One of the reasons I wanted to visit the Bourke Street Bakery is that everyone seems to talk about it. I had to see what all this fuss was about! I usually do not care about 'fuss' but if the 'fuss' is packaged with pastry and sweet things then I may decide to care about it.
Arriving at the patisserie Alan and I were greeted with a line snaking out of the door. We waited in line, poking our heads up in the air, trying to see what was available to order, while I mumbled 'I don't feel hipster enough'. There was one chocolate tart on the little shelf which was gone after I took a glimpse of it, carrot cake, custard prune tart, lemon tarts and ginger brulee tarts. There were savoury items...I think...I do not care for savoury pastry and therefore did not take much notice of these items.
Lemon tart and ginger brulee tart $4-5 each
In the tiny, warm bakery Alan and I ordered a lemon tart and ginger brulee tart to share and a hot chocolate each. All of this totalled $17 which I thought was a little rich.
Upon ordering the hot chocolates, I was asked if I wanted soy milk. No. This has not only happened to me at this venue, but at others too. Why do the staff ask if you want soy milk? If I wanted soy milk and all the other rubbish in soy milk (I used to drink it but now I have a thing against it), I would order soy milk. I want MILK. Full cream, full fat, cow's milk.
There is not much room in the bakery itself and on the day we visited, all the outside seats were taken as well. With our tarts and hot chocolates in hand we wandered over the street to a little park where we sat on a bench, discussed the treats and laughed at a dog.
"Weeeeeibbly" is what I think this lemon tart filling would say if it could speakThe lemon tart was nicely lemony and had a crisp crust which I thought could have been more buttery. The filling was quite runny compared to other lemon tarts I have consumed, and I made a mess when eating it:) I still prefer the lemon tarts at Au Matin Calme, though Alan finds them to sweet.
"Raaawwww" is what I think this ginger brulee tart would say if it could speak...because it has the colours of a tiger... (I am all there in the head by the way, I just need to be 'creative' after being a number cruncher all day)
I chose this ginger creme brulee tart as it looked so beautiful. An orangey/yellow sugar crust with pretty green pistachio pieces sprinkled on top. I think there is something wrong with my taste buds, as this tasted like nothing to me. I could feel the slight crunch of the topping with my teeth, but the filling....meh. It had no flavour and I could not taste any sort of ginger. Though, Alan who has normal taste buds really liked it and thought I was weird for not being able to taste the ginger.
The hot chocolate....I saw the girl making it (for take away they do that 'what's your name?' thing and you have to wait for your drink) and unlike other cafes, I did not see any powder being placed into the cup and then the cup being filled up with plain milk. Instead I saw a metal jug of chocolate milk being warmed up on the coffee machine. The hot chocolate was creamy, chocolately and there was very little milk foam on the top disguising the drink. It was a great hot chocolate! I am happy my taste buds decided to work for the hot chocolate tasting:)
The service was nothing outstanding to me. In such a pretty little bakery I want to feel like I am at home but I did not feel this here. As it was so busy, I felt like I was in a 'Soup Nazi' situation, where I had to state my order clearly and precisely, so as not to delay the movement of the line. While waiting for my hot chocolate I noticed the girl making the coffees become annoyed when a customer asked for two sugars in her coffee. The coffee girl told the customer she should have included the two sugars in her original order. It does not require that much more effort to put two sugars into a paying customer's coffee, in order to keep them happy....at least I do not think it does.
What you need to know:
Where:633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, NSW
When: Monday - Friday 07:00 - 18:00, Saturday and Sunday 08:00 - 17:00
Other: If using public transport, catch the train to Central and walk down Devonshire Street until you reach the end.Website <- click
The above is my experience/opinion at/of this particular venue on the day of visit