Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Le Gerbe d'Or, Paddington


There's something to be said about discovering little gems in the city for yourself. No guide book, no gourmet food magazine, no Sydney Eats publication, just pure luck. Finding this bakery was one such occasion. Tucked away in the back of Paddington, just metres away from the busy thoroughfare that is Five Ways is the French boulangerie/patisserie La Gerbe d'Or. The master baker here is Franck Francois, who for 24 years has been supplying Sydney with French delights, unbeknownst to me. This man has literally been baking my entire lifespan and as one that is terrified by yeast, he immediately warrants my respect.

I’ve never been to France (yet), however I imagine that La Gerbe d'Or is what your local French boulangerie or patisserie would look like. With pastries and cakes displayed in the front window for passer-bys to ogle, brioches and financiers behind the glass counter as you enter and fougasse and ficelles sitting prettily in woven baskets behind. It's nice to see that Francois himself is working the counter and the banter between he and the customers is familiar and welcoming. Step into his bakery and you feel its warmth and friendliness, it’s like coming home.

Fuit Tart

When I did leave, in my clutches were three brioches, a fruit tart filled with soft French custard in a shortbread base and a dozen buttery almond fingers. The fruit tart was magnificent to behold and even more so to eat. The custard was not too rich and did not overpower the sweetness of the shortbread and the fruit. The brioches were buttery and thick, just the way I like, and the aroma of the almond fingers infused my car on the ride home. This was definitely a feast for ones senses.

Almond Butter Fingers

La Gerbe d’Or also sell interesting savouries like Pate de Pantin and Rillettes de Canard for takeaway and an early morning breakfast there is almost mandatory. I hear the Eggs Benedict are the choice order. The website also adds that Francois’ specialty is the Citron Tart, which I am yet to try and there are so many other items yet to savour that I am definitely planning a second, third and fourth visit to this endearing little bakery. Truly a fantastic find.

La Gerbe d'Or
La Gerbe d'Or
255 Glenmore Rd
Phone (02) 9331 1070
(closed Mondays)


Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Ooh, a great find indeed! Delicious looking photos--the fruit tart looks divine.

Jen said...

Helen- Thanks, I was so surprised to stumble across it. Like finding gold on a treasure hunt, really satisying.
Oh yeah the tart was great... I am going back for more!!

Anonymous said...

Wow!! That's a great bakery. I'm hungry now.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm those stuff looks so delish! me likey likey!

Jen said...

Sher- yes looking at the selection inside the bakery was enough to make my mouth water!

Charles- they not only looked good they tasted great as well!

Len said...

I love this place. Was there again today buying some fresh bread. So hard to avoid all the goodies, but I was a good boy. Now the trick would be to merge their sensational breakfast fare with the double espressos from Slice cafe just across the road, and heaven will be near realised.

And you are so right - the brioche is magically delicious!