Friday, 29 August 2014
Nestled in the back corner of one of the many hollowed-out warehouses dotted around the increasingly urbanised former industrial area (well, that’s kind of arguable) known as Alexandria, Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen is not a simple place to get to. But, like most of the food highlights in Alexandria (The Grounds, Bruce Leaves, The Brewery Bar, etc), it’s totally worth it.
Their signature cookie, the Callebaut Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut and Spelt, is a gorgeous thing to behold. Huge, thick, achingly soft to bite into, yet giving you the satisfaction of a hard crunch with a generous amount of whole hazelnuts, this no-nonsense cookie is lightyears ahead of everything else we’ve experienced thus far on our Cookie Safari journey.
The spelt base has a fine but crumbly texture, with a suitably plain but wholesome flavour. The magic truly happens when you bite into the chunks of dark Callebaut chocolate and let the flavours ripple through to the back of your palate – it is completely disarming; almost meditative in how you forget all of life’s troubles.
Before sense kicks in and you start asking yourself whether you’re eating a glorified cake, you get to the hazelnuts – salty, nutty and, as mentioned before, crunchy. I have to admit that I’m not crazy about hazelnuts (years of nothing but choc-coated hazelnuts as a young ‘un spoilt them for me), but even I can’t deny how well they work. This is one sophisticatedly crafted baked good.
It’s a healthy atmosphere, too. As I always say, good manners and a smile are free, and the folks at Bread & Circus are a genuine charm factory. They are super-friendly, which goes hand-in-hand with their awesome breakfast and lunch menus, creative freshly-squeezed juices and tea infusions that include the above-mentioned trance-inducing dark Callebaut chocolate melted in (though I do have to question the $20 breakfast called Breakfast w/ Gwyneth, because she sounds dumber than a box of hair).
Rating out of 10 (where 10 = ermahgerd this is amazeballs; 5 = meh; and 0 = I want my money back):
10 – Sensational. We are definitely coming back.
Where: The Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen, 21 Fountain Street , Alexandria NSW 2015. It’s at least a 15-minute walk from Redfern Station. There’s local parking, but it’s a little tricky at the best of times. By bus, the 355 will take you right to its doorstep; the 370 stops right around the corner.
How much: $5 each
About Kevvie’s Cookie Safari: People have been telling me for years that my wife’s chocolate chip cookies are the best they’ve ever eaten. It didn’t occur to me until now to test the claim. But if you’re interested, she uses a Jacques Torres recipe from the book ‘A Year in Chocolate’.