Thursday, April 02, 2015

Bécasse Bakery, Sydney

On one of my previous visits to Sydney, I dined at Bécasse, a fantastic French restaurant in the CBD.  It was one of the best fine dining experiences I had in Sydney, so it didn't surprise me that it was named one of the Top 10 Restaurants in Australian, and even counted amongst the World's Top 100 Restaurants.

When we returned to Sydney on this visit, I was thrilled to find that Bécasse had branched out, and now even had a Bakery, located in the Westfield mall food court.  Perhaps not normally where you imagine I frequent, except that it was really close to our hotel, and we found ourselves stopping by for easy meals a number of times.  When you are exhausted, sometimes, you just can't beat convenience!  Plus, the food court really is impressive, not just your classic selection of fast food, including an outpost of Din Tai Fung, which I reviewed previouslyChaTime, for bubble tea, and Chat Thai for fascinating desserts.

And of course, the aforementioned bakery, Bécasse Bakery.  Given how great the restaurant was, and my affinity for baked goods, it should not surprise you that I eagerly sought the bakery out, but of course, I still needed to do my research first.  After I noticed the sign for the bakery, I went back to the hotel to look it up.  I was stumped when I couldn't find a website, not for the bakery, nor for Bécasse restaurant either.  It turns out, there was quite a scandal.  The chef/owner has been banned from running restaurants for two years in Australia, the result of totally having failed to run, from a business side, a restaurant empire he built, including Bécasse.  Um, wow.  He really was a fantastic chef!

Anyway, the bakery has remained operational, because it was sold off to another owner, who didn't change the name.  The display cases were filled with just about every tempting item you could imagine, and I intended to return more times to try other treats, particularly the divine looking Salted Peanut Brittle and Banana Custard Tart, but sadly never found the time.
Marshmallow Cronut. $5.95.
Instead, I got a cronut.  Yes, a cronut.  I know, trendy, overhyped, blah blah blah.  I've had some crappy versions of cronuts in the past few years, like the mass produced "Croissant Donut" from Dunkin' Donuts.  I wasn't necessarily expecting anything great from this, but the item I wanted sold out before my very eyes, and I had to console myself with something.  I was going to get a custard brioche instead, but the helpful person taking my order told me that the cronut was the best.  So, cronut it was.

I had the choice of green tea, salted caramel, or marshmallow.  I immediately ruled out the green tea, because I wanted to share with Ojan who couldn't have caffeine.  I decided against the salted caramel, because that was just a double dose of trendiness, and I couldn't deal. So, marshmallow it was.

It was ... actually pretty good.  The top and outside were perfectly crisp, but inside was fairly moist.  It was absolutely coated in sugar, which was a bit much, and the extra icing drizzle on top really was too much sweet.  Ojan said he would have loved it if there was chocolate in place of the sugar and icing.  The fluffy colorful marshmallows on top were also pretty tasty.

Where it fell down was the filling.  There was a tasty cream filling, but literally only one bite contained any.  I felt a bit cheated.  Ojan felt more cheated since he didn't get any, as I choose the lucky bite.

So, there certainly were issues: not enough cream filling and too sweet overall.  But the dough base was better than expected, and it was nicely done.  I'd try other flavor next time.

$5.95 price however was a bit crazy, but, maybe that is the going rate for cronuts in Sydney these days?
I couldn't resist getting just a small item to take away with me, but, my options were a bit limited since I was going to be throwing it in my bag and not returning to the hotel directly.  When I saw a big fluffy marshmallow near the register, I couldn't resist ordering it.

Remember, say 3 years ago, how I claimed artisan marshmallows were the next big thing?  I stand by this claim, as Sydney seems to have also gotten the memo, just a few years behind us.

It was huge, it was fluffy and moist, pleasantly sweet.  But fairly plain.  Great in a hot chocolate perhaps, but otherwise not very interesting to just eat on its own.  They need to expand into flavored marshmallows next!

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Decaf Long Black.

I had a lot of very bad decaf coffee in Sydney.  The idea of treating decaf with some respect has not really hit there.  Not only are there no signs boasting Swiss water processed beans, but instead, you are met with visible distain and grimaces if you order decaf.

Yet ... the one from Bécasse was not bad.  It wasn't great, but it was one of the better decafs I had.  I didn't see any signs boasting the roaster, so I don't know more than that it was decent.  This was super shocking, since I tried the decaf at all the top coffee shops around town, and this was one of the best. Hmm.
Bécasse Bakery on Urbanspoon


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