In Short: Banksia Bakehouse is a showroom of delicious, decadent and truly spectacular patisserie creations. Come in and admire the pastry chefs working in an open kitchen, peruse an extensive selection of sweet treats, pick up a savoury lunch and sip on a coffee. I would definitely recommend the Croque Monsieur Croissant if it is on the menu and sample a pie. Just a note, come in before the lunch rush to ensure you do not miss out on their pies, yep they are that good!
I will be honest and say that the first couple times we went to Banksia, we kept confusing which block it was on. For all of you reading this, make sure you cross into The Rocks and it’s on your left in the Grosvenor Square precinct. While it’s not be visible from George Street, once you glance upon the stencilled Banksia sign, you know you are in for a treat.
While these Hills kids may have had a little trouble finding Banksia Bakehouse, there are plenty others who know it well! In the times we have been, there is always a line of eyes gawking the exceptionally designed cakes and sweet treats. It’s an open layout with glass cases displaying the cakes, sandwiches, and pastries. There is enough seating for about a dozen people and if you are lucky like us, you can score comfortable leather backed banquette to settle into.
Banksia is not just famous for their cakes. They also make some of the best sausage roll and pies in the city. From their pie menu, there is a good variety of vegetarian and meat-based pies but the one to try is their Beef Brisket Pie. What makes a good pie is a rich, meaty filling that’s the right balance of sweet and savoury, encased in a golden, buttery, flaky, crusty pastry that just crumbles away in your mouth as you bite into it. Banksia’s Beef Brisket Pie ticks all the right boxes and then some. Just one look at the top of the pie that is gleaming with a deep golden sheen on top and perfectly risen, is enough to make you drool over it as it screams Pick Me, Eat Me! In fact, they are so good that if you come in later in the afternoon, you might find that it’s sold out. So our advice is to come in early to avoid the lunch crowd and ensure that their pastry selection is fully stocked.
Banksia Bakehouse is extremely proud of their croissants which are baked in-house, perfected with a recipe that was painstakingly researched and tested over a period of time before it was included in the menu. One of their key ingredient that makes their croissants so good is the use of quality Pepe Saya butter. Banksia has decided to up the game by turning their delicious croissant into a classic French Sandwich, the Croque Monsieur. A Croque Monsieur is usually made with toasted sandwich bread. But in this case, it’s the rich buttery croissant that is stuffed with the ham filling, topped with generous lashings of grated Gruyère cheese on top and finished with a whole classic and cute mini French Cornichon pickle. A crusty and crispy exterior explodes when bitten into and that gives away with to luxurious layers of laminated pastry. It’s so rich, and has a lovely elastic texture. A luxurious way to consume ham and Gruyère cheese.
I am huge fan of the popular Lotus Biscoff cookie and I am not ashamed to admit it. After taking my first bite of the cookie, I have never looked back and it is one of my favourite dessert flavours. The cookie and cookie butter is so popular that people have tried adding it to all sorts of desserts and achieved an unparalleled flavour boost. Banksia Bakehouse used the flavours derived from a Biscoff cookie and created two brillant Biscoff flavoured offerings. One of them is the Biscoff Cruffin. The fragrant, lightly spiced flavours work really well with the buttery, sugary crusty flavours of the cruffin, which is a cross between a croissant and a muffin. Just so there is no mistaking, the flavour of this cruffin, it is topped with a single slice of the signature biscuit. The presentation is simple yet eye catching and the flavours speak for themselves.
What do you get when you cross a classic French Pastry with the popular Belgium Callebaut chocolate and Biscoff cookie? Banksia Bakehouse’s famous Biscoff Eclair of course! This happens to be my personal favourite of the two biscoff flavoured desserts. A delicious French choux pastry is filled with a Lotus Biscoff flavoured cream and Callebaut dark chocolate crisp pearls, topped with torched Italian meringue, and finished with a Lotus Biscoff biscuit on top. You can tell it’s a good éclair choux pastry when it retains it shape and texture without becoming soggy and soft, despite holding the delicious decadent cream filling. Gone is my traditional image of eclairs filled with fresh cream. Instead, it is now replace by Banksia’s interpretation of Biscoff Eclair, which has turned traditional eclair flavours on their head.
While we only talked up a few items, there is just so much more to Banksia, that just the two of us could not do justice to. As mentioned earlier, there are pies of many flavours, sausage rolls, quiches and a whole range of patisserie delights that would have you coming back often. We will be back to try more of their menu and if you work in the city, you simply must head towards The Rocks and drop in at Banksia Bakehouse.