The Sweet Spot

Pastry Chef & Traveler

Sydney: Exploring Newtown.

What an interesting neighbourhood. I came to know about Newtown when I wanted to try Black Star Pastry’s Watermelon and Strawberry Cake. Usually when I travel, when there’s somewhere I want to visit in a neighbourhood, I will try to search what else there I should check out. Are there worthy brunch places to check out, or are there some awesome coffee, or will there be quirky shops with collectibles? So I came to find that Newtown has alot of organic or specialty ingredients (specific dietary requirements) whole food stores, coffee and burger places and artsy vintage shops selling 70s design clothings and wall arts.

If you make a trip there, here’s what you can check out; having said that, it’s my first time in Newtown and I suppose my discovery was quite good. haha. Local Sydneysiders may think otherwise or have better places to offer ??

3 places; Brewtown Newtown, Black Star Pastry and Campos Coffee.

Brewtown

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Brewtown; a micro roastery/brew bar that offers brunch, creative pastries and Gnome Coffee Merchants roasted beans in a spacious, trendy cafe with industrial-chic decor. If you want to opt for something healthier, opt for the green juice with consist of kale, green apple, celery and ginger. Menu has a variety of brunch food, sandwiches, burgers, salad, pasta with a little Middle Eastern influence on some. Baked polenta with mushrooms, grilled asparagus, poached egg & parmesan, Quinoa and chickpea falafel with mushrooms, asparagus and house relish, Wood smoked salmon, curried Israeli couscous, poached egg, coriander, lime are just some of the items offered.

Some ingredients on the menu changes according to availability, but you get the gist.

brewtown newtown chicken quinoa salad Dukkah roasted Japanese Pumpkin, poached chicken with quinoa, broad bean, feta , truffle hazelnut dressing, and frisee ($14) and a latte ($3.50)

I really enjoyed this dish as it was packed with flavours, nutty and sweet from the pumpkin, the poached chicken was still moist and juice, feta was very creamy (unlike the usual cubed ones ?). It’s just one of those happy and guilt free food. I had this for brunch on my second day in Sydney and couldn’t be happier.

It was just me, my food and my coffee and the adventure that awaits. Just can’t help to feel so optimistic and happy in the beginning of the trip.

Upstairs from Brewtown, Newtown is an expertly curated retail space by the name of O’Connell Street Merchants where you’d find very imaginable knick-knack, from intricate terrarium creations by Candle of Vision to ceramics by Samantha Robinson, and from homewares to pet fashions.

After brunch, I walked along the street, checked out some stores which are pretty interesting.

newtown whole food store

It’s a whole food ingredients store with some organic ingredients, nuts, coffee, oil, spices etc etc. It’s rather interesting because it is packaging-less. Well not everything is packaging less but some of the seeds, spices, nuts and oils are. I find it rather great because I myself have different oils and vinegar to dress certain salads, make different dressing and such but because it doesn’t use alot, I always end up with alot of half-full bottles here and there. All you need to do is to bring in your container or mason jar, and fill up with however much you need. This way, you get fresher ingredients, possibly save some money and storage spaces. Oh you also do your part in saving the environment cause you are using one less plastic 😉

watermelon cake sydney black star pastry watermelon strawberry cake 2

Then I went on to Black Star Pastry which is just 2 mins walk away from the train station. It’s a TINY shop, but they have seatings next door. It’s a self-service store so order and pay at the counter. Most popular item, the Watermelon and Strawberry gluten free cake which you have to try. They also have some pastries, muffins and coffee (but I heard the coffee wasn’t that great). Read my previous post here.

campos sydney campos newtown sydney

For coffee options, there’s another place which you could check out. I went back to Newtown again a week later and checked out Campos (A friend from Melbourne told me it’s rather popular home grown brand)

I only had a coffee as I just had some heavy Indonesian food prior. Choices of small gluten-free cakes are available at the counter. Very cute and dainty if you are after a small bite to go with your coffee. The shop is filled with patrons opting for coffee to-go on a busy busy work day.

These people are serious about their coffee offering beans from Columbia to Indonesia, from Kenya to Papua New Guinea and coffee cupping. Cupping is a basic method of tasting coffee which is standard across the world.  Whether it be Guatemala, Canada, Indonesia, London, Mexico, Kenya – everyone uses this same procedure which is almost a ritual. 5oz of water at 92 degrees is added to 10g of coffee coarsely ground.  The coffee then steeps for 5 minutes and then the grinds removed- and the coffee is ready to be analyzed. If you are a coffee connoisseur, you could try it out at $30 per person (which includes a take home coffee pack).

Brewtown Newtown

6-8 O’Connell St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia

Opening Hours
8am – 4pm 7 Days

O’Connell Street Merchant

Opening Hours
Thu to Fri 10am–5pm
Sat 9am–4pm
Sun 10am–4pm

Black Star Pastry

277 Australia St, Newtown, NSW, 9557 8656.

Opening Hours
7am – 5pm 7 Days

Sydney : Watermelon & Strawberry Cake at Black Star Pastry

watermelon strawberry cake sydney Ok. title says it all.

I’m not sure how I came about know this cake or when (must be long time ago), but because it looks gorgeous, and it has a whole slice of watermelon in it, I was very intrigued. The thing about watermelon is that because it is a fruit with high content of water, it will seep and make everything else watery. I tried using watermelon balls as a topping on top of a tart, and covered with a glaze. It was alright and didn’t seep much. But it was because it’s a topping and it is partially exposed, making it less watery. But to use in the middle of a cake….

There’s 2 solutions

1. The watermelon is cut and sliced, then left in the fridge (to dry) for absorb away some of the juices.

2. The watermelon cake sells so fast that it doesn’t give any chance for the watermelon to seep.

Yeah.

watermelon cake sydney

black star pastry watermelon strawberry cake 2

So, I actually visited Black Star Pastry twice in the span of a week. The first was by myself and the second was with some friends. So the verdict was; it’s a very nice and delicate cake. However I cannot be sure about the consistency. The first visit, on a weekday, the cake had a very noticeable rosewater taste on its dacquoise and the dacquoise was more well soaked thru. On my second visit (On a busier day with a very long queue), the rosewater was very faint and the dacquoise was slight crunchier and nuttier in taste. I can’t say which version I would prefer but if you give me one without the other, I would still love it. Back to the comment #2 (above), because the cake was moving so fast, I’m guessing the soaking of dacquoise with syrup was done hastily, thus probably missing some parts.

But it is still a really delicious cake that I should make it again at home.

black star pastry watermelon cake

black star pastry watermelon strawberry cakeI also tried another chocolate cake they had in the shop but, really, you just cannot say no to this Watermelon & Strawberry Cake. If this is your first time visit to Sydney (or even after many times) and you want something refreshing, gluten free, light and delicate, you should come try this cake.

Black Star Pastry

Newtown

277 Australia St, Newtown, NSW, 9557 8656.

Opening Hours

7am – 5pm 7 Days

Rosebery

C1 85-113 Dunning Ave, Rosebery, NSW, 9700 7686

Opening Hours

8am – 3pm Weekdays. Weekend trading hours 8am-4pm

Power House Museum (Popping up until July 2015)

500 Harris St, Ultimo NSW

Opening Hours

8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday. 9am to 5pm weekend trading hours

fb.com/blackstarpastry

 

 

Bespoke Buttercream Flower Cakes

Hello!

A slight interruption as I wanted tell you, yes you! that you can order these floral wreath cakes now. They are made from a Italian Meringue buttercream and they taste very light and creamy at the same time. Each flower wreaths are different and unique to its own. Here are some photos 😉

buttercreamflowercake001 buttercreamflowercake002 buttercreamflowercake003 buttercreamflowercake004 buttercreamflowercake005 buttercreamflowercake006 buttercreamflowercake007

Just drop me an email (swee.san@gmail.com) – Available in Klang Valley, Malaysia only.

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