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Friday, March 11, 2016

Abbots & Kinney, Adelaide

Sfogliatelle at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide

The Jean Claude Van Hamme. The Barry Croquer. The Granoel Gallagher. There's a wicked sense of humour at Abbots & Kinney, surpassed only by their dedication to flaky pastry. The crowning glory here is the sfogliatelle, of which they only bake a dozen. If luck strikes you, they occasionally bake a second batch. Owner Jonny Pisanelli says he'd love to make more but "they're so much work".

Menu board at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Menu board

If you ever had the good fortune to visit the former From Scratch at the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market, Abbots & Kinney is what happened next. It's just Pisanelli at the helm now, opening this slip of a cafe in June 2015. Don't be fooled by the cafe name either - it's inspired by the American property developer Abbot Kinney who famously built Venice Beach, converting a previously swampy and unloved part of California into a major tourist attraction.

In a neat twist of fate, Pisanelli has done exactly the same with this narrow shopfront. The cleverly designed space, contrasting pale Tasmanian oak with matte black walls and floor along a harmonious diagonal, is the work of Studio-Gram winning them Best Cafe Design in the 2015 Eat Drink Design Awards.

Barry Croquer croissant and danwiches at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Barry Croquer and danwiches

I ended up visiting here twice during my brief stay in Adelaide last year, skipping the hotel breakfast for the promise of pastry. They take their coffee seriously too. Not only is Pisanelli a pastry whiz, he's also the 2015 South Australia Barista Champion.

Barry Croquer croissant with gruyere, bechamel, leg ham and cornichons at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Barry Croquer $9
Butter croissant filled with gruyere, bechamel, leg ham and cornichons

Trivia buffs will know that Barry Crocker sang the original theme song to Neighbours. One could make all kind of cross-references with his namesake croissant, hammed up and unapologetically stuffed with cheese.

Stretch gruyere cheese in the Barry Croquer croissant at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Stretchy gruyere cheese in the Barry Croquer croissant

The lofty croissant seems a little brutally flattened by the sandwich press by the time it arrives but it's a small price to pay for the reward of stretchy gruyere cheese and a warm puddle of bechamel. It's a rich breakfast but the pile of rocket on the side does wonders, its balsamic-dressed bitterness paving the way for yet another bite.

Breaky Danwich at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Breaky Danwich $9
Slow roast tomato, bacon relish, goats curd and soft boiled egg

The next day it's all about the Danwich, a turret of pastry draped with a variety of fillings for the day.

Breaky Danwich, coffee and the morning papers at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Breaky Danwich, coffee and the morning papers

We ordered the slow roasted tomato and bacon relish version, its saltiness countered by a runny boiled egg and a generous dollop of goats curd.

Jean Claude Van Hamme pastry at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Jean Claude Van Hamme $9

And because sharing is caring, we also find room for the Jean Claude Van Hamme, because how could we say no?

Leg ham inside the Jean Claude Van Hamme at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Leg ham and bechamel inside the Jean Claude Van Hamme 

We cut into the pastry to find a double impact (oh yes, I went there) of leg ham and bechamel. It's an impressive construction with the pastry still managing to separate into distinct layers despite the weight of its filling.

Salted chocolate chip cookies at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Salted chocolate cookies $3.50

The dessert cabinet is small but enticing. I had one of these salted chocolate chip cookies takeaway and was glad I did. It's that perfect balance of crispy edges and chewy middle, punctuated by alternate bursts of bittersweet chocolate and tongue-tingling salt.

Bananas in Pyjamas chocolate and banana cake croissant at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Bananas in Pyjamas chocolate and banana cake croissant $5

On the first day I visited, Pisanelli had just put the finishing touches to his Bananas in Pyjamas, an ambitious concoction combining a croissant with chocolate and banana cake.

Tunnels of chocolate and banana bread inside the Bananas in Pyjamas at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Tunnels of chocolate and banana bread in the Bananas in Pyjamas

The glaze on the surface of the pastry is incredible but it's only when you turn it sideways that you notice the little tunnels of chocolate paste and banana bread.

Pastry layers, molten chocolate and banana bread inside the Bananas in Pyjamas at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Pastry layers, molten chocolate and banana bread

A cross-section cut reveals a wondrous network of distinct pastry layers, its softness accented by the crunch of caramelised pastry on the outside. The banana bread log may be small but its flavour carries itself throughout the pastry, highlighted by the molten river of melted chocolate.

Flaky sfogliatelle at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Sfogliatelle $5

But really, the one thing you must get your hands on is the sfogliatelle. It's a skill that Pisanelli honed in its Italian birthplace, the province of Benevento. Pisanelli travelled there specifically to learn its complex craft after completing a TAFE patisserie course. It's also where his family is from.

The sfogliatella is sometimes known as a lobster tail in the United States but I much prefer the way "sfogliatelle" rolls around in your mouth. The lobster tail usually holds a filling of French cream.

Sfogliatelle translates to "small thin layers or leaves" in reference to its appearance. Pisanelli's version is a sight to behold. Each layer is distinct and separate, fanning out as a series of noticeable ridges.

Candied orange rind and ricotta inside the sfogliatelle at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Candied orange rind and ricotta inside the sfogliatelle

That first crack of crisp pastry is so deafening you can't help but laugh with glee, even as powdered sugar falls onto the plate, your lap and leaves a trail all over your lips. Inside is a soft and warm filling of lightly sweetened ricotta dotted with citrusy bursts of candied orange rind.

Sfogliatelle pastry coils at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Coiled layers of pastry

And I can't help but marvel when my pastry layers start to pull apart into coils. It's like being faced with an edible Slinky. There's only one thing to do. You eat every last bit.

Sfogliatelle pastry layers at Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide
Sfogliatelle perfection

Abbots and Kinney, Adelaide

Grab Your Fork travelled to Adelaide as a guest of South Australia Tourism for a Tasting Australia preview but visited Abbots & Kinney independently and anonymously.


Abbots and Kinney Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Abbots & Kinney
78 Pirie Street, Adelaide
Tel: +61 (02) 0412 550 336

Opening hours:
Monday to Friday 6.30am-3.30pm
Saturday 7am-1.30pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Sfogliatelle - Fine Italian Bakery Voglia di Pane, Woodpark, Sydney


9 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 3/11/2016 01:14:00 am


9 Comments:

  • At 3/11/2016 9:05 am, Anonymous Gourmet Getaways said…

    OMG!! I know I could live off pastry!
    They look so impossibly crisp and buttery!
    I need this place in my life.
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

     
  • At 3/11/2016 11:34 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    Argh pastry heaven! All those buttery layers!

     
  • At 3/11/2016 7:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love sfogliatelle - I think I ate my bodyweight in them in Naples after an Italian colleague warned me about them - I recommend a trip there to anyone - and stopping to taste how variable they are in terms of coiling, amount of ricotta and which citrus was used (lemon/orange/cedro) - BUT try to leave room for pizza and mozarella on top of that and everything else...argh

    Alex

     
  • At 3/12/2016 9:32 am, Anonymous Napoli Restaurant Alert said…

    I adore sfogliatelle! Lucky you!

     
  • At 3/12/2016 10:04 pm, Blogger Sarah said…

    Omg... that sfogliatelle! Amaze!

    PS I love Van Damme.

     
  • At 3/13/2016 10:59 pm, Anonymous Sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    All their goodies look amazing, and I do really love their names.

     
  • At 3/15/2016 7:38 am, Anonymous John - heneedsfood said…

    I reckon I'd be skipping the hotel breakfast for a fill on these pastries, as well!

     
  • At 3/15/2016 6:05 pm, Anonymous Berny @ I Only Eat Desserts said…

    Adelaide representing :D The sfogliatelle looks amazing but don't think I'll be one of the lucky 12 to wake up early enough to buy one.

     
  • At 3/16/2016 11:55 am, Anonymous Bianca@forfoodssake said…

    Ooooh the sfogliatelle look fantastic! My Nonna used to make them back in the day but far too labour intensive for an old lady to whip up. The pastries look great :)

     

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