Brasserie Bread - Banksmeadow, Sydney
There is a whiff of nippiness in the air, especially in the early mornings and late evenings. You long for some homely comfort, a bit of warmth and the aroma of freshly baked stuff. It can be a lazy, easy time. The arrival of autumn is on the back of our minds, but we do long for the texture of good baked rolls, to take with fresh and colourful fruit, welcome grains and the memory of other hazy but good mornings. Oh yes, both the rhubarb and strawberry tart, plus the orange and hazelnut friand are waiting for you (above image), fresh - someone has returned from the Brasserie Bread Cafe near Botany Bay.
Clockwise above, from noon: brioche burger bun, flavourful light and just of the right bite size; the ever reliable plain croissants, ready as they are, but also inviting with butter, jams and crunchy sides; the sweet danish "pain raisin", tempting but not overwhelming.
The sit down menu at the cafe is extensive, whether for breakky, brunch or lunch. I was captivated by the six seed roll with marinaded turkey breast, hummus and crunchy salad. Or a dark rye bread accompanied by smoked trout and cool cucumber salad. Teacakes or baguettes? Or may be some chocolate brownies and banana bread slices. And panini, pancakes and poached eggs. All eggs utilised are organic. You can have toasts from a mixture of sour cherry, walnut and fig. There's the ciabatta or schiaciatta for Italian preferences.
Hand crafted cultured butter is provided with your bread offerings, and I chose the slow cooked pork shoulder roast with sweet potato mash, topped by a simply fried egg. (picture above) The coffee blend served is Allpress. Muesli, olive oils, relishes and preserves are also bottled and on display. I could not figure out the background of the clientele - perhaps a confluence for Sydney's eastern suburb matrons, Brighton le Sand families and Sutherland Shire twenty somethings.
The paper wrapping and bags used are pleasant to hold. Brasserie Bread proclaims that it combines the best of artisan baking traditions with latest IT infused and automated technology to offer the best in its products and produce. The wooden shelves at the cafe in Botany remind us of a past period, of utilising what is natural and setting the tone of a relaxing venue with high ceilings, big windows and the buzz of starting a day.
The tender and juicy pork infused well in flavour with the sweet potatoes and texture of bread (above). My overall impressions of the Brassiere Bread Cafe at 1737 Botany Road (nearer to Foreshore Road junction in Botany NSW) are:
Atmosphere: You could be in the country side but it can get crowded.
Location: In a light industrial area, but hidden away from the hype of residences and city rush
Taste: Definite benchmarks
People Engagement: Staff had natural conversation abilities to make customers at ease, even though they had much to do themselves
Service: Above average.
Best Time to Visit: 830am on weekends and 11am on weekdays
Fav Dish Experienced: Slow cooked roast pork shoulder and anything sourdough
Would I Return?: Yes
There is a calendar of baking sessions for interested adult students. Complimentary kids' baking classes are offered once a week - on the Saturday of visit to the Botany outlet, the eight to twelve years were seen smiling standing around a dough and mould class through a door with a glass see through top. Customers help themselves to plain water glasses ala pub style. Open every morning from 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends, the cafe quickly fills up with an urgency especially after 9am on Saturdays and Sundays. It is not a place for sleepy heads, although the aroma and whiff of their products do wake any one up gently, as there is not much left before 2pm.
Brasserie Bread has won top awards in croissants, Danish pastries, sourdough creations, pane croccante, rye bread and French Mountain Bread. Don't miss their garlic bread, sourdough pancakes and Croque Monsuier should you find your way to Botany or its latest opened outlet in South Melbourne at 150 Thistlethwaite St. For air travellers, do not despair, a Brasserie Bread cafe is already open at Terminal 2 Domestic in Sydney Airport.