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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Sea Sweet, Parramatta


The September issue of Time Out Sydney is now out with my latest Food & Drink column highlighting Sea Sweet Patisserie at Parramatta.

It was Fouad from The Food Blog who first put me onto this suburban gem, just one stop on a delicious fooding day out. He had told me about a Lebanese breakfast that involved cheese in a bun that was drowned in syrup. My first question was where, and quickly followed by when.

Fouad's deep-seated affection for Sea Sweet is a result of his childhood memories frequenting the same shop in Lebanon, which began in Beirut and now numbers ten branches. The Parramatta store is its first international foray.

You'll find a huge range of Middle Eastern sweet here, and, most impressively, everything is clearly labelled with names and a brief description of the ingredients. This takes a lot of guesswork out of ordering, although at the same time, it makes it so much harder to choose!

By the time we'd left, I already knew I'd be returning to research a piece for Time Out Sydney. This kind of sugar paradise is too good to keep to myself!


Sea Sweet Patisserie

WHAT IS IT?
A patisserie serving European and Middle Eastern sweets.

baklava display
Baklava display

WHAT'S IT LIKE?
The shop is split in two with European desserts on the left, Middle Eastern sweets and biscuits on the right.

chocolate baklava
Chocolate baklava

WHAT SHOULD I ORDER?
Knefe cheese ($13.90 eat in/$7.90 takeaway) is a cheeseburger made for sweet tooths. Take one ka'ak sesame bun, slick the insides with syrup and then sandwich around a generous square of creamy knefe cheese coated with semolina. A quick grill results in a toasted sesame bun with a stretchy-sweet core of syrupy molten cheese.


Knefe cheese - semolina encrusted sweet cheese

Placing knefe cheese into a syrup-doused ka'ak sesame bun

Adding more sugar syrup


The knefe cheese bun fresh out of the grill

Knefe cheese in a bun $13.90 eat-in

Knefe cheese in a bun takeaway $7.90

Semolina-encrusted knefe cheese inside the bun

WHAT ELSE?

Kashta (thick clotted cream) is celebrated here in an endless choice of desserts. Sea Sweet might be the only place in Sydney to serve kashta ice cream ($14.90). Otherwise go all the way and order the Beirut Delight ($14.90), an island of pure kashta cream smothered with honey and a tumble of crushed pistachios. You'll also find kashta on top of the fruit cocktail ($14.90), a refreshing fruit salad piled in a parfait glass atop a bed of smooth avocado puree.

Kashta ice cream $14.90


fruit salad
Fruit cocktail $14.90
Strawberry, mango, pineapple, banana, kiwi fruit and sweet avocado puree
topped with honey, pistachio, almonds and kashta

fruit salad
Pistachios and kashta on top of the fruit cocktail

DOES EVERYTHING COME WITH KASHTA?

No. Chocolate baklava is a modern twist on a traditional favourite, with chocolate-flavoured filo pastry drizzled with stripes of chocolate icing. Also grab half a kilo of baklava take away for $13.90 - by the time you get home you should be ready for more.

baklava
Fingers pine
Bite-sized cashew and pine nut-filled baklava known as lady's fingers

baklava
Balourieh pistachio
A layered pistachio centre with a light coloured string outer




chocolate baklava
Chocolate baklava

mammoul
Mammoul walnut
A walnut-centred delight with rosewater scent


nammoura
Nammoura
Semolina and almond traditional favourite

Sugar syrup and menu on the dine-in table

znoud el snit ladies arms
Znoud el set $2.90 per piece takeaway

Date boule
Date-filled ball rolled in sesame seeds

pistachio shortbread
Tamara
A pistachio-encrusted shortbread with a date centre

rum baba
Baba au Rhum $5.20 takeaway
Sweet-syrup infused sponge with pineapple centre and topped with fresh cream


Sea Sweet Patisserie


4/354 Church Street, Parramatta, Sydney
Tel: 1300 90 80 70

Opening hours:
Sunday to Thursday 8.30am-11pm
Friday and Saturday 8.30am-1am


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Parramatta - Parramatta Park Cafe
Parramatta -
Sahara
Parramatta -
Temasek (Jan09) and (May08)
Granville -
El Jannah

Baklava -
El Bahsa Sweets, Bankstown
Baklava -
Rabieh, Punchbowl (Aug07) and (Feb05)
Baklava -
Sabbagh Patissery, Greenacre


Time Out Sydney reviews:
ATL Marantha, Kensington (Indonesian fried chicken with edible bones)
Balkan Oven, Rockdale (Macedonian burek)
Durban Dish, Baulkham Hills (South African bunny chow)
Hijazi's Falafel, Arncliffe (Lebanese breakfast)
Island Dreams Cafe, Lakemba (Christmas Islands cuisine)
La Paula, Fairfield (Chilean empanadas, lomitos and sweets)
Sizzling Fillo, Lidcombe (Filipino pork hock crackling)
Tehran, Granville (Persian cuisine)
Tuong Lai, Cabramatta (Vietnamese sugar cane prawns)

25 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/09/2010 12:48:00 am


25 Comments:

  • At 9/09/2010 2:01 am, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    I love the Nammoura; soft, sweet and gluggy piece goodness. Those chocolate baklavas look damn good and I'm willing to give them a try as I've found the baklavas here not too sickening sweet. I don't tend to dine in here as they double the price of everything, what the?

     
  • At 9/09/2010 7:32 am, Blogger joey@FoodiePop said…

    This place is great, has a huge variety of delicious treats, but it's not that cheap. Still, if you're out that way, it's a must try.

     
  • At 9/09/2010 8:14 am, Blogger Shanks said…

    Ooh I love middle eastern sweets...it's on my list - thanx Helen (btw great photos!!)

     
  • At 9/09/2010 8:36 am, Anonymous jess @ fushmush said…

    i like that they have little descriptions of the sweets. I always find shops like that overwhelming because of the uncertainty. I like to have as much knowledge as possible before making a decision.

     
  • At 9/09/2010 9:03 am, Blogger the dainty baker said…

    All these goodies look delicious! Love trying new desserts from different cultures!

     
  • At 9/09/2010 10:05 am, Anonymous The Foodologist said…

    Great Post Helen. I really really love Middle Eastern Sweets and in particular the Lady Fingers/Cashew fingers.

    Whilst living in the UK, I used to love going to the Lebanese restaurants on Edgeware Road and even Harrods had a great sweet section.

    This sugar/burger thing looks interesting too.

    Best wishes!

     
  • At 9/09/2010 10:28 am, Anonymous billy@a table for two said…

    The bun looks much better than a cheeseburger! I tend to find middle eastern Sweets are usually very sweet, definitely looking forward to visit this place one day!

     
  • At 9/09/2010 10:58 am, Blogger Laura said…

    holy yums!

     
  • At 9/09/2010 11:56 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    i heart the knefe cheese bun! sweet but cheesey nommm

     
  • At 9/09/2010 1:49 pm, Anonymous Iron Chef Shellie said…

    OMG so much food porn! makes my lunch look so sad =(

     
  • At 9/09/2010 3:22 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Um, Helen? I've changed me mind. You know how a few posts ago I teasingly whined that there was no dessert to be seen? Well, I now think every post should be like that, because this one is FAR TOO PAINFUL.

    :)

     
  • At 9/09/2010 3:59 pm, Blogger Brenda said…

    That's quite a difference in price for the bun depending on if you dine in or take away. I think I'm getting a toothache looking at the photos of it hahahaha!

     
  • At 9/09/2010 4:44 pm, Blogger Gourmet Chick said…

    You had me at two words - chocolate baklava! looks amazing

     
  • At 9/09/2010 5:47 pm, Blogger Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said…

    What a great find! Haven't been there but definitely top my must visit list :)

     
  • At 9/09/2010 9:15 pm, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    No way! Dessert cheeseburger?! Confused drool...

     
  • At 9/09/2010 10:03 pm, Blogger foodwink said…

    Gorgeous pics, Helen. Thanks for sharing - looking forward to more reviews of hidden gems like this.

     
  • At 9/09/2010 11:11 pm, Anonymous thang @ noodlies said…

    I vote for the fruit cocktail!

     
  • At 9/09/2010 11:17 pm, Blogger mademoiselle délicieuse said…

    Sweet and cheesy sounds like a doable combination, especially when the right type of cheese is involved. And melty too!

     
  • At 9/09/2010 11:44 pm, Anonymous penny aka jeroxie said…

    Knefe cheese in a bun. I must have it... Must remember to try and travel for this... please bring me when I come up!

     
  • At 9/10/2010 1:27 am, Blogger FFichiban said…

    omgomgomgomg that knefe chhheessseeee bun! Drooling over this at 130am is not helping my diet at all

     
  • At 9/10/2010 10:11 am, Anonymous Cath @ Moo-Lolly-Bar said…

    Those chocolate baklavas look amazing! Really good pick me up food.

     
  • At 9/10/2010 1:41 pm, Blogger OohLookBel said…

    I was just reading your article in Time Out (but the pictures are better here)! I so wish there was a place like this closer to the city: chocolate baklava = awesome!

     
  • At 9/10/2010 3:08 pm, Anonymous Anita said…

    Chocolate baklava!!!! Yummmm

    I think a visit to the parentals is in order so I can swing by this place.

     
  • At 9/10/2010 3:10 pm, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    I still don't know why we walked in and spent a good 10 minutes gawking at everything and walk out only to walk all the way down to the chocolate room... will have to pay a return visit and actually try out a thing or two or three...

     
  • At 9/14/2010 6:15 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Thanks everyone for your comments!

    Phuoc - I love nammoura too but a tray always lasts me aaages. I agree, dining-in is quite a lot more expensive than takeaway.

    Shanks - Glad you enjoyed :)

    Jess - I really appreciated the descriptions, and lol, you sound like me, I always like to make informed decisions!

    The Foodologist - You know I never got to Edgeware Road! For shame. I loved Harrods. Mainly just for looking. lol

    Billy - And no pickles! Middle Eastern desserts are sweet but that's what your cup of tea is for!

    chocolatesuze - I kmew you would :)

    Hannah - Oh you do make me laugh :)

    Gourmet Chick - Those two words made me stop in my tracks too!

    Ellie - It's a bit of a hike but worth it!

    Penny - Let me know when you're up in Sydney town!

    FFichiban - pfft, what diet!?

    Anita - Makes home visits that much more enticing eh?

    Angie - lol. Next time!

     

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