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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Famous Berry Donut Van and a food tour of Berry

Mention the quaint town of Berry and I think of donuts.

Not just any donut, but the Famous Berry Donut Van.

The Famous Berry Donut Van

The Famous Berry Donut Van has been trading in Berry for sixty years, the old van recently given a new lick of paint and fancy colour scheme in mocha and chocolate browns.

What hasn't changed is the donuts. Cooked to order and cooked by hand, they claim to have "never sold a cold donut nor have we ever attempted to reheat one", making these donuts "the best you have ever tasted".

Guess what? They are.

Berry donut

There's a lovely sense of ritual when you place your order at the counter, taking a seat on one of the nearby benches whilst it's cooked. A friendly wave from the counter lets you know your paper parcel is ready, a searing hot-from-the-fryer donut that smells sweetly of sugar and cinnamon.

The outside of the donut is fried so golden that it's more of a crust, breaking apart to reveal a soft and fluffy middle that emits plumes of steam.

This is slow food for the people.

This donut will change your life.

South Coast Providores

Across the road you'll find Locavore Fridays, a local farmers market selling locally grown seasonal fruits and vegetables from the Shoalhaven region.

Orange and purple carrots, and yellow and green zucchini

Run by Carole and Ian of South Coast Providores, all the fresh produce has been grown or sourced within a 100-mile radius. Today there were purple carrots, bunches of beetroot, purple asparagus, local oysters, cakes, jams and pickles. Many of the fruit and vegetables were picked that morning. We bought a couple of custard apples that were creamy and sweet.

Green and purple asparagus

Sew and Tell

The main street of Berry is worth wandering, a couple of easy blocks that includes bakeries, cafes pubs and no end of gift shops. The Emporium Food Co. is a well-stocked gourmet delicatessen, but big kids at heart are more likely to be found at the Berry Ice Creamery, or lost in the sugary sweet aisles of The Berry BonBon Sweet Shop, a treasure trove of lollies and candies imported from the UK, USA and Europe.

Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery

Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery
Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery on Urbanspoon

We stop for lunch at Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery, famous for its organic wood-fired sourdoughs and French-style cakes and pastries, including legendary flaky buttery crossiants.

First opened in 2003, the whitewashed cottage offers an idyllic escape for the travelling gourmand, a country haven of bread-filled wicker baskets and a glass cabinet lined with treats.

Lemon yoghurt tea cake and flourless orange cake $3.30

Apple tarts $4.00

Chocolate and pear tart $4.50

Brioche galette $3


Chicken liver and brandy parfait $14
with cornichons and sourdough

The chicken liver and brandy parfait is a smooth and creamy pate hidden beneath a quivering layer of sweet and salty jelly. Accompanying slices of whole wheat sourdough are thick and sturdy. The breads here are all hand-moulded, rested for at least three hours and baked in a wood-fired oven made by the world-renowned master oven builder, Australian Alan Scott.

Local kingfish on colcannon $22
with a parsley and hazelnut salad

Local kingfish on colcannon is one of today's blackboard specials. The skin has lost some of its crispness by the time it arrives at our table, but the flesh is moist and sweet. The parsley and hazelnut is more parsley and red capscium (we find four hazelnuts in total) but the colcannon mash is a reminder of how the Irish converted mashed potato into something swoonworthy, with the addition of butter, salt and tender cabbage.

Brioche galette $3.00

I'd been so intrigued by the brioche galette that I grab one to takeaway, although I end up eating most of it before we've even left the cafe. It's not the crisp pastry I'd anticipated, but more of a soft bendy disc, made better by the crunchy sprinkle of sugar crystals in the centre.

The Original Berry Bakery

The Original Berry Bakery
The Original Berry Bakery on Urbanspoon

"It's for research purposes", I say to Nemo as we head straight from lunch and around the corner to The Original Berry Bakery. We're stopped in here on our earlier exploration of the town, and you might as well have called me besotted.

Celebrity endorsements of the Original Berry Bakery

My must-visit spot in regional country towns is always the local bakery, the best source of traditional vanilla slices and lamingtons, made just like the golden days of yore.

The Original Berry Bakery is a sweet tooth's delight, a bonanza of Aussie favourites including finger buns, vanilla slices, lamingtons, passionfruit slice, rock cakes, apricot slices, cream buns, hedgehog slice, Neenish tarts, custard tarts and big fat fluffy sponge cakes sandwiched with cream. I was particularly taken by the homemade iced vovos -- biscuits covered with pink marshmallow, a stripe of jam and dusted with dessicated coconut -- bagged up on the counter, and the gigantic chocolate-covered wagon wheel biscuits, as big as a CD.

There is no shortage of celebrity endorsements on the wall, including Bill Collins, Mike Munro, Ray Martin, Peter Everett (Ready Steady Cook), Georgie Parker, Angela Bishop, Jackie O, Cameron Williams, Andrew Ettinghausen and, most impressively, Murry Field from The Wiggles who appropriately writes "Happy wiggling!".

Sausage roll, meat pie and passionfruit slice

Behind the counter are vienna loaves and sandwich breads but we're more interested in the warmers of meat pies and sausage rolls.

We stick with the plain meat pie and the humble sausage roll, two Aussie icons best savoured with a generous squiggle of tomato sauce. The old-fashioned passionfruit slice is a tower of vanilla custard sandwiched between layers of pastry, topped with a layer of sweet icing studded with passionfruit seeds.

I reckon you couldn't get a better g'day than this.

> Read the next post: Batemans Bay and the Moruya Country Markets

Grab Your Fork and guest travelled to the South Coast hosted by Tourism Wollongong and Eurobodalla Coast Tourism.

Famil inclusions: Hertz car rental

Personally paid for: The Famous Berry Donut Van, South Coast Providores, Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery and The Original Berry Bakery

The Famous Berry Donut Van
Queen Street (Princes Highway), Berry
(just after the Shell Petrol Station on your right if you're coming from Sydney)
Tel: +61 (02) 4464 3030

South Coast Providores
78 Queen Street, Berry
(in the rear courtyard)
Tel: 0418 22 3464

Open Thursday to Sunday 10am-5pm
Locavore Fridays is every Friday 10am-4pm

Berry Woodfired Sourdough Bakery
23 Prince Alfred Street, Berry
Tel: +61 (02) 4464 1617

Opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday 8am-3pm

The Original Berry Bakery
110 Queen Street, Berry
Tel: +61 (02) 4464 1122

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Batemans Bay and the Moruya Country Markets
Bodalla Heritage Fair, Tuross Head and The Big Cheese
Nan Tien Temple and a food tour of Wollongong
25 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/08/2010 07:02:00 am


  • At 12/08/2010 7:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love love LOVE berry! Shame you didnt go to the hedgehog cafe - yum yum yum! Best caesar salad ive ever had. Did you go to the Robertson pie shop on your way down?

  • At 12/08/2010 8:56 am, Blogger Stephcookie said…

    OMG. I want that donut. I would kill for one right now! Is it usually spelt doughnut or donut in Australia? I never know, though I seem to use doughnut more often.

  • At 12/08/2010 9:02 am, Anonymous eatmarvin said…

    I heard about that Donut Van. It's amazing that they cook the donut to order. I really need to go to Berry one day. I have to have one of those life changing donuts!

  • At 12/08/2010 10:25 am, Blogger Unknown said…

    Ooh I love Berry! It's like the word 'quaint' was created just for the town :) That chicken liver brandy parfait sounds really unusual but glad it went down well!


  • At 12/08/2010 11:09 am, Anonymous Emily @ NeedsMoreSugar said…

    I really should go and visit Berry.
    It's my surname so it would be good for a giggle (and for the yummy treats).

    Those doughnuts.. oh em gee!

  • At 12/08/2010 11:15 am, Anonymous betty said…


  • At 12/08/2010 11:45 am, Anonymous Yas (aboutthefood) said…

    Every single thing looks amazing. I love Berry so much, it's my perfect weekend away! And I know it's popular during summer but it's so great in winter as well. You can get a holiday house with a fireplace - bliss!

  • At 12/08/2010 12:34 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    The van looks so space-futuristic, I love it!

    Thank you so much for sharing about Locavore Fridays. My PhD is likely to involve some investigation of locavorism, so I'm trying to build up some knowledge about what's around here in Australia.

    And now, those pastries. Swoooooon.

  • At 12/08/2010 12:56 pm, Blogger RedsGirl said…

    I've never seen that donut van, I need to look around more!! You should visit Berrylicious next time you are there - great little cafe

  • At 12/08/2010 1:07 pm, Anonymous Annie said…

    I live 20 minutes from Berry & didn't know about the local produce stall on Fridays! Thanks for that. Great post about this beautiful little town. It's definitely worth the visit!

  • At 12/08/2010 2:20 pm, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    How awesome are purple vegies?

    Mmm, fresh cooked donuts.... *Homer drool noise*

  • At 12/08/2010 3:07 pm, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    Love the first peek-a-boo shot of the donut. They look like the real deal

  • At 12/08/2010 4:00 pm, Anonymous Minh said…

    Those doughnuts look awesome, I'm totally craving one now! And lols, sew and tell

  • At 12/08/2010 4:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Donuts!! All these travel guides come in time as I am planning to show my in-laws around NSW during the Christmas breaks. Great post as always.

  • At 12/08/2010 8:00 pm, Blogger amandajane said…

    My favourite place to eat in Berry is the Hungry Duck, amazing food. Followed by the donuts.

  • At 12/08/2010 9:45 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    I've been to Berry twice in the last few months and didn't even notice the donut van...nor did my donut obsessed travel companion (which is stange).

    I never knew there were purple carrots...very cool!

  • At 12/08/2010 10:23 pm, Blogger Viv said…

    i have my eyes on the choc pear tart and apple tart! and that croissant looks so flaky! yummm! ive never been to berry before >< must make a visit soon for a weekend getaway!

  • At 12/08/2010 11:29 pm, Anonymous sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    I spent so much of my time on the south coast growing up as we had a holiday house down there. I still stop in to the Bakery every now and then, though the pies are not as they were 20 odd years ago, they have changed over the years.

    I am and always will be a massive fan of Berry and all things south till you hit Batemans. Umm Saphire Coast rocks too :)

  • At 12/09/2010 11:23 pm, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    Ant and I managed to stop by this donut van on our recent trip to the south coast. I wanted to stop by the bakery but we didn't have time to do so, next time I'm so going there. I think I'll get a sense of nostaglia going there though, I want a jumbo wagon wheel!

  • At 12/10/2010 7:54 am, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    Oh Helen! This post had me really salivating...these donuts are very reminiscent of ones sold in days gone by....and those meat pies!!!

  • At 12/10/2010 12:16 pm, Anonymous Nemo said…

    that donut was awesome - I'll be stopping in Berry every time I drive south!

  • At 12/10/2010 1:56 pm, Blogger Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said…

    Awww such a quaint little town indeed! Whenever we've driven down south I don't think we've ever made it to Berry, or simply have just by passed, next time must plan a visit.

  • At 12/14/2010 9:46 am, Blogger susan said…

    I haven't really stopped in berry all the times we have driven through. I will definitely have to next time though and get me one of those donuts!

  • At 6/07/2011 12:00 pm, Anonymous Greg said…

    Stopped off at berry on the weekend, and i have to say my family enjoyed every bit of those donuts. And also very impressed, how clean that van was, just sparkling. Will be back again for those yummy donuts.

  • At 6/16/2011 10:00 am, Anonymous luke said…

    Long weekend stayed in berry, amazing place. Went to donut van, had to wait 35 min for donuts so busy but worth the wait, For THE BEST DONUTS IN THE WORLD.


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