Pierre Labancz in Rozelle is the 4th owner of what was Moana Bakery before. It was started over 15 years ago by Laurent and his wife and has been my "local" for all these years.
Since Pierre and his wife Diane took over a little over a year ago, it has steadily improved, and so have their patronage.
It is common view in France that you cannot be a Boulanger Patissier and be good at both trades...but Pierre makes a lie of that saying, having fixed the steam oven left poorly maintained by the previous owners. Now the baguettes are "croustillantes" and the croissants certainly out there within my top three in Sydney. They are certainly healthier than those of Michel at C'est Bon, as they are not dripping with butter, but are rich enough to satisfy all but the most fastidious croissant lover.
One thing in common between Jean-Claude at Choco Cannelle, Michel at C'est Bon and Pierrre is that they are all artisans, passionate about their trade and modest in their achievements, Keep up the good job, mes amis...
Second best croissant in Sydney @ Choco Cannelle
Choco Cannelle, a nice play on words and a tribute to iconic French seamstress Coco Chanel, is a French Patisserie tucked away in the back of beyond North Ryde, a popular suburb of Sydney West. Forget the impossible to find location though, and with the help of your recently acquired tablet, you will be lead to one of the best "cake shop" in Sydney. Jean Francois Perron was first introduced to me a few years back, as he was delivering his gorgeous creations to Maitre Karl. His father taught him the trade at a young age and he started this current business in 1996, after a long carreer at various famous restaurants around the World.
No bread here, unlike at Victoire and Labancz, just cakes!
The croissants are a very close second to Michel's at C'est Bon, as crusty, but a wee bit less buttery, but definitely in the same league.
The "palmiers", one of my favourite accompagnement with afternoon tea are extremely well executed, so good that they were gone before the photographer in me woke up to the task, so no photo just yet, I am afraid...
Rebranded "The Entertainement Quarter", the grounds of Fox Studios have had an up and down kind of life and fame, and I rarely visit.
However, it is the center of the film industry in Sydney, made famous by a number of films finalised there by Animallogic, the famous visual effect company involved in a number of famous films including Babe, The Matrix, Moulin Rouge!, Hero, 300 and culminating in the 2006 release of Australia’s first digital animated feature Happy Feet and by the presence of AFTERS, the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, where my son is currently enrolled to become a cinematographer.
He wanted to drive himself to school this morning and I was the lucky designated co-driver, with a 6.00am start of the day to match! But hopefully you know me well enough now that I would try to make that an opportunity rather than a chore...
So, here I am chasing a good cup of coffee and a some substenance at the market which is on every Wednesday and Saturday and it is under shade, so weather is less of a worry than at the Growers Market in Pyrmont!
It really starts at 8.00am and most people were still setting up, but I found a nice little stand of pastries and was quicly attracted by a pile of croissants under "cloche". As soon as I ordered one, and the cloche was removed, a beautiful waft of buttery smell hit my nose and hunger was immediately replaced by lust!
A taste of France: Fabulous pile of buttery croissants at Michel's stand - shame I can't bottle the smell... So far, the best croissant in Sydney.
I had inadvertantly come across one of many ventures of Michel (and wife Elisabeth...) who also owns Strudel in Drummoyne and my recent discovery of "C'est bon" in Rozelle (infact "c'est tres bon"...), an affordable alternative to the overpriced Victoire a few doors up, and across Victoria road from another of my joints: Pierre Labancz.
Michel also started what is now a very ordinary chain of cake shops: Michel's Patisserie. Unfortunately only the name is left from Michel's previous empire - at a time where he was using a TON of butter a week for our pleasure!
There is certainly still an inordinate amount of butter in his croissants today. And so it should be!
Actually, I need to organise a breakfast party to compare croissants from Choco Cannelle, Labancz & C'est Bon...
Michel, the owner of Strudel, C'est Bon and the founder of Michel's Patisserie. He will celebrate 50 years in Australia next year!
This morning, coffee was courtesy of Toby's Estate, a "valeur sure", and a perfect match to Michel's delights.
The rest of the market was quite a disappointment: my friends at Willowbrae Cheese were nowhere to be seen, although there was another nice cheese stand (see photo), a good vegetable stand with produces from the North Haven region (Ricardo's Tomatoes that we met at "A Slice of H(e)aven a year ago - I bought some lovely asparagus). Also, not to be missed, the "saucissons" and "terrines" from Jean-Marc: I had to stop chez Pierre Labancz on the way back to buy one (actually two!) of his lovely multigrain baguettes and couldn't wait any longer arriving home: I brewed myself some coffee and cut some saucisson and baguette (see photo below...)