Small Talk in Dulwich Hill specialises in one main thing: Montreal bagels. If you've ever been to Montreal or North America chances are you've fallen hard for Montreal bagels. The Montreal version of a traditional bagel are boiled in honey water and baked in a wood fired oven. At Small Talk there are seven types of fillings from a Reuben style bagel or classic Lox and cream cheese along with daily pastry specials and puffy focaccia.
Small Talk is located on New Canterbury Rd in Dulwich Hill but on a quieter stretch. Still there is a small crowd of people waiting outside for their bagels and coffee. It's takeaway only at the store although there are a few benches outside where you can eat them. Monica and I stand outside in a patch of sun and coo at the sausage dog.
There are seven varieties of filled bagel on the Small Talk menu. The filled bagels all use the same Montreal style bagel topped with sesame, poppyseed and caraway seeds. The bagels can also be sold plain. There is also a range of merchandise in store from bags to t-shirts, coffee, pastas and tinned tomatoes. Samples on the counter show the day's pastry and bread specials and today there's a tomato focaccia and a sugar donut so we buy one of each.
We take our food back to Monica's house and I dive first into the BLT. It has streaky bacon, creamy cabbage slaw with caraway seeds, tomato and pickled onion. The filling is great at just the right ratio to bread but the star is the bagel itself. Fresh and densely textured it is made for toppings but would also be delicious toasted with butter.
Montreal bagels don't seem to require a thick inch of cream cheese. They're filled with cold smoked salmon, chive cream cheese and capers.
The brekky bagel is filled with a cheesy egg omelette, slices of tomato and a light schmear of finely diced jalapeno chilli relish that lends it a spicy and sweet flavour.
Sure a salad bagel might pale in comparison to the pastrami or salmon bagel but it's a solid vegetarian offering with cucumber, grated carrot, alfalfa, pickled onion and cheese and a creamy dressing with a hint of sweetness to it.
I saved both of our favourite until last. The pastrami has layers of pastrami, sauerkraut, pickles and mustard. It's like a Reuben sandwich without the dressing and works because of the ratio of bread to filling.
I adore focaccia and you can see the wood fire in the char on top of the focaccia. It's simply topped with tomato but the texture is spongey with plenty of air holes. It's less oily than other focaccias too.
To finish on a sweet note, there is the donut is a light, puffy donut with a slightly chewy texture coated in sugar.
So tell me Dear Reader, have you tried Montreal bagels? What is your favourite bagel filling?
This meal was independently paid for.
Shop 2/355 New Canterbury Rd, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203
Open 7 days 7am-1pm
Phone: 0409 503 641