It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a person in search of a great bagel must leave Perth to find it.
That’s the received wisdom, anyway: for truly elite bagels, you’ve got to head to Melbourne or Sydney, which have much larger Jewish communities than Western Australia does.
But there’s at least one traditional bagel spot in Perth that can hold its own. Tucked next to a synagogue in the leafy suburb of Menora, you’ll find The Kosher Providore – a tiny bakery and shop that, for the last 25 years, has been quietly making superb bagels for a dedicated (predominantly Jewish) customer base.
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“The problem with everywhere else in Perth is that they don’t boil the bagels, so you’re basically just eating bread,” Gilad Davidowitz, who co-owns the bakery with his mother Desi, tells Broadsheet.
That’s definitively not the case at The Kosher Providore. Davidowitz and his team are rightly proud of their “authentic boiled bagels”, available in a range of varieties, from plain (which will set you back just $1.40) to savoury flavours like onion, sesame and poppy seed, and sweet blueberry bagels.
It’s not just the bagels that are worth a visit: the braided challah bread and rugelach (Jewish pastries slightly similar to a chocolate croissant) are wonderful. In the run up to Jewish holidays, the bakery produces seasonal specialties. Think tightly rolled blintzes and feta pastries to celebrate Shavuot, and hamantaschen (filled shortbread) to eat around Purim.
But the showstopper has to be the babka: a compact bundle of deliciousness, swirled with either chocolate or cinnamon. The Kosher Providore’s babkas are so popular that you have to call days in advance and put your name down to nab one.
There’s no delivery so you’ll have to visit the shop for pick up – a good chance to browse the shelves and relish the baking aromas.