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Travel - Mentges Master Meats

Being handed a wedge of Mentges Master Meats’ popular chilli-cheese kransky across the counter shoots me straight back to childhood, my feet standing in sawdust, being handed a cabanossi stick by my local butcher. That’s about where the similarity ends though – this Germanic butcher located in Taree is actually quite unique.

From the second you walk through the door, you’re transported to Germany through the combined impact of meaty alpine wall murals, cream ceilings with exposed dark wood beams, kitsch shelving and red gingham curtains, and friendly, apron-glad staff who will sprechen sie Deutsch if you so desire.

The chilli-cheese kransky itself is the best one I’ve tried; it's smoked and cooked in natural skins.  It’s all killer, no filler – and without the usual range of additions, from gristle to too much fat, preservatives, gluten, colours or monosodium glutamate (MSG) - it’s likely to be a winner for almost everyone, those with diabetes and coeliac disease included. We try out our kransky on the barbeque later in the day, and with its blend of smoked pork and beef, oozing cheese centre and light kiss of chilli on the lips, it had us wishing we'd purchased many more.

Rudi Mentges and his team hand produce more than forty different Continental meat products on the premises. They’re using local fresh meat, organic herbs, and a considerable amount of passion. You’ll taste it in their pickled and hot-smoked Kassler chops that create an easy dinner when warmed up on the grill pan with sauerkraut and mashed spuds. Kassler ham, a golden smoked loin ham, is another wonderfully lean cold cut winner. It makes me regret not giving any of their baked meatloaf varieties a whirl.

You’ll also find all manner of wurst, from Jagerwurst or hunter’s sausage, to smoked brockwurst with nutmeg, onionwurst and an interesting range of salumi, including Polish ring-shaped Krakauer.

Locals tell me the best time to visit Mentges Master Meats is on Thursdays between 8am and 1pm. This is when they host a weekly farmers’ market right on the grounds of their rather odd building, which also houses a cheese factory and store. Their market is called The Secret Weekly Farmers Market and at it you’ll find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, local cheese, free-range eggs, honey, jams, pickles and fermented things in jars. I'm keeping this in mind the for next time I'm passing through town.

Mentges Master Meats
Lot 12, Kanangra Drive, Taree
Ph: (02) 6552 6878

Review - Henrys Cronulla

Named for Cronulla’s first copper, Henry Tugwell, a man set with the unenviable task of patrolling the beach on horseback in a woollen suit and helmet, Henrys is somewhere you can get stuck into some serious libation.

Just a block or so back from the famous beach you’ll find a surprisingly interesting list of wines, that goes all the way up to a 2005 Penfolds Grange Shiraz ($780/bottle), coupled with well-considered cocktails.

Even at its everyday end, this succinct wine list delivers, with a 2014 Paul Jaboulet Parallele 45 Rosé ($11/glass) coming up with the savoury goods to complement a Chicken Liver Parfait ($23). This well-proportioned share plate presents a quenelle of smooth, unoxidised parfait with toast and house-pickled vegetables, under a feathery cloud of shaved foie gras. It feels both decadent and delicious; particularly against the salmon pink Rosé.

It's the Kingfish Crudo ($20) that really makes me sit up and pay attention. This masterful combination of raw kingfish, horseradish, oyster emulsion, avruga caviar and colourful fine ribbons of heirloom vegetables is at once briny and delicate enough to showcase the beautiful fish. It is testament to the talent of Brazilian Head Chef Rafael Tonon, who you might know from his time at Barrio Chino.

Look to the pale pink La Dolce Bitter ($20) for a foil to this menu highlight. Combining gin, Campari, Aperol, amaro, lemon and grapefruit juices into a bitter-sweet, recognisably Italianate cocktail, it's got Spring in Sydney written all over it.

This Bondi-based chef is definitely in touch with beach culture, producing a solid array of cold dishes that are lean on starches.  His pretty Scallop & Prawn ‘Fettuccine’ ($21) is created by cooking prawn and scallop meat sous vide, then flattening it and cutting it into pasta-like ribbons.

And while the Wagyu Bresaola ($24) sits under enough shaved truffled Parmesan to make it slightly more naughty, it’s fleshed out with a 63-degree (runny) egg and Jerusalem artichoke rather than served on bread.

Sitting back and pondering my meal over a clever rum-based espresso martini update, Rumbunctious ($18), you can colour me impressed. If this spot demonstrates the standard of the Publica Group (who also own Clubhouse Rosebery and Goldfish Bar & Kitchen in the Hunter Valley) this area is in for a real treat when their redevelopment of the waterfront Pavilion Gunnamatta is completed next year. I'm quite looking forward to it myself.

Henrys Cronulla
1 Ocean Grove Avenue, Cronulla
Ph: (02) 9527 0305

Henrys Cronulla Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Travel - The Hub Markets, Taree

A true market aficionado, I try to take in new markets wherever I travel. Not really the bric-a-brac type, I’m usually on the hunt for good produce or hand-made products. While it’s not a produce market per se, The Hub Markets, certainly had enough fresh produce and hand-made products to keep me interested.

Put on by the Lions Club of Manning River, this eccentrically laid out local community market has stalls winding around, between and inside the buildings at the Taree Showgrounds. While it's not the most picturesque setting I've seen, there is plenty of parking. While this monthly market runs from 8am-12 noon on the third Saturday of every month, I'm told by 'those in the know', 9.30am is a good time to arrive.

You’re not going to find many brand names at this market, which adds to the community feel. The slickest looking labels I encountered belonged to Ginger & Brown Farmstead, located in the small rural township of Elands about 40 minutes north-west of Wingham. Run by a pair of city slickers who have migrated to the bush, they're specialists in fermentation. So on their chalkboard you'll find the prices for their sauerkraut, and unique coffee and ginger kombucha (that may be an acquired taste).

I’m starting to think everyone up this way must has bees and chooks, because every second stall is doing a sideline in honey and free-range eggs.

I’m more excited by big jars of chunky English Marmalade ($5/500g) despite the seller telling me most of her customers prefer it fine cut. For the record, I’m loving the extra texture and bitterness provided by spreading tasty citrus chunks all over my sourdough toast. Clearly loving winter, large fresh radishes were too tempting to pass by. We enjoyed shaping our giant, peppery daikon into our first attempt at Chinese turnip cakes at home, using some pork goods from nearby suburban gem: Mentges Master Meats.

Amongst the plentiful stalls of second hand goods including a slightly creepy doll collection peeking out from the back of a truck, you’ll also find a colourful rainbow of scarves, hand done leather work, and a wood turner.

It would seem those beautiful wooden chopping boards get cheaper the further you get away from Sydney's hipsters.  I picked up a lovely turned kerosene wood bowl to hold all my locally grown fruit for under thirty bucks.

A spattering of hot food stallholders make eating breakfast at this market an option too, with reasonable coffee and homemade pies, as just two of the things you'll find.

The Hub Markets
Taree Showgrounds, Corner Muldoon & Mudford Streets, Taree
Ph: (0429) 192 149


Review - Chatkazz

Any restaurant that has to cordon off parking spaces to fit their waiting crowd is doing something right. We joined the throng on a progressive dinner through Harris Park’s 'Little India' without even realising (until we sat down) that we were in for a fully vegetarian meal. The extensive menu presents a wide range of Indian street food and snacks from across the subcontinent. If you’re not Indian, and even if you’re a regular Indian diner, you’re likely to see dishes you haven’t encountered before.

So it’s hard to know what to select, and harried staff are too busy to do much more than collect order dockets after you fill them out, so our party of four chose quite randomly from menu photographs. The hectic pace of the place means orders can (and did) go amiss. With street style dishes, food should arrive quite quickly, so if it’s been a while since your docket was collected, do consider making inquiries. Once we started rolling, our dishes arrived in rapid succession.

True to its picture, the visually impressive Jini Dosa ($13.90/4) presents four upstanding crisp, rice flour crepes wrapped around coconut, paneer (cheese) and gently spiced vegetables. They arrive on a metal thali plate with the other compartments filled out with lentil soup, onion slices and chunky spiced coconut chutney (a South Indian specialty). They’re lively and delicious (if somewhat messy) mouthfuls, though after a staff prompt, we’re offered share plates that catch the drips.

They prove quite useful as we move straight on to a more familiar plate of Dahi Puri ($7.40/6). They’re fried, hollow breads that are stuffed with potato and chickpeas then smothered with an avalanche of chilled yoghurt and various chutneys, from tangy tamarind to coriander-mint.

With no alcohol on offer, or able to be brought with you and consumed on premises, your drink options are limited to coffee-drinks, lassi variations, mocktails like a lime green, minty Mojito ($6.90) or soft drinks like Lemon Lime and Bitters ($3.90). You’re probably going to need them for Chilli Pakora Chaat ($7.90/4). This flavoursome, foursome of green chillies are battered with besan (chickpea) flour, and release a fiery burn.

With lips afire we move somewhat cautiously onto another photo pick - Sabudana Vada  ($8.90/4). They’re a traditional Indian snack from the state of Maharashtra (capital Mumbai) made of deep-fried ground pulses. They’re served with curd and vibrantly green coriander-mint chutney, making for a texturally interesting and thankfully mouth-cooling bite.

With everything we ate proving both inexpensive and delicious, I’m determined to return to explore the menu items without photographs. My attention is already fixated on Western fusion items like the Masala Cheese Toastie ($8.90) and Bombay Chinese – Chinese foods that are popular in Mumbai. I will report back...

Shop 4-6/14-20 Station Street East, Harris Park
Ph: (02) 8677 0033

Chatkazz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review - Yang Guo Fu Ma La Tang

So you're down with pho, you love laksa, and you can tonkotsu ramen with the best of them? If you’re ready for Sydney’s next big soup thing, it's malatang. This street food-style hot pot originated in South-Western China (Sichuan) but can now be found across the whole country.

The place to try malatang is Yang Guo Fu Ma La Tang. It’s one of four outlets headed up by Northern Chinese, from the city of Harbin. In the restaurant’s name, Yang Guo is a euphemistic way of referring to Northern China, and Fu means lucky. The soup, malatang, makes up the rest of the restaurant's name, and it's the only dish they make. The soup's name is a combination of two Chinese characters meaning numbing (for the effect of the Sichuan peppercorns) and spicy (for the resulting sensation in your mouth).

The restaurant is rammed and noisy when we arrive. You’ll find it light on instructions - eschewing menus, signage or any other indications about how you order food. Act like you know what you're doing and right near the entry collect a big bowl and tongs. Your resulting soup will be big enough to share, so you’ll only need to take one bowl between two (or even three) of you.

Add items to your bowl from the counters of ingredients. In the first counter the ingredients range from greens (they shrink, so take more than you think you need), to vegetables like broccoli, lotus root, bean sprouts and exotic mushrooms (the king brown are great). Load up on carbohydrates, from multiple types of noodles to bean curd sheets, because they will soak up more of the delicious soup.

In the second counter, you'll find more types of sticks, balls and fishcakes than you’ll be able to identify. Add whatever takes your fancy, including lovely thin slices of pork and beef. Don’t sweat not knowing exactly what everything is. Nothing we chose tasted bad in the soup, and we chose widely.

Take your bowl to the counter, and pay for it by weight at the rate of $24/kilo. Our bowl fed three people and came in just under twenty bucks. You don't pay for the soup, which is based on a complex beef stock, cooked with mala sauce of Sichuan peppercorns, dry red chilli peppers and a range of aromatic spices including clove, star anise, black cardamom and ginger.

Depending on how busy they are, your bowl will take anywhere between ten and twenty minutes. When it’s ready they’ll announce your number (in both English and Chinese) on the microphone at mood-shattering volume. When you collect your soup you’ll be offered a range of add-on sauces. The garlic paste made from milled garlic and water is what makes the soup wonderfully creamy. There’s also roasted sesame paste, sugar, black vinegar and chilli. We accept everything on offer, including chilli, and regret nothing. Grab some take-away bowls to aid sharing, and don't spend your meal trying to fairly distribute three of each thing into each person’s bowl. Give up and treat it like fondue – once it has fallen into the pot, it belongs to whomever grabs it.

Even as first timers, our choose-your-own-adventure malatang was wonderfully rich, spicy and complex. The liquid was even more addictive than coconut-rich laksa, and the wide variety of extras kept my mouth texturally entertained. As a social meal, it was fun competitively fishing for mystery balls, sticks, crab claws and other surprises.

For those worried about the heat level, the initial burn is very quickly moderated by the numbing effects of Sichuan peppercorns. There's water available, but in the words of Lyndey Milan: “chilli is not water soluble”, so drinking it will not ease any malatang-induced burn. That’s a good argument for beer if ever I heard one, but despite Harbin having a big beer drinking culture, this restaurant doesn’t sell any! However they didn’t seem to mind us nipping down the road to Red Bottle for a couple of cans of Pirate Life, and our malatang was all the better for us having done so.

NOTE: For a smooth introduction to malatang with a Chinese-speaking guide, visit it as part of Through Asia. Run by social enterprise, Taste Food Tours, this guided food tour of Haymarket will run on the 7, 12, 19 and 28 October. Over the course of three hours, it will introduce you to some of the best Asian inspired food this city has to offer, for $79 per person.

Yang Guo Fu Ma La Tang
Shop G.01, 345B-353 Sussex Street (corner of Sussex & Liverpool Streets), Sydney
Ph: none provided

Yang Guo Fu Malatang Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Review - White Taro

The problem with Sydney's Vietnamese cuisine is that it looks so fresh and vibrant in photos, we can be lured, by platforms like Instagram, into thinking a restaurant is going to be great, then arrive to find the dishes lacking in flavour. I have no such complaints about the offerings put out by Angie Hong, mother of Executive Chef Dan Hong, who you’ll likely know from Mr Wong, Papi Chulo, El Loco or Ms G’s.

Arising some years after Angie Hong sold the last of her Thanh Binh restaurants, this short-term, night time pop-up at White Taro in Surry Hills affords you a rare opportunity to eat at her dinner table. A surprisingly long menu provides plenty of choice for meat eaters and vegetarians alike in this tiny, homely corner-store cafe.

In Sydney Vietnamese is practically synonymous with fresh rice paper rolls, but here you should hit up the Vietnamese Deep Fried Rice Paper Rolls ($12/3) instead. With the perfect combination of crunch and chew, these golden, caramelised rice paper-wrapped batons of lean pork mince and crab meat are bursting with flavour. Accompanied by a veritable forest of fresh and lightly pickled vegetables, and a classic ‘nuoc cham’ dipping sauce, they eat so freshly, they belie being fried.

The wine list is limited to seven choices, but it’s hard to complain when they all come in under forty bucks a bottle. The Lillypilly Gypsy Rosé ($33/bottle, $9/glass) drinks with the cuisine slightly better than the overly dark and earthy Curious Creatures Pinot Noir ($38/bottle, $9/glass).

Both wines go with beef, and if you’re a beef-lover, the Bò Lá Lot ($18) here is a must-eat. Little fingers of lemongrass infused wagyu beef mince are rolled in betel leaves then charcoal grilled. They’re beautifully presented in a tangle of edible flowers, julienned vegetables, and crunchy peanuts against a tangy, pungent chilli sauce.

White Taro Fried Rice ($16) with namesake strips of crisp taro is a nice foil to the lemon-pepper intensity that is ‘shaking beef’.

Grass-fed beef elevates Hong’s version of Bo Luc Lac ($24) into something quite memorable one, especially when contrasted with the fresh tomato slices that are fanned along the plate.

The salty astringency of our lemon pepper beef cube dipping pot inclines us toward a mouth-reassembling Kumquat Pannacotta ($14). It’s another visual feast, with wobbly pannacotta crowned by shiny citrus jelly, surrounded by a pool of creamy yellow passionfruit curd under a coconut cardamom crumb. Your eye is caught by the brightly coloured quenelle of raspberry sorbet, though it’s the tart rings of dehydrated kumquat that captivate me. This beautifully presented dessert attracts the envy of our friendly table neighbours, and their convivial warmth combined with a very reasonable bill, see us launch back into Surry Hills smiling.

White Taro

67 Albion Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9211 0108

White Taro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Travel - Spice Monkey

In typical coastal town architecture, you’ll find Spice Monkey in an otherwise unremarkable glass box facing the water (Wallis Lake) under the Reef Apartments. It was opened just over a year ago by local restaurateurs, Darren McDonagh and Joni Cassano, who also own Reef Forster next door.

While my usual dining companion and I were attracted to this restaurant by the idea of finding Japanese food in Forster, my accompanying mother-in-law wasn’t so keen. That’s where Spice Monkey’s wider pan-Asian menu is useful, keeping her content with a fillet of Grilled Snapper ($22) while we commenced our meal with sake and Japanese Pickles ($5).

Staff were also only too happy to serve the Thai-style nam jim separately in case she found it too hot (which she did).

Head Chef Brian Rout might not be Japanese, but he has spent fifteen years in Hokkaido Japan learning how to be an Australian-Japanese chef. You’ll see the results of this cultural collision in Cured Ocean Trout ($19), which read like it might be a train wreck, what with gin and citrus infused sake cured ocean trout, crème fraîche and kiwi fruit, but ate surprisingly well. The addition of some roti quarters (Indian flat breads) combined with the lightly cured fish, makes this an ideal way into eating Japanese-style raw fish dishes.

With a smidgen too much external sear for my liking, Tuna Tataki ($19) with chilli ponzu, grated radish and shallots, proved another dish for those wanting an accessible way into enjoying raw fish. This dish sings against the Ippin Junmai Daiginjo Sake ($95/bottle), an easy-drinking sake only available by the bottle, that has enough going on to extend to dishes beyond sushi.

With a schooner of Monkey Magic ($9.50) – a quaffable, slightly sweet golden lager brewed by Monteith’s – in one hand and the other wrapped around a Gua Bao ($6/each) I’m sweet to kick back and enjoy the Friday night live music. The soft steamed bun is filled with panko crumbed chicken, Asian ‘slaw, snow pea tendrils and a good slurp of chilli mayo., and it would hold its own against Sydney's best.

With a generously proportioned bowl of Seaweed Salad ($9), it rounds out our shared meal nicely. It’s great to see this place jumping in winter with a largely local crowd. Some are kicking back on bar stools, with drinks and snacks, enjoying the tunes, while others are starting their Friday night with larger groups of (mostly female) friends.

Forster, I suspect this one’s a keeper.

Spice Monkey
Shop 4, Reef Apartments, Wharf Street, Forster
Ph: (02) 6554 8767

Spice Monkey Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Review - Doughnut Time

It’s 4pm Saturday on King Street Newtown, and we’re clearly not the only ones thinking it is Doughnut Time. Hole-in-the-wall style stores like this one cleverly utilise visible on street queuing to generate interest. Let’s face it, we’re sheep, and the very presence of a queue is often enough to convince us the product is worth queuing for. It’s a clever marketing strategy that has clearly paid off for this rapidly expanding chain, who have popped out twenty-two outlets along our Eastern Seaboard in little over a year.

Despite this, the store has the appearance of a temporary pop-up, creating a sense of urgency. When you combine that with a strong graphic sensibility, it’s hard to resist the urge to create one of those Instagram photos that have only added to its fame.

So after spending eight minutes queuing and marvelling at the marketing, I dutifully selected six doughnuts from the window. I did this mostly because their big boxes encourage you to do so, despite there being no fiscal advantage for ordering more than one. I then marched off to Instagram the heck out of them (baa), starting with their minty green box.

Despite the quirky names, these doughnuts can basically be divided into filled and glazed. Looking more like the doughnuts of yesteryear, the filled offerings like the Nutella-filled Love at First Bite ($6) or the salted-caramel filled Veruca Salt ($6) are dusted with cinnamon sugar, and a tantilising swirl of their innards. Filled might be understating it. These doughnuts are heaving with more Nutella and slightly strange caramel pudding (reminiscent of Nestle Space Food Sticks), than anyone should ever want to eat in just one doughnut.

Though I start to understand why when I move on to glazed offerings like The Bling Ring ($6). Leaving aside the super-sugary lemon sherbet glaze, vanilla meringue shards and rainbow sprinkles topping that jangled like the charms on a Pandora bracelet, the doughnut itself was bready. The low gluten version, Worth The Wait ($6), was even more like eating a bread roll, which is pretty strange under a salted caramel and chocolate glaze. I moved on to Sia Later ($6) their red velvet version under a few centimetres (too much) of vegan butter cream frosting, with some welcome acidity provided by freeze-dried raspberries.

The best thing I ate was The O.G. ($6) – their original glazed doughnut – but if I’m honest, it doesn’t compare with my memories of my first glazed original Krispy Kreme, served directly off the conveyor belt in Penrith when their first Australian store opened, well over a decade ago in 2003.

With the high level of hype surrounding these delicious looking doughnuts, I felt conflicted enough to make the time to visit a second store. From the Doughnut Time outlet in World Square I found The Butternut ($6) – with its burnt butter glaze with crushed pistachio topping – more to my taste, but it still arrived on a bread-roll like doughnut. Nope, no more Doughnut Time for me.

Doughnut Time
128 King Street, Newtown
Ph: none provided

Doughnut Time Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Review - Avenue Road Cafe

This homely space with whitewashed walls, fringing banquettes and quirky collection of art deco pendant lights has a hint of understated celebrity about it.

As the name suggests, it is located on Avenue Road, home to some wonderful exemplars of Federation architecture, and the first proper road to be constructed in Mosman back in 1860. The pavement tables provide a good base to watch the good burghers of Mosman pass by. I was kept entertained by frighteningly mature white-clad teens collecting skinny lattes; the immaculately dressed plastic surgeon next door struggling to raise an eyebrow about the café’s seating impinging upon her egress; and the somewhat performative arrival of sports columnist Peter FitzSimons wearing his trademark red bandanna.

Marrickville’s Double Roasters scrubs up well in a Flat White ($3.50), though its bitterness means you may need to add some of that hipster sugar they have in jars on the tables.

Avoid the sweetness with their Healthy Start ($7) designer juice, made on an earthy, blend of beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger. Even a Mint Sensation ($7) combining pineapple, mint, apple and lime tastes pleasantly light on sweet.

The morning menu contains all your regular breakfast standards, from porridge and pancakes all the way to omelettes and bacon and egg rolls. A side of Bacon ($4) clues me in they care about cooking with quality stuff. The menu twist I wasn’t expecting were the unique brunch dishes that take their cue from the heritage of owner Taran Tamana, drawing flavour inspiration from across Asia and India.

With crisp, well-rendered duck, The Ave Benedict ($17) is hard to resist. Cleverly switching out English muffins for more robust sourdough, this dish combines the expected poached eggs with cauliflower, dukkah, quinoa and couscous before smothering the lot in apple cider hollandaise.

The even better Palak Eggs ($18) proves a smart update to baked eggs in tomato sauce. Using spinach, fetta, nuts, beans, slow-cooked lamb, a bright green gremolata and curry-like spicing, the Avenue Road chef makes this almost ubiquitous café dish diverse enough to be interesting until the last bite.

Avenue Road Cafe
185 Avenue Road, Mosman
Ph: (02) 9969 8999

Avenue Road Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Review - The Dough Collective

Bread is one category we are absolutely fastidious about in my house, and we’ve been loyal to Infinity Sourdough for more than a decade. While we have found Asian breads, presented at chains like Breadtop, fascinating, none of them had really cut through and become part of our weekly grocery spend until the last year. We're now addicted to Japanese breads from Bake Kobo in Enmore, and pretty much everything you’ll find in the well-illuminated glass display cabinets at The Dough Collective.

Sandwiched in the middle of fast-food hell on George Street, this fancy Asian bread shop might well be this strip's culinary saving grace. It’s a visually pleasing space, decked out with hanging oversized rolling pins and thematic floor tiles. Mood lighting cleverly centralises your attention where it should be - on their orderly rows of today’s breads. They’re selected from a range of more than 60 different products, and are replenished regularly throughout the day and night.

By fusing Western bread styles with Asian flavours, the range here extends to unique offerings like sweet and creamy Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Rolls ($3.80/each) and the red bean and cream cheese filled Matcha Infinity Rolls ($4.20/each) with their distinctive colour provided by matcha green tea powder.

You’ll also find sesame and sunflower seed topped Chinese Goji Berry Roll ($3.80/each) with raisins, almond slices and goji berries, and Hokkaido Azuki Toast ($5.80) - a milk bread filled with sweet mixed beans that makes excellent morning toast.

If that all sounds a bit avant-garde, you’ll also find more familiar flavour combinations like the Cranberry & Walnut Pull-Apart ($4.70/each).

There are also samples in front of each selection that allow you to road-test more unfamiliar flavour combinations before you commit to buy. If there’s a general rule of thumb, it’s that the Asian breads here tend toward being lighter and fluffier than the chewier French baguettes you might be used to. This softness is achieved with a nine day long process that involves natural yeast made from raisins. The end result is a delicate, soft, pliable dough that you can see is quite easy to shape into just about any bread shape you can imagine.

These breads freeze well for future use, or are enjoyable to consume without accompaniments straight away. This store also sells hot chocolate, tea and Single Origin Coffee.

NOTE: If you’d like a more thorough introduction to The Dough Collective than this blog post provides, consider visiting as part of Through Asia. Run by social enterprise, Taste Food Tours, this guided food tour of Haymarket will run on the 7, 12, 19 and 28 October. Over the course of three hours, it will introduce you to some of the best Asian inspired food this city has to offer, for $79 a person.

The Dough Collective
Shop G5, 614 George Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9264 6608

The Dough Collective Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato