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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands

Baklava, pastries and shortbread biscuits at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands

Here's the easiest and cheapest way to do a food tour. Head somewhere new and wander the streets. It's what we did when we visited Merrylands for the first time a couple of months ago, a suburb that caused several colleagues to be taken aback when I mentioned where I going. Often these are the places you want to visit. You won't find a whole street filled with shiny franchises and fancy cafes with carbon copy menus. What you should find is a maze of grocery stores, bakeries, pastry shops and restaurants selling all kinds of deliciousness you've never encountered.

We had just finished feasting on incredibly cheap Persian sandwiches when we began ambling the surrounding streets in search of dessert. We dawdle past old skool bakery with passionfruit slices and lamingtons but are soon swept up in the grandeur of La Galette Patisserie, its gleaming glass cabinets filled with an army of Middle Eastern sweets.

Rum baba at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Rum baba $3.50

The patisserie is huge, bright and shiny with its gleaming tiled floors and sparkling glass cabinets. "European cakes are on the left hand side and Oriental sweets are on the right" the shop assistant explains. The European cakes includes black forest gateaux, profiteroles, banana tartes, banana galettes and rum babas.

Banana galette at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Banana galette $3.50

Maamoul with dates at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Maamoul with dates $22 per kg

On the opposite side of the shop are the Oriental Sweets although we immediately associate them with being Middle Eastern. Maamoul are shortbread biscuits usually filled with dates, pistachios or walnuts.

Maamoul with pistachio at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Mammoul with pistachio $28 per kilo

They've got every variety here. The pistachio mammoul are dusted generously with icing sugar. It's a gloriously messy affair with shortbread crumbs and icing sugar flying everywhere.

Namoura at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Namoura $15 per kilo

Namoura is a popular semolina cake, commonly made using semolina, yoghurt and ghee. I love the slight sandiness of this dessert, each semolina grain swollen with syrup. Usually squares are marked with a single almond but I love how they create a chequerboard pattern here with almond halves and pistachio smithereens.

Pistachio baklava at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Pistachio baklava $28 per kilo

We load ourselves up with plenty of baklava too. In addition to the walnut and pistachio combos, you can get ones made with just pistachio or just cashews. They're all good. I find the cashew baklava has a sweet butteriness to it. The assortment of shapes is mind-boggling too: pyramids, coils, logs and the ones I call mini sausage rolls. Each of them taste different to me because of their filling-to-pastry ratios.
Cashew baklava at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Cashew baklava $22 per kilo

The filo pastry is thin and flaky, with far too many layers to count. There's not too much syrup either - just enough so the nuts stick together and you get a sweet aftertaste with every bite.

Karabeesh at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Karabeesh $28 per kilo

Karabeesh might look like meringue or cream but the rosettes on top are actually made from soapwort roots. The roots are boiled in water, then the liquid is whipped with sugar syrup. It magically turns into a sweet white foam called natef that looks and tastes much like meringue.

The karabeesh is a layered construction of natef meringue piled onto a biscuity pistachio base. The crushed pistachios on top provide a great textural crunch.

Chaaybiet at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Chaaybiet $2 each of $20 per dozen

We pounce on everything new, including this tray of chaaybiet, triangular pastries filled with custard cream. Its humble appearance belies its magnificence, the pastry shattering all over your shirt in the best way possible as your teeth sink into the custard core. It’s a rarity of perfection – the pastry isn’t too dry or soggy; the custard isn’t too sweet. The only problem you’ll face is when you finish it and wish you’d bought more.

Faysalieh at La Galette Patisserie, Merrylands
Faysalieh $6 each

Make sure you get the chaaybiet as well as the faysalieh. Faysalieh a triangular pastry of shredded fillo pastry packed around a filling of whole pistachios. One triangle could happily feed two but they’re happy to sell you just a half portion, sliced so you get a cross-section view of the bounty inside.

If you like crispy pastry, this one will bring a smile to your face. The pastry has been brushed with syrup but it still maintains its crunch. And I can't get over how many pistachios are crammed inside.

Carry your precious cargo home or do like we did - detour to a nearby park and gorge yourselves on pastries as your lay on the grass. You couldn't ask for a sweeter end to your DIY food tour.

La Galette on Urbanspoon

La Galette Patisserie
169 Merrylands Road, Merrylands, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9637 4441 or +61 (0)424 330 160

Opening daily 7.30am-10pm

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Merrylands - Aria Persian Fast Food
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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/24/2014 07:59:00 pm


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