27 July 2013

La Focacceria: Café, CBD Sydney (27-28 May, 4-5/12 June 2013)

50 Hunter Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Freshly baked on Hunter

Thanks to Jean-Marc Parodi for inviting me to his cafe La Focacceria right next door to one of my favourite laksa places Malay-Chinese Takeaway. He's passionate about baking their pizzas, focaccias, brioches and pastries each morning in the hope of making them as good as they can be. The focaccia and pizza I tried was quite nice but I don't really have this style of meal for lunch very often unless I'm in of a bit of a rush for a quick bite to eat. What interested me more was their croissants that they bake each morning in a limited supply. A good croissant is rare to find in the CBD and these were very enjoyable for $3.50 each. I even bought a few to take back to work and they were very popular with my work colleagues with one lady even saying it was the best croissant she'd had for a long time. I guess it does make a difference when baked fresh.

Simon the barista makes a decent Cappuccino ($3) and Hot chocolate ($3) and for a light sweet treat you can't go wrong with their freshly baked mini Brioche buns, Chocolate milk roll panini and Raisin milk roll panini for only $1 each. The Mixed berry muffin ($4) was very moist and still warm from the oven. An abundance of fruit is nice to have but it also made it a tad too moist which can become a bit awkward to hold and eat. I also tried the Almond custard croissant ($3.50) and very popular Almond croissant ($4.50) with good flavour and pastry. These go too fast in the morning so be quick or try and get Jean-Marc to save you one like I had to do. Decor and seating is simple and functional but it's the friendly service and freshly baked pastries and croissants that I think will keep enticing customers to come back for that decent coffee and sweet treat for the day. I hope to revisit to try their freshly baked scones and see how they develop their pizzas and foccacias to make them stand out from the crowd. They even have a bacon and egg pizza if that tickles your fancy for a morning calorie hit.

PROS: Freshly baked croissants and pastries, Friendly and down-to-earth service, Reasonably priced menu, Nice coffee, Catering available
CONS: Limited supply of croissants sell out too quickly, Toppings for pizzas need to be more interesting for me
MUST TRY: Almond croissant, Croissant, Brioche buns
VERDICT: I think their signature offerings are the freshly baked pastries with a decent coffee but with the right attention to detail and presentation their foccacia and pizza offerings have the potential to be just as good
Simon the barista (left) and Jean-Marc Parodi the owner (right)

Croissant ($3.50) — baked fresh daily, buttery flaky pastry

Cappuccino ($3)  — good flavour and body, non bitter

Hot chocolate ($3) — good chocolate flavour, nice temperature

Mushroom pizza ($7 slice) with salad ($10,) — quite nice, decent size, would love more mushroom topping though

Mini brioche ($3.50 large) — nice flavour and soft texture, nice hint of citrus peel in mix

Salted Caramel Macaron ($2.50) — good flavour, cool storage made the caramel a bit harder than hoped

Focaccia Panino with salame, provolone cheese and roasted peppers ($9) — nice flavour combo, freshly baked foccacia

Mixed berry muffins ($4) — very moist although perhaps a tad too moist and didn't hold its shape well when eating, had lots of fruit

Almond custard croissant ($3.50) — good flavour and pastry, baked fresh daily

Almond croissant ($4.50) — good flavour and pastry, quite moist inside, freshly baked

Chocolate milk roll panini, Raisin milk roll panini ($1 each) — freshly baked, light soft texture, nice flavour

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