Many people have their rituals at breakfast, many of them are simple, some eloquent. But when merely getting out of bed is an uphill struggle, morning rituals are the last thing on my mind. I usually falter out of bed after a short wrestle with my doona, then sleepily make my way to the kitchen, stare blankly into the refrigerator for a few minutes, close it, then open it again, find nothing and then just stand in the middle of my kitchen for a really long time. That’s probably as ritualistic as I get. I have never been one of those people that leap out of bed bright-eyed and primed for the day, I am usually barely-conscious and half-baked. A friend says she usually needs her 8 hours of sleep to function properly, I honestly think I need at least 13 hours to even be close to fully operational. But the chances of this actually happening are slim, very slim.
When it comes to the perfect breakfast, many times the busy life causes us to neglect it. I really do love breakfast as a meal but I rarely have time to sit down and actually enjoy it. Many a morning is spent hastily slopping some yoghurt into a bowl and eating it while getting dressed. It has come to a point that when we want a decent breakfast we are forced to go out and actually find it. We’ve gone out on many breakfast dates, or in my case brunch but rarely do we ever get to indulge in great breakfasts when at home. And really, it’s a shame that we can seldom enjoy breakfast in our own home. But I guess that is what weekend mornings are for, they allow us to recapture the breakfast that eluded us during the weekday.
Well this brings me toBowan Island Bakery and Café. I have always passed this bakery on my way to the weekend markets and have heard plenty of good things about it, but never stopped in to see for myself. When I did decide to make a quick visit, it was a sweet surprise. The café sits along the uninspiring stretch of Victoria Road in Drummoyne, although when inside it feels completely removed from the bustling city outside. Inside, the café feels like a small town bakery somewhere in the Irish countryside; although it was actually Vancouver that inspired the founders of Bowan Island Bakery into bread making. Bowen Island itself is situated off the coast of West Vancouver and after learning the art of sourdough during their visit, David Cummings and partner Richard Wong decided to start the Bowan Island Bakery here in Sydney. The great thing about Bowan Island is that they hold fast to traditional bread making practises; there are no machines, no preservatives, everything is made by hand using a 60-year–old culture.
Aside from selling various artisan sourdoughs and soda breads, of which I am yet to sample; they also sell small muffins, cakes, pastries and sandwiches. My personal favourite and one that I have always been going back for is the Orange and Poppy Seed Bun- a soft and moist citrus bun, speckled with poppy seeds inside and out. I absolutely adore this bun; I have been to the bakery several times and I am yet to be inspired to purchase anything else. I just can’t seem to shake off this bun and this is nothing against any of their other breads, they look and smell wonderful, perhaps even better but this bun I just cannot get enough of. The taste is smple and really summons no sort of immense palatal euphoria, but it’s the unpretentious nature of this bun that makes it so good.
So after a quick pit stop to Bowan Island after a night shift, I took some of these buns home to enjoy for breakfast. It was nice to be able to sit down and savour every bite with a hot cup of tea. I have this ritual of eating the buns where I first take a few bites off the top, and then proceed to unravel the bun eating the fluffy seed-flecked interior. I leave the moist syrupy base for last as it's my favourite and slowly tear away small pieces making sure to relish every morsel. I could happily make this my morning ritual any day.
I also bought a Raspberry friand from the bakery although its presence was eclipsed by my adoration for the bun. Perhaps next visit I can expound on the other selections on offer at Bowan Island Bakery. But for now, the bun takes the spotlight.
Bowan Island Bakery
183 Victoria Rd
Drummoyne NSW 2047
Phone: (02) 9181 3524