In Short: Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie is a one-stop shop for bread, cakes, pastries, dessert and even savoury meals like an epic green eggs and ham in a croissant. It might be their croissants that made it to the list of Sydney’s top 10 best croissants, but all their other food offerings are top notch as well and worth making a trip down to Botany Road, Alexandria to check them out.
Textbook Boulangerie Patisserie is considered both a boulangerie and pâtisserie as they make breads, pastries as well as cake desserts. They even have savoury meals which use their baked goods as a foundation. That’s what makes Textbook such a must-do cafe, as they not only make their food in-house, they are also renowned for serving good quality food.
Stepping into their shop, you can’t help but feel a sense of excitement as you are greeted by the aromas of fresh bread baking in the kitchen, as well as rows and rows of beautiful cakes and pastries neatly displayed in their front counter. You might go in thinking that all you want is a taste of their famous croissant, but the colourful cakes and sweets on display and savoury items on their menu, may make you think twice.
The inside of the café is simply laid out yet cozy, making you feel right at home. It is also not uncommon to find owner and founder, pastry Chef John Ralley in the café’s open kitchen, working on his creations, which make you feel extra special knowing that he has put his love and knowledge into each piece of pastry presented in the shop.
Textbook is best known for producing one of the best croissants in Sydney. In my opinion, the best way to judge a croissant is by trying the Plain Croissant, no bells and whistles, without any frills and fancy fillings to hide behind. This will allow you to enjoy the original buttery, airy, flaky texture which is what a croissant is known for. When you bite into it, it should give a satisfying crunching sound and flakes of pastry should be crumbling on your plate. The secret behind a good croissant is in the lamination dough , which is not only time consuming but an art to master. It is what gives the croissant its characteristic multi-layer of airy, buttery flakiness. Textbook’s plain croissant definitely ticks all the boxes of a prefect croissant and then some.
When your skills of making the basic croissant is perfected, its time to try something different to showcase your creativity. Textbook routinely has croissants featuring different fillings and themes. Today’s feature is the Milo Croissant. Just when you thought the plain croissant cannot get any better, it is visually jazzed up with green stripes running through it. Taste-wise, the rich buttery croissant now has a hidden surprise in the middle, a chocolate milo malt custard filling, that is creamy, lush and perfectly complements the croissant flavours. There is also a deliciously light chantilly cream topping on the croissant, completed with a light dusting of milo powder. Its like croissant with a bonus which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I could not resist trying out at least one of their attractive mini cakes from the glass shelve placed at the entrance of the café. My dessert of choice is the Yuzu and Blueberry Cake, comprising of Yuzu mousse, blueberry cremeux and a citrus sponge, sitting on top of a short crumbly citrus shortbread. The blueberry cremeux is milky and creamy with hints of blueberry, while the yuzu mouse provides a fragrant citrusy uplifting flavour. The citrus experience is further enhanced with the citrus sponge and citrus shortbread. I love citrus flavours in my dessert, so this is the perfect choice for me and it was the perfect way to end my dinning experience at Textbook.
If you are looking something more on the savoury end than sweet, Textbook has you covered as well. They have a range of savoury items on the menu and one of the specials of the day happens to be Green Eggs and Ham. The name Green Eggs and Ham is derived from a famous Dr Seuss Book, and there are many ways to interpret Green Eggs and Ham, but Textbook’s interpretation features perfectly poached eggs with smashed peas (green eggs) and Bangalow smoked ham, all sandwiched between their signature croissant. It is a simple and fantastic way to showcase the Bangalow smoked ham, which is an excellent ingredient on its own. The salty, smoky flavoured ham is then paired with poached eggs with the perfect runny centre and finished with watercress and shavings of cheese. Simple and uncomplicated, this dish lets the freshness and quality of the ingredients speak for itself and it made for one yummy must-try.
Croissant and coffee are perfect partners and coffee is not forgotten at Textbook. Textbook go with a local Sydney in Three Pence roasters for their coffee. Their blend is bright with initial blueberry notes and then settling into a smooth drinking experience, that I enjoyed in my Flat White. Like I said, a bite of the croissant and chased with a sip of the flat white coffee is just brekkie bliss!
The word text book invokes images of documented knowledge to ensure repeated consistency of success. As such, Textbook is a good name for this cafe as that is what their food is about, consistently good.