At times, I would purposefully get off the bus a few stops earlier, just so I can walk past the bakery on my way to wherever it is I am going. Sometimes I would go in and grab a few things for lunch or a snack. On the rare occasions that I am actually not hungry, I am content to simply admire the window display of gigantic sourdough loaves, raisin snails, and (my personal favourite) the pain au chocolat.
The said pain au chocolat.
My friend Pumpkin Pie, a self-confessed Bourke Street Bakery aficionado, gave a somewhat embarrassed recount of the time she and her mother polished off half a loaf of sourdough, just the bread on its own, at lightning speed while sitting inside their car. I countered her story with one of my very own: myself and another friend, each clutching an armful of brown paper bags filled with baked goods sweet and savoury, stumbling over to the park across the street and wolfing down half of our purchases before our brain could even process what it was we were eating. And when it did start to process, the scent, sight and atmosphere of the moment only served to stimulate our appetites further, and we finished everything off at a more leisurely pace, agreeing at the end that this was one of the best eating experiences we have shared.
Toby the dog, who left the side of his master to watch us eat. This was his expression throughout the length of our meal, and would return to his face each time he was done devouring whatever we gave him from our bounty.
Amongst our purchases were two sausage rolls, a variety of sweet tarts and a pain au chocolat to have then and there, as well as a few loaves of various sourdough to take home (or just in case we were still hungry afterwards).
We started with the savoury: the sausage rolls.
Pork & fennel sausage roll
The pastry of the pork & fennel sausage roll was very, very buttery and flaky, as evidenced by the state of my shirt afterwards, but did not taste greasy at all - a true indication of the freshness of the ingredients used and the rapid turnover of goods at the bakery. The pork and fennel filling was juicy, aromatic and very well seasoned. I can say with certainty that this was the best sausage roll I've tasted up to that point in time.
Inside the pork & fennel sausage roll. Look at the beautiful colours of the pastry and filling.
The lamb, almond & harrisa sausage roll was similarly fresh, flaky and delectable. A sprinkle of what looked to be poppyseeds on top gave this a distinctly gourmet look. It tasted gourmet too! ;D
Lamb, almond & harrisa sausage roll.
The sausage rolls were quite substantial in size, but we had just completed a long run and still had more than sufficient stomach space to accommodate desserts. So, without the slightest reprieve, we moved onto the sweets!