Open for just over 2 months, the Red Door Bakery in Croydon’s Queen Street precinct is pumping out fabulous bready/pastry goodness on a daily basis. Elvin, Lola and I went for the first time last Saturday and devoured an enormous lamb and eggplant sausage roll, a large slice of potato and rosemary pizza, a pan au chocolate and a praline scroll. Everything was really, really good. I’m pleased to report that the coffee was also good – we each had two cups. Elvin is a bit of a coffee nazi and he approved of their long black.
Emma and Gareth Grierson own the bakery and Gareth’s sister also works there. Gareth is the baker with the two women serving the fab food and consistently good coffee (although I’ve seen Gareth on the coffee maker too). Between them they create a very friendly atmosphere and go out of their way to accommodate people with various food intolerances. There was a fair bit of traffic both times I visited, with a steady stream of people popping in for take-aways.
I blogged on Queen Street Cafe a little while ago just before this bakery opened a few doors down. Queen street, tucked into a pretty suburban backstreet in the north western suburbs, is unique in Adelaide offering a short strip of funky/retro clothing, home-wares and gift shops, hairdressers and even a pilates studio alongside some emerging excellent eateries with Queen Street Cafe the stalwart having been there for a couple of decades (on and off).
The Red Door Bakery has moved in where there used to be a Russian Pierogi place that has now moved to larger premises. Emma said that the place was essentially just an industrial kitchen when they took over the lease and had to do quite a bit of work to turn it into the warm and welcoming venue it is now. A nice little touch on the walls is a row of paper artworks that Emma produced herself. She intended to make more over time but with a new baby (11 months) and another three children under 7 as well as her new business she can’t really find the time just now!
The potato pizza Elvin and I shared (sorry no photo – we gobbled it up before we thought to get the camera out) had the thinnest, crispiest crust and paper thin potato slices, just the right light hand with the tomato sauce base, a touch of cheese and a sprinkling of rosemary. I made a potato pizza recently and was disappointed with the results. I found several recipes that suggested I needed to cook the potatoes first then slice them. This resulted in quite thick slices and was not a good texture on the final product. This pizza is what I wanted and it’s even encouraged me to go back and make another myself, this time using the mandolin to slice the potatoes while raw, thinly enough that they will actually cook and crisp up in the time it takes to cook the pizza. They had several other pizza options – all look good.
The eggplant and sausage roll was about three times the thickness of a standard roll, lovely light flaky pastry and a filling of slightly sweet, slightly smoky and delicately spicy minced lamb (the eggplant must have added to these flavours but was not in chunks that could be identified). It also had chickpeas dotted through it. At first I thought they were pine nuts and even thought they may have been macadamia but then found out they were indeed chickpeas. They added a pleasant, slight crunchy texture. On my second visit I tried the pork and sage sausage-roll which was equally delicious. I heard another punter tucked into one of the window seats in the corner call out ‘that was the best sausage roll I’ve ever had’ and I have to echo those sentiments.
The praline scroll was again made from lovely flaky pastry and had a sticky caramelised/toffee coating on the bottom where the sugary syrup had oozed to the bottom and caramelised as it was baked. Just gorgeous. The chocolate croissant was similarly excellent. I prefer to have my chocolate croissants warm and this was served cold (although no doubt I could have asked for it to be warmed up).
While we were there several people came in and bought the rhubarb and pear tarts to take away and they did look delicious (and very seasonal which makes them even more appealing in my book).
I popped in for my second visit on Sunday afternoon and while I was having my second (excellent) coffee Gareth brought me a just finished creme brule tart on the house (thanks!). Although you may think I would be persuaded to write something extra special about something provided for free I really wouldn’t have anything better to say than ‘oh-my-lord-this-is-the-bomb’. The thinnest crispiest caramel crunch followed by an oozing vanilla scented custard, all wrapped up in the flakiest pastry.
They are about to start making loaves of crusty bread for sale (about 30 a day so you’ll need to get in quick), which will be a welcome addition to the food outlets in the North Western suburbs. I haven’t found another place to buy high quality artisan bread this side of town.
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