Now I truly know the meaning of TGIF. It should really be “thank God it’s Friday night so that I can sleep till late on Saturday morning” because never have I been so glad for the weekend. And in a blink of an eye, the weekend is over. For want of a better word, I truly have been continually stimulated at work. Stimulated in the sense that I’m discovering new things every day, learning the ropes to one of the noblest professions in society 😉 I can’t say I’m thrilled to be working, because the hours are really long and I don’t get home till late every day but I’m excited for the new things that I’ll learn. I know that this will eventually plateau, so I’m absorbing as much information as I can now!
Since I’m drained by the time I reach home, I can’t muster strength to do anything else besides eating and bathing, then straight to sleep. Which explains the dearth of blog posts because I haven’t had time to bake anything, although I more than made up for it by baking 1kg worth of cookies (butter cookies and experimental pineapple tart cookies :D) as well as my rye hearth bread. I just finished a few hours ago, and I couldn’t be bothered to take photographs because the light’s so bad and it’s been raining cats and dogs. Anyway, since I haven’t baked anything this week, I decided that I shall blog about Australia instead.
|That’s the Newtown courthouse in the reflection.
Technically I should be onto D already, and although I have an entry for D thought up (but obviously not done up yet), I decided to skip back to B since you really can’t afford to give this place a miss if you’re in Sydney!
I know it’s been a long time since I lasted posted about this, and ironically, the A-Z series was meant to be a travelogue series of my May/June trip to Australia, but instead, photos for this post are taken from my recent trip to Sydney – hence the wonderful light – it is spring after all! Many Sydneysiders will of course know of the fickleness of Sydney’s weather in spring – I had my fair share of rain and shine (thunderstorms resplendent with lightning, ever so reminiscent of Singapore’s thunderstorms) and lovely spring weather. It was on the latter that Jon and I headed to Black Star Pastry – I’d been dying to head there ever since he got me the watermelon cake as my birthday cake.
Black Star Pastry is the brainchild of Christopher Thé, who previously worked in Quay, Claude’s, as well as Sonoma and Victoire (both of which have nice breads and pastries). It is also highly rated on urban spoon, with 93% of reviewers recommending it. One of their signature desserts has got to be this watermelon cake. I bet most of you have never heard of such a combination, but trust me, it works. The cake consists of two layers of almond dacquoise, fresh whipped cream, watermelon, strawberries, Iranian pistachios and rose petals. It’s an absolute delight, because there are so many textures in a single bite, and the flavors of rose, strawberry, watermelon and almonds just go so well together.
They have varying sizes of the cake for order, and if I’m not wrong, this is the 10x12cm cake costing just $24! Since it was just 2 of us, we couldn’t finish this in one sitting, and had it the next morning. I’ve to say that the watermelon leaches water terribly in the fridge, and this caused the dacquoise to be soggy – so I’d advise anyone to finish this all at one go! I apologize if the 2 cake photos above don’t’ look particularly enticing – it was taken under the light of a study lamp and it had already spent a day in the fridge, hence the misshapenness and sogginess!
The shop is very small, with seating for less than 20? people, but I like the fact that even though it is small, it produces good food with quality, thus garnering the attention it so deserves. During the hour I was there, I saw all sorts of people visit the shop – from regulars getting their cuppa, to the occasional foreign tourist.
Having had their watermelon cake before, I wanted to try their macarons, amadei cake, ninja, and so many other things, but there was only so much my stomach could handle (having already ate La Banette’s millefeuille earlier), so I only could manage the chocolate tart and the orange cake. Check out the full list of their offerings here
An extensive range of Phoenix’s organic sparkling juices are available, on top of the usual caffeine offerings – I can’t take caffeine, and after having Phoenix’s lemon & lime bitters as well as their cranberry -lime juice, I was drawn to the blood orange. If only Singapore carried them – they were cheap (
I think this is perhaps the most photo-heavy entry ever, and very minimal editing was done on the photos because yes, the light was really that awesome. It was such a good day that we sat outside, people-watching while enjoying our desserts. They had these cute goblin stools which are used to place your food on – not a comfortable height to eat with, but the cakes were so good the plate remained in my hand and I didn’t need to use the stool at all.
Best thing about the cakes they offer is that a great number of them are gluten free, such as the strawberry watermelon cake with rose-scented cream and their other famous dessert, the amedei chocolate and hazelnut torte.
I had the Zokoko choc-caramel tart, which was crazy good. It had a chocolate tart crust which was filled with caramel and chocolate, and topped with Murray River pink sea salt flakes. That was the seriously the icing on the top because the saltiness went really well with the rich chocolate. It got a bit too much for me though, because I found the caramel a bit too sweet, so luckily I could offload it to my human rubbish bin :]
After I shared my tart, (the watermelon cake was his), I decided that I wanted another dessert, but something lighter on the palate this time. The orange cake had caught my eye previously, so I decided to give it ago, even though it looked rather plain for $4.50. Boy was I glad I got it! It’s a flourless orange almond cake, made with whole boiled oranges. It is then garnished with persian figs, cream cheese icing, as well as pistachios and rose petals. I absolutely LOVED it! The cream cheese icing was not overly sweet, and complemented all the other garnishings perfectly. It was honestly the best thing I ate the entire trip (and I ate a LOT of things during the 2 weeks I was there).
Here are a few more photos I took in the shop – they had macarons which were slightly larger than the usual size, but I was really full by then, and the $3.50 price deterred me from buying some back. And check out the orange cake, with a lemon myrtle chiffon cake in the background. I absolutely love the flavor combinations over here at Black Star Pastry – they utilize very Australian ingredients such as lemon myrtle, while combining Middle Eastern flavors like pistachios and rose petals in French confectionaries.
And here’s a last look at the interior of the shop. This, together with Zumbo
, Gelato Messina (my favorite gelato place), Bourke Street Bakery
and Baroque Bistro, are my most-gos in Sydney. Even before I land in Sydney, I’ve already planned my schedule around heading to these places. And with Zumbo and Gelato Messina now open in The Star Casino, it’s so near where I stay that I can’t justify not going!
I’ve to admit though, for the tourist, Newtown might not be high on the list, especially if you’re in Sydney for a few days and you want to hit the touristy attractions However, Newtown’s probably about less than half an hour by bus to the city, and it does have its own charms. Many quirky and vintage shops line both sides of King Street, and there’s tons of good Vietnamese food, as well as interesting bars. It’s definitely a suburb you should check out if you’re into alternative culture. So do make a trip down to Newtown (and to Black Star Pastry) if you’re in Sydney one day!
Address: 277 Australia Street, Newtown
Opening hours: 7am-5pm, daily.
Price: $$ (starts from $6-$15)