“Perth loves its bakeries doesn’t it?” a friend from out of town said to me once.
I hadn’t really thought about it – I mean everyone (barring those with gluten intolerances, perhaps) loves a bakery, right? – but on reflection, eaters out west are big believers in flour power. How else do you explain such steady activity on the baking front? (The continual expansion of the Mary Street Bakery empire, for instance, continues to impress). Or the prevalence of house-baked sourdough throughout the state? (For my money, the deeply caramelised version at Wines of While remains the city’s loaf to beat).
It doesn’t hurt that bakers at establishments such as Chu and Wild bakeries – among others – have an enviable track record for imagining and then baking delicious things. So much so that keeping tabs on old favourites can be a full-time – and calorific – job. Before we get lost down that rabbit hole, here’s a recap of some recent bakery openings of note, as well as some recommendations on what to try at each. Happy hunting.
Big Loaf Factory Bakery
While you can’t buy direct (yet) from the centralised bakery servicing the North Street Store and Little Loaf empire, the new facility means fans can find more cinnamon buns, buttery croissants and custom-made breads at more venues. (Floreat cafe Someday Coffee, for instance, has recently started stocking Big Loaf products). And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?
One To Try: Dinky, CWA-era marble and coffee-and-walnut cakes, thickly iced and served in fluted rectangular cake liners.
Do the people of Albany know how lucky they are to be in striking distance of Bred Co? To be able to buy sourdough made from flour that’s grown in the region and milled on-site? To tuck in to properly flaky sausage rolls and pies? Or to get their sugar hit via perfectly tuned sweet-bitter brownies? An essential stop on any Great Southern itinerary.
One To Try: The egg salad and lettuce sandwich, a hunger-busting doorstopper of a thing.
Rare is the (West Australian) bakery that specialises in a single item, which makes what French chefs Justine Routier and Quentin Lamblotte do all that more remarkable. From their underground HQ in the State Buildings, the couple retail chouxs au craquelin, airy eclair-style puffs filled with curd and topped with a crunchy, caramelised sugar crown.
One To Try: In addition to the six core flavours, keep an eye out for specials brought in and out of rotation weekly.
It’s a pleasure to see how enthusiastically Lathlain has welcomed the Pallot family’s new suburban bakery into the neighbourhood. Some are here to relive their youth by way of edible pieces of Australiana (think horseshoe rolls, tank loaves and long-john doughnuts), while others are in the market for sourdough and new-school creations such as custard tarts spiked with lemon myrtle.
One To Try: The jalapeno and pork sausage rolls are the ultimate morning-after pick-me-up.
Admittedly, Lulu Lala isn’t a bakery, but Yeojin Kim and Seulgi Leem’s Korean-inspired cafe next to the Centre for Stories in Northbridge that bakes its own cakes daily, including a glorious blueberry and cream cheese crumble. While I can’t speak to the cake’s authenticity, I’ll happily vouch for its deliciousness (and the importance of serving pastry at room temperature). Think of it as a slab of rich baked cheesecake with more crunchy bits – only better than you can possibly imagine.
One To Try: The cafe’s biscuity cinnamon-roll scone manages to lighten this bakery treat du jour while still retaining its essential sweet and spicy spirit.