Smoking Gun Bagels Video Review
Montreal-style bagels have reached the shores of Sydney, Australia! In some Australian cafes, you can sometimes get bagels, in the form of plain or seeded that you eat with cream cheese, peanut butter, butter or blueberry-flavoured. But Smoking Gun Bagels are wood-fired and made on-premises with fillings that are out of this world!
For the uninitiated, bagels are a Polish yeasted wheat dough bread that is formed by hand into a ring. They may be shaped like doughnuts with a hole in the middle, but that’s about where the similarity ends. Bagels are boiled and then baked, giving it a dense, chewy doughy interior.
I love the soft chewy texture you get from a good bagel, but I’m firm believer that a bagel deserves more that just spreads or fruit flavouring to elevate it from being a humble breakfast food to something that excites and fills the stomach enough for it to be a meal in itself.
Fortunately, Smoking Gun Bagels must have heard my silent plea for a bagel revolution. Smoking gun is a delightfully funky café located in Woolloomooloo that focuses on bagels with unique fillings.
Lets start with the basics, the bagels. Smoking Gun Bagels has a giant wood-fire oven on their premises, which would explain a menu teeming with freshly made wood-fire bagels and fillings. You can literally be sitting there sipping your Sensory Lab coffee and watch the baker make your bagel from scratch inside the shop, perched a top of his own bagel making stage. Smoking Gun has 4 types of bagels on offer, their standard plain, white seed (sesame), black seed (poppy) or all dressed (wattleseed, caraway, sesame, poppy, onion, garlic, salt)
Ok, now that we got the bagels selection out of the way, lets talk filling. Firstly there is the hands off snaky. Hands Off Snaky topping comprises wood-fired bacon with gribbiche, which is a herbed egg mix. This is Smoking Gun Bagel’s play on the traditional bacon and egg sandwich filling. Slices of smoky wood-fired bacon encircled the bottom of the bagel, which is then generously topped with the roughly chopped herbed egg mixture. The mellow herb flavoured eggs are a perfect contrast to the heady flavours from the bacon. This combination gives the traditional bacon and egg sandwich a run for its money.
Yid Life Crisis is Smoking Gun Bagel’s take on chicken and avocado. When you see chicken and avocado on a menu, you might immediately think, that’s a standard combination that is done a million times over. The surprise here is the addition of kaffir lime and also the delicious charring of the avocado, which adds a smoky dimension that sets it apart from other chicken and avocado fillings. If you want to up the yum factor, have this filling with their seeded bagel. The seeds gave the soft chewy bagel an added crunch and herbaceous flavours, which further elevates this dish. In fact, this was Coco and Viner Sacha’s favourite.
If you are looking for something that evokes elegance and class, look no further than the not so salmon filling. Tastes like salmon, looks like salmon, but is not salmon. It can only be ocean trout. Starting with a generous slather of yummy pepe saya cream cheese, it’s then topped with a generous serve of smoked trout, capers, pickles and pieces of red onions. Dill is then added to give it a different green colour dimension and herby taste. The final and most important crowning glory is the little jewels of trout caviar sprinkled generously around the bagel, adding salty little explosions in your mouth. Definitely finger licking good. We tried this with the plain bagel, only because this is already such a flavourful filling by itself. But I am sure that it would have tasted just as good on any other Smoking Gun bagel selection.
If you like corned beef flavours, than the champagne papi filling is for you. It comprises thickly sliced peppery pastrami, combined with slices of pickles, fermented cabbage and mustard sauce. The peppery meat combined with mustard, tangy cabbage and pickle flavours is reminiscent of a corned beef or pastrami sandwich.
Smoking Gun Bagels is located where the former Toby’s Estate reigned for many years, so the locals know about their coffee. In fact, while I was sipping my cappuccino, none other than Toby Smith walked into Smoking Gun to grab a coffee and bagel. To have one of the Godfathers of 3rd wave of coffee in Australia walking in to grab a coffee is quite a feather in the cap. As mentioned earlier on, the coffee here is from Sensory Lab in Melbourne, and my cappuccino is a mellow flavoured coffee, with a beautiful texture and temperature. With hints of chocolate and raisins, it’s so good, that I walk up and order another one.
If bagels have never really excited you, well I implore you to give Smoking Gun Bagels just one try, because I almost guarantee that once you’ve tried them, you’ll a be converted bagel fan. I for one am super excited that Smoking Gun Bagels have brought the Montreal style bagels to Sydney. Ok, you must excuse me now, writing this has created a yearning for a quick dash to Woolloomooloo for a bagel and coffee.