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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Silo Bakery, Kingston, Canberra

I'm not a morning person, but if there's one thing that I will wake up early for, it's food.

Work took me Canberra a couple of months ago (hello backlog), and if there was one place I was determined to visit it was Silo Bakery. It was surprisingly easy to convince my office colleagues to join me on post-work eating adventures - 'so where are we eating tonight, Helen?' they'd ask.

It was even better when I managed to swing our Canberra colleagues to head out for lunch in Kingston - Silo Bakery firmly in my sights. Unfortunately we had underestimated its popularity and arrived at 1pm to find out there was a half-hour wait for a table. We lunched elsewhere instead and returned for dessert.

Silo pastry counter

Silo Bakery is known for its artisan breads, pastries, cheese room and breakfasts. The flow of customers here is non-stop, and the dining area - mostly a long narrow stretch along one wall that extends to a back room - is filled with locals cradling cups of coffee, chatting with friends or engrossed in the newspaper.

Rhubarb danish

Flaky crossiants, buttery brioche and an army of tarts beckon us closer from the display case. We share a selection of sweets between us, including rhubarb danish, banana caramel tart, lemon tart and a chocolate and chestnut tart.

Banana caramel tart $5.50

The banana caramel tart is my favourite, a thick layer of dulce de leche beneath a caramelised plate of toffee, topped with a submerged raft of fresh banana.

Lemon tart $5.50

The lemon tart is zingy and light beneath a snowfall of icing sugar, more pronounced in flavour than the the chocolate and chestnut tart which is more cakey in texture with surprise finds of chestnut puree.

Chocolate chestnut tart $5.50

Our flight back to Sydney the next day leaves at 8.30am but I figure we can probably just squeeze in breakfast beforehand. This is how I come to be standing outside Silo Bakery at 6.50am on a cold Canberra morning, waiting for the shop to open.

To our surprise, we find ourselves joined by a dozen other locals, piling in as soon as the doors open and stocking up on fresh bread or ordering takeaway coffee.

Sourdough toast with jam $6

We settle in with menus at a table. The breakfast options are dizzyng, from the piperade Basque omelette with chorizo; to the Welsh rarebit, egg, sausage and spinach; and the baked eggs with washed rind cheese, celery and walnut toast.

Fried eggs, bacon and mushrooms $15

Between us we order the sourdough toast that is simple but rewarding, served with a slab of butter and a dish of chunky strawberry jam, and the fried eggs, bacon and mushroom, a bounty of protein and B vitamins on a plate.

Chilli jam, roasted tomatoes and poached eggs on bruschetta $15

I opt for the chilli jam, roasted tomatoes and poached on bruschetta. The poached eggs look rather promiscuous, perched across two slices of toasted sourdough, but it's the chilli jam that steals the show, surprising in its salty sweet intensity with a chilli after kick that lingers on the palate.

Silo Bakery walk-in cheese room

It's never too early in the morning for a stroll through the walk-in cheese room either. As soon as someone enters the cheese room, the escaping aromas of pungent blue cheeses slowly drifts across the dining room in tantalising tendrils.

Mothais sur Feuille goats cheese $18.50 each

There's an impressive collection of Australian and European cheeses, each stacked and labelled neatly on wooden shelves.

Truffle butter $20 each (available in truffle season only)

I want one of each, but resist - smelly cheese is never a good idea on a plane. I do leave with a souvenir - a sturdy loaf of Kingston white sourdough that sits very quietly in the overhead locker on the trip back home.

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Silo Bakery on Urbanspoon

Silo Bakery
36 Giles Street, Kingston, Canberra ACT
Tel: +61 (02) 6260 6060

Opening hours:
Open Tuesday to Saturday 7am-4pm
Breakfast 7am-11.30am
Lunch 11.30am-2.30pm (12pm-3pm on Saturday)

Lunch bookings are recommended

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Canberra - Flute Bakery
Canberra - Le Rendezvous (Italian)
Canberra - Mecca Bah (Moroccan)
Canberra - My's Vietnamese Restaurant (Vietnamese)
Canberra - Pancake Parlour (breakfast)
Canberra - Senso Restaurant (truffle lunch)
15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/29/2010 03:19:00 am


  • At 12/29/2010 9:09 am, Anonymous Groucho said…

    Silo is closed Sunday & Monday so don't need breakfats on those days, you will be devastated - there is no sadder sight than their door closed.

  • At 12/29/2010 10:20 am, Blogger Lizzi said…

    I'm in Silo so often that I always expect to see myself in the background of the photos when it's featured on blogs... haha, so far, no such luck! :p

  • At 12/29/2010 10:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    u had me at banana caramel tart! that looks absolutely amazing and truffle butter? wow - i want truffle butter! great post.. will have to visit next time in Canberra!

  • At 12/29/2010 10:57 am, Blogger Sarah said…

    I love Silo! It's my must-visit destination any time I go to Canberra. :) Good on you for getting up so early, hehe!

    xox Sarah

  • At 12/29/2010 11:13 am, Anonymous john@heneedsfood said…

    6.50am! Now that's dedication and by the look of the breakfast it's worth it. Mmm smelly cheese

  • At 12/29/2010 11:51 am, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    One of my favourite places in Canberra as introduced to me by a friend who moved there for work. She even brings me back loaves of sourdough from there when she treks back to Sydney!

  • At 12/29/2010 1:50 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I've lived in Canberra all my life, and although I recommend it to all interstate/overseas visitors, I almost *never* go there myself. Helen, your photos and descriptions have convinced me that this needs to change. I want, nay, need, that caramel banana tart and the chestnut tart. So much.

    P.S. So glad you got around to posting! Did you ever make it to Flute in Fyshwick?

  • At 12/29/2010 1:59 pm, Anonymous jude said…

    Like Hannah, I live in Canberra but almost never go. The service is notoriously bad, both at tables and at the bread counter. It does have the best bread/cakes/cheese in Canberra , but because their attitude to customers is so bad, I prefer Flute, where the food is almost as good and the people are delightful. So there.

  • At 12/29/2010 2:41 pm, Blogger lifeis2munch said…

    hmm looks like i have to re-think my opinions of Canberra =p

    hope the service is good if and when i go though...

  • At 12/29/2010 4:18 pm, Anonymous Anna Johnston said…

    I live nearby to Silo so its almost my local. I just love their cheese room too..., fabulous cheese can be found there :)

  • At 12/29/2010 11:03 pm, Anonymous sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    You think you have backlog, I am the queen of backlog. Thanks for your tip btw for when I went down there, Silo was really fantastic. We only got takeaway, but how did I miss the truffle butter - epic fail on my behalf!!

  • At 12/29/2010 11:33 pm, Anonymous pigflyin said…

    I love silo so much. Their pizza is fantastic as well as their tarts. I came across it without knowing how good it is... imagine my surprise when I got there. Their sourdough is a little more artisan in look and smokier than those we get in Burke Street bakery... how lucky are the Canberrian. Envy.

  • At 12/29/2010 11:56 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I love it - backlog issues - everyone has them! Silo looks just lovely and I particularly like the fact they have a walk in cheese room. Sounds like my kind of place.

  • At 12/30/2010 2:57 am, Anonymous Maria @ Scandi Foodie said…

    Yummy! The selection looks so delicious, I love the rhubarb danish and the lemon tart and all the cheeses!

  • At 1/06/2011 11:25 am, Blogger susan said…

    Silo is very good and always busy. I wish there were more places like it in Canberra.


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