While I dutifully lined up like everyone else to get my airy Uncle Tetsu's cheesecake, I wasn’t so impressed with the result to endure a long line when two more of Asia’s biggest cheese-based dessert brands opened Sydney stores. I did however nip in quietly to World Square, where the Malaysian-owned Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart kiosk sits, and collect a box of Japanese-inspired cheese tarts ostensibly for my work colleagues to try. What I found was interesting enough to get me over the line toward visiting Pablo.
With a proper store (rather than a kiosk) on Goulburn Street, one reason to choose Pablo is the opportunity to eyeball their mesmerising production line. They’re making cheese tarts. Eaten cold, they’re a bit like a baked New York-style cheesecake, with a short-crust pastry base. Eaten warm, they have an oozing, just-sweet cheesy mousse-like texture.
To try two different flavours we opted for the mini tart version, in Pablo Mini Plain ($4.20/each) and Pablo Mini Matcha ($4.50/each). While I preferred the tart shell at Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart, I was a fan of Pablo’s semi-sweet cheese filling and apricot jam glaze. Surprisingly, the matcha tart was even better than the original, with a wonderfully aromatic burst of green tea. I’m tempted to head back to eat the large version, which has the additional flavour and textural elements of shiratama (white pearls made from rice flour) and blobs of azuki red bean paste.
What will drag me back to Pablo even faster are the Sabrel Cheese ($9.90/box). The black and white cow-print boxes contain nine individually wrapped cheese biscuits. In each foil-wrapped package you'll find two 'langues de chat' (cat's tongue), light crunchy French biscuits, sandwiched together with a Parmesan and Gouda cream cheese. They’re mellow yet intriguing – a perfect, bite-sized savoury cheese snack.
605 George Street (enter Goulburn Street), Sydney
Ph: (02) 9267 2945