The walk to the pastry shop also allowed us to bask in the sun-drenched streets of Pyrmont, which was surprisingly serene compared to the rest of the city. There is a small portion of Union St, in the Pyrmont Town Square, that somewhat reminds me of the book Playing Beatie Bow. The surrounding buildings still bear the Victorian sandstone facades, thick wooden doors and blackened chimneys protruding from their rooftops. And although the square has been revamped it still carries the mood of this era.
This charming lane brought us to Francois’ Pastries. The patisserie is quite small, with only six small coffee tables. The corner extrance led us inside to a glass counter that was brimming with all sorts of cakes, tarts and breads from top to bottom, left to right. The mini tarts and slices were on the left while the bigger cakes and savouries were on the right. There were so many things for your perusal, and so much gastronomic possibilities to be had, that just deciding what to have seemed like a rather overwhelming prospect.
After some time inspecting the counters we decided on the Mini Amandine Tart and the Mini Strawberry Tart. We thought that the mini tarts would be the way to go as the portions were managable. To go with our pastries G opted to have a large cappuccino, which he says is easily one of the best cups of coffee he has ever had. Also at $2.40, it was an absolute jaw-dropping bargain. I decided on the Rose Grey Tea; simply an Earl Grey Tea with rose infusions, which was refreshing and light.
The amandine tart was blissful. I have only tasted one other to rival this amandine and that was by Serge Dansereau of the Bather’s Pavilion, which was to my memory topped with mascarpone cream and macerated berries. The strawberry tart was also perfection, to say the least. The custard beneath the towering strawberries was as smooth as silk, and the crust was just the perfect buttery texture.
It is definitely worth the return trip to sample their savouries. They had already run out of pies when we arrived late afternoon, but there are always a generous amount of sweets available. There are tarts, slices, crumbles and éclairs in every possible flavour; definitely enough to satisfy the desires of any Francophile.