Hobart. Just do it. I spent five days in Tasmania's capital city last week on an impromptu mini-break organised with three fellow food-lovin' friends. Pigeon Whole Bakers was high on our list - okay we had a spreadsheet - of spots to visit. Sourdough bread? Croissants? Eclairs? I'm there.
Pastry counter at Pigeon Whole Bakers
The bakery is beautiful to look at, all sleek lines, gleaming marble and plenty of natural light streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling glass panelling. It's OCD neat without feeling sterile, with its parade of pastries, savouries and desserts all neatly lined up in rows.
Ficelle, like a baguette but thinner
Chef Jay Patey opened Pigeon Whole Bakers with partner Emma Choraziak after selling Pigeon Hole Cafe. It was there that Jay first dabbled in sourdough in order to supply the cafe with freshly baked bread each day. The rest, as they say, is history. Six years after opening Pigeon Hole Cafe, Jay moved into a new business and a new address with Pigeon Whole Bakers. The Pigeon Hole Cafe is still open but operated by new owners.
Sourdoughs and bagels in front of the baking kitchen
The entire back wall groans with sourdoughs, ciabattas, rye breads, ficelles and bagels. There's a strong focus on organic ingredients. Watching the bakers in action at the back is an added bonus.
Ham slider $4
Our first breakfast in Hobart was a self-styled journey of deliciousness. We started with the ham slider, such a simple little affair but done so well with its soft milk bun, good quality ham, crisp lettuce and smattering of pickles.
Bagel with bacon and cream cheese $6
A good bagel outside of New York City is hard to find. Pigeon Whole Bakers' stands up nicely - soft but not doughy, chewy but not dense. On the first day we visited we had it with a thick layer of cream cheese and diced bacon.
Bagel with cream cheese and pickles $6
On the second day (yes we returned), we tried the cream cheese and pickle version. It's equally good. That slightly blistered crust on the bagel is always a heartwarming sight.
Quiche with sun dried tomato and goats cheese
The quiche is a plump and fluffy cloud packed with sun dried tomato, goats cheese and more but the highlight is the pastry. It's so buttery and flaky you may shed a joyful tear.
Croissant cross-section $6
The croissants have an impressive honeycomb structure too. The light and butter layers are more on the softer side in texture.
Sourdough doughnuts $4
We took home a sourdough doughnut, relishing the sugar-crusted fluffy doughnut sandwiched with dulce de leche.
Chocolate choux, lemon meringue tarts, cashew eclairs and strawberry fruit tarts
We also had the cashew eclair which was almost mindblowing in its perfect execution of crisp choux pastry, lightly whipped creme patisserie and silky custard. The crumble of cashew praline embedded within made me swoon. We also tried the Eccles cake (such an under-rated English pleasure) and the Basque tart, an enclosed fruit pie that incorporates a little cheese in the pastry crust. Tick. Tick.
Almond croissant $6
We had to take desserts home because we'd already eaten an almond croissant, supremely flaky with a generous amount of sweet almond paste in the middle.
Morning bun $5
But my favourite of everything would definitely have been the morning bun. Croissant dough with caramelised sugar gets me every time. It's one big scroll of crisp edges and buttery flakiness.
Homemade bacon and double brie toastie on Pigeon Whole Bakers white sourdough
The white sourdough loaf we bought had terrifically large holes throughout. It formed the base for one of the most delicious meals we had in Hobart - a bacon and double brie toastie made by Pigflyin for breakfast one morning.
Pigeon Hole Cafe
We also stopped by where it all started, Pigeon Hole Cafe, for breakfast. It's about a 20 minute walk between the two.
Breads and a view into the kitchen at Pigeon Hole Cafe
The cafe has a tiny front room but a corridor down the side leads to a larger dining room down the back. You can still buy whole loaves of sourdough here.
Peach galette tarts
The display cabinet holds a range of rustic treats. The peach galette tarts were very tempting.
Spring onion pancake with mushroom, pickled cabbage and fried egg $17
I had the spring onion pancake for breakfast, a large disc of Chinese-style pastry covered in mushroom, pickled red cabbage and a fried egg.
Spring onion pancake upskirt shot
The spring onion pancake is a bit chewier and denser than the Chinese version but it eats well with the toppings.
Green eggs and free range ham with salsa verde $14.50
Pigflyin has the green eggs and ham. It's simple but expertly cooked. The egg yolks are still gooey and the ham has been crisped without drying out.
Gooey egg yolk
The salsa verde is just the right shade of health-giving green.
Three-quarter flat white coffees
And they've got you covered for coffee too.
Pigeon Hole Cafe
93 Goulburn Street, West Hobart, Tasmania
Tel: +61 (03) 6236 9306
Open Monday to Saturday 7.30am-4.30pm
Pigeon Whole Bakers
32 Argyle Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Open Monday to Thursday 7.30am-3pm; Friday 7.30am-5pm; Saturday and Sunday 7.30am-1pm
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2/15/2017 12:02:00 am