custard within. There’s a thin layer of strawberry jam at the bottom and that goes beautifully with the vanilla custard.
Next up was the lemon curd tart. I’m not a fan of citrus tarts usually and the word curd is too closely associated to the word “curdle” for my liking, so I didn’t have high expectations for this one. But it turned out to be refreshingly tangy – the soft lemon cream wasn’t bad at all!
I finished off with the passionfruit meringue tart. Again, looks were deceiving for this tart because I expected the meringue to be quite hard as that was my experience with making meringues in the past, but the Bourke Street Bakery version tastes more like fluffy whipped cream that has been slightly blowtorched and went very nicely with the zesty passionfruit flavour.
All in all, across both the stores that I have visited, Bourke Street Bakery ticks all my boxes when it comes to sweets and savouries and I only wish that I had bothered to try it out earlier because it really lives up to all the hype!