Friday, 6 August 2010

botany...why you should go there

(as heard on FBi Radio)

For most Sydney siders, Botany is 'that place by the airport', something to do with industrial storage, or a song about our colonial past. These days, there's more on the food trail that you might think...and it's worth getting in the car to check out if you're unafraid of carbohydrates.

Brasserie Bread
1737 Botany Rd, Banksmeadow NSW 2019
1300 966 845

Situated in an old saw-tooth warehouse a stone's throw from the cranes of Port Botany, Brasserie Bread has to be the definitive 'light at the end of the tunnel' when it comes to out-of-the-way food destinations. What was once an old shed has been converted into a rustic cafe space and HQ to the starter cultures and the bakers that wield them. Peek through the windows into the back where the bakers make their magic happen, while you wait in line for a chocolate and orange babka, or quince and macadamia tart (they have fantastic savoury offerings too), or order a coffee.

For those who like to get a little more hands on, there is also a baking school where you can put your baker aspirations to the test - there's something for novices, all the way through to Masterchef wannabes.

Bottega Rotolo
2/14a Underwood Ave Botany NSW 2019
(02) 9695 1310

Only open for the last 4 months, this Sydney outpost of the South Australian company has gone from strength to strength, specialising in premium imported and Australian wine, artisan cheese, extra-virgin olive oil, high-end vinegars, pasta, chocolate and brilliant Tea Forte teas. What most people don't know is that it's open to the public to peruse the cheese room, ask questions and walk away with a bootful of fantastic produce.

One of the owners Paul,  an ex-chef who has worked in places like Pello...has put his militant organisational skills to the test and you won't see a more ordered warehouse environment open to the public anywhere else.

Tip: Pick up Fever Tree tonic if you're a fan of the G&T...nothing will ever seem as good with your Tanq 10.

1633 Botany Rd, Botany NSW 2019
(02) 9666 3069

Run by Laurence and Frederic Caillon, you had better believe these guys know how to make a croquembouche...and a huge array of other traditionally French pastries (both sweet and savoury) in this chic patisserie down Botany way.

Winter is the perfect time of the year to pick up classic French cassoulet, as well as Laurence's famous quiches and risottos. For ressert, you'll find about 24 different cakes on offer including mango and passionfruit mousse, classic lemon tarts and handmade chocolates.

While you're down there...

Mamaris - great Turkish pide, nuff said.

Patchett's Pies - traditional English pork pies and a chicken & leek that's a total winner.

Shout outs to LL Wine and Dine and