Christmas holidays are about brunch on weekdays and if you're looking to pick up some delicious pastries head to Lode Pies in Surry Hills. The pink bakery is by the chefs at LuMi Dining and is a viennoiserie lover's dream. Lode Pies focuses on puff pastry be it in crisp, buttery layered croissants, LuMi's pitivier, sausage rolls and sweet cream filled pastries with signature combinations.
I was two days after Boxing Day and I had a reminder in my calendar. It read: Lode Pies. The team behind Lode are chefs Federico Zanellato of LuMi and Restaurant Leo and Lorenzo Librino formerly of LuMi. Usually the pink hued bakery is open from Thursday to Sundays but they were operating under holiday trading hours so it's worth checking their website to see when they are open. Mr NQN was already COVID vaccine boosted so I sent him to Lode to pick up some pastries. "It's a small menu and I'm sure some stuff has sold out so just get one of everything," I told him.
He arrived at 10:30am and a couple of items had already sold out: the ham and cheese croissant was gone as was the Crown on 487 (the bakery is located at 487 Crown Street in Surry Hills) and only 15 are made each day. The pastries are around $10 -$12 per piece and the LuMi Pithivier is the only item that tops out at $20. The focus of the bakery is buttery, layered puff pastry. The butter is from Belgium and the flour is organic.
Mr NQN comes home with a box of four sweet and four savoury pastries. Starting on the savouries I pick up the Calabrian, like a folded over layered croissant filled with spicy Nduja and soft, velvety eggplant slices, parmesan cheese and covered with white sesame seeds. There is quite a good amount of filling and only a couple of "dead bites" (ie bites with no filling). Nevertheless it's absolutely delicious.
I have an absolute weakness for sausage rolls and this one is excellent. With plenty of Emilio's Butchery pork mince with fennel and a sweet, tangy and spicy chilli tomato sauce this is my favourite savoury along with the Calabrian above. The ratio of filling to pastry is excellent.
The chicken pie has plenty of soft chicken thigh and lots of carrot and leek to it with some subtle curry spices added to it. On top are a mix of crunchy seeds, nice and toasty from the oven that give it flavour and crunch.
The Lumi Pithivier is a ridiculously pretty pithivier with a hole of pastry on top in which you pour the creamy chicken jus into. The jus does balances it well so that it isn't too dry and the pie can soak up all of that sauce. The filling is made with mince (the menu reads wagyu brisket but it looks like pork mince today), carrot and sliced shiitake mushrooms. And if I have one recommendation it's to warm all of these savoury pastries up a little, just 5-8 minutes in a 150C oven and the butter flavour really shines.
Onto the sweets! I warmed up a couple of these including the Jin-Us and the Mr Peanut but the other two have cream in them so I didn't warm those. The Jin-ius is like Mona Lisa, you know it's hiding something but you don't know what. The outside is croissant dough and a couple of flakes of sea salt and it is filled with almond marzipan, caramelised white chocolate and raisins. It's so much more than a sum of its parts; the marzipan, white chocolate and raisins blend well together and the flavour of the butter stands out. This is a definite favourite.
Mr Peanut is architecturally beautiful with sugar dusted croissant dough curves and a filling of peanut frangipane, caramelised banana and dark chocolate. If you happen to like your pastry dusted in sugar and filled with peanuts, chocolate and banana this may just be your thing (it isn't mine but Mr NQN loves it). I'd much rather make out with the Jin-ius above.
The blueberry tart has a base of croissant dough and a nutty, crunchy textured macadamia frangipane, blueberry jam, cream cheese topping and fresh blueberries on top. This is very satisfying on many levels from texture (that macadamia frangipane!) to flavour and the fresh blueberries and lime zest on top bring it back from being too rich.
I thought I'd be all pastrie'd out by the time I got to the Pistachio Croix but I wasn't. This is a croissant dough pastry split open and filled with fresh whipped vanilla cream, pistachio frangipane and tangy apricot jam with a thick layer of chopped pistachios on top. Holy heavens it was good, again it'sthe balance of the apricot jam and soft, cloud-like cream. And then you just find yourself having another bite and then another. And we might just have to join the early morning queue again.
So tell me Dear Reader, are you on holidays now? What are you doing to pass the time?
This meal was independently paid for.
487 Crown Street, Surry Hills 2010 NSW, AUSTRALIA