Almond Croissants are underrated to say the least. Although a staple of most bakeries/patisseries, they are never given as much credit as their more prominent cousin; the original croissant. Alas, they have the potential to blend the crispyness and buttery goodness of a croissant with the doughy, sweetness of a cake. Needless to say, it’s time we had a list to celebrate these perfect creations and pay our respects to those who do them the well.
These are the best almond croissants in Sydney.
1 – La Renaissance $5/$6.50 (takeaway/eat in) The Rocks
Apparently they sell over 1000 of these weekly making it a clear specialty and they are pretty good. One of the more buttery tasting almond croissants I’ve had, the outside is slightly crunchy with a multitude of almonds and icing sugar scattered over. This houses a delicious cakey core that still resembles a traditional croissant. Let’s just ignore the horrendous $1.50 eat in charge.
With every man and his dog now offering cold brew/drip coffee, not to mention the classic iced coffee that been around for eons, the time has come for cafes to push the boundaries of cold coffee to stand out. Here are some of the most interesting specialty offerings to get your caffeine addiction through the warmer months…or what’s left of them.
Mecca Espresso Shakerato $4 (Ultimo)
This one is all about that extra slap in the face, with not one, but two espresso shots, shaken with sugar syrup. Unfortunately, the take away form comes in a jar, and although we can see that for this drink there’s a particular logic; lid on and shake; it’s still embarrassing to be seen walking around with.
When it comes to burgers, these guys don’t mess about. The burgers are huge, packed with ingredients, with sauces and juices dripping all over the place. Each party is made in house from Australian steak and all ingredients are made/prepared fresh daily.
The restaurant itself is neat and small; probably seating around 15 people inside with a few more outside. Some interesting Star Wars inspired art hangs from the walls and a decent selection of local craft beers stocks the fridge.
To start off with, you have some unique choices of chips; kimchi, pizza and “disco”. These all come in large servings with excessive toppings. Beware that the burgers themselves are huge. Even sharing one serving of chips between three people on top of a burger will probably be too much unless you are inhumanly hungry.
Onto the main event though. The Beef n Beach is the iconic offering at Bonarche; combining aoli with BBQ sauce, beef with bacon and some juicy pineapple to top it all off. It’s big and tasty, but personally, I prefer the Hangover Burger. This genius creation includes a hash brown to complement the beef patty, smokey BBQ, bacon, egg and even a Barocca on the side. Brilliant. But you’d have to have a pretty big hangover appetite to tackle those one.
On the chicken side, the Tender Tokyo is good for something different. A katsu-style crumbed chicken patty interacts with Asian style slaw and kapu dressing. Like the others, they’re big and messy but totally delicious.
Overall, the menu here is extensive. They have all the classics; cheese burger, chicken and cheese, steak burger, portobello mushroom, Hawaiian etc.; as well as some more adventurous offerings (in addition to those already mentioned); Mexican style chicken, porterhouse with eggplant and feta, lentil patty. No matter whether you choose a tried and tested combination or something a little different, they all seem to be pretty damn good. I found anywhere yet that does as well on a quality-price-size basis yet.
14 Norton Street, Leichhardt
Minimalism is the name of the game here as you walk into a reasonably spacious cafe with off white walls which match the counter as well as a couch; the only bit of furniture they have. An open space at the back suggests that there may be some plans ahead to set up more of an eat-in area, but for now there’s simply just a lot of standing space to while you wait for your coffee. Although there’s not much happening, I really liked this low key, unassuming atmosphere, and spaciousness beats its peers which leave queues spilling out on the street.
Following suit with the decor, the menu is also minimalist. It’s all about the coffee and nothing else here, with food options M.I.A. But as long as they do the coffee well, that’s okay.
They offer regular coffee options, as well as a manual drip and a single origin cold brew (mine was from Ethiopia Kolowa) that comes in an adorable little 200ml bottle. Standard flat whites are good; smooth texture, rich body and not burnt. The cold brew was a little bitter compared to most, but is a good option if you want milk free.
Cold brew 5
Manual filter 6
547 Bourke Street Surry Hills
Having opened recently, Edition Coffee Roasters is still quite minimalist and bare with no real decor on the plain white walls and seating for around 20 in the small one room cafe. Not that, that is a problem of course, this can work as a long term style, and Edition certainly seems to rock that style- even the takeaway cup are completely blank.
There is a selection of breakfast options that mainly include gourmet twists on the cafe standards, but let’s get down to the coffee. Considering that Edition roast their own coffee, I expected good quality. Those expectations rose a little when I was charged $4 for a regular coffee. I mean, that’s pretty much airport prices.
The coffee was good. It had a very smooth texture and clean crisp taste. It wasn’t too bitter. It definitely wasn’t burnt and it didn’t taste particularly acidic either. So needless to say it was nice. But was it $4 nice? I don’t think it stood out enough from other coffee bean roasters to warrant the price, although it was good enough that is return.
Price $4 regular coffee
265 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst
Images from Edition’s facebook
My hopes are always set fairly high for cafes and eateries tucked away in hidden alleys, just as Creasions is. They specialise in Macarons but also offer a hearty selection of home made granola, cookies and muffins.
The macarons come in a selection of traditional flavours (salted caramel, pistachio, etc) as well as flavours that feature a Japanese twist (plum wine, charcoal and coco, Japanese black caramel, roasted green tea). I of course made my choice from the latter group.
Sadly, the location and unusual flavours only give false hope that ends in a sour disappointment. The shells were chewy and even crunchy at times, resembling more of a burnt meringue than a macaron. A flavours just lacked any real kick that have you the full experience of their uniqueness.
The plum wine could have been anything; there was nothing distinctive about the flavour. The Japanese black caramel tasted more like cinnamon than caramel (maybe this is what it’s meant to taste like?) but at least had a somewhat strong flavour with a salty after taste. The roasted green tea was the nicest of my three with a lot thicket filling and a refreshing taste. But I wouldn’t say that it stood out from competitors’ green tea/ matcha macarons.
The macarons are also very small for their price (smaller than a 20c piece) and despite only asking for three, the server tried to push me into buying a box of six (doubling the order size isn’t a standard upscale opportunity).
Their assortment of other homemade goods may be better (the muffins did look pretty hearty), but I would never return for the sub par macarons.
Price: $2.70 each
21 Alberta Street, Surry Hills