Since opening in Surry Hills in November 2021, high-end bakery Lode Pies has been in high demand. Now, it’s sharing its fine-dining pastries – by a team that includes the owner of Restaurant Leo and Lumi, and a Rockpool alumnus – with the other end of town at a new shop in Circular Quay.
Lode Pies is hidden away on Rugby Place, a pedestrian laneway in the new Sydney Place precinct, next to Kosta’s Takeaway. Look out for Lode’s signature dusky pink herringbone tiles and glass counter displaying croissants, tarts and pies.
“It’s great to see so many new operators there,” Benji Spencer (ex-Est, Rockpool), who co-owns Lode with Federico Zanellato (owner-chef at Restaurant Leo, Lumi) and Lorenzo Librino (ex-Lumi chef), tells Broadsheet. “It’s busy and vibrant, and you can get the best of what Sydney has to offer within walking distance. It’s in line with where we want to be.”
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So far, the most popular savouries are the sausage rolls, and the Wagyu and mushroom pies. The former is made from “some of the best pork in NSW”, sourced by Emilio’s Butcher in Rozelle.
“We do a blend of cuts to get the meat right in terms of fat ratio and use only female pigs. They taste sweeter and are more tender, so they’re better for a delicate pastry,” says Spencer. Once the ratio is perfected, the pork is combined with carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and herbs and spices including coriander, fennel, chilli and black pepper. A generous dose of house-made spicy tomato sauce comes on the side.
The pies are filled with premium Wagyu courtesy of David Blackmore (you’ll have spotted that name on the steak menus at some of the city’s top restaurants). “Through testing and trialling, we found the shin was the best. It has the richest, boldest, longest flavour, and keeps the best texture,” says Spencer. A selection of market-best mushrooms, caramelised to perfection, are added to the mix.
Come morning or afternoon tea, the passionfruit custard tart has been attracting queues. It’s a traditional Portuguese tart infused with passionfruit puree and topped with a salted vanilla-caramel glaze. Or, there’s the classic croissant, made with Australian organic wholegrain flour and Isigny butter imported from Normandy, France. Either matches well with a cup of Five Senses coffee. (To celebrate its opening, the venue is handing out free coffee every Wednesday until June 28.)
“We use the best of the best in everything,” says Spencer. “We’re excited about growing the business so that most of Sydney – if not all of Sydney – can get a taste of what we’re doing. Our goal is to be known as the place to visit.”
Fair warning: if you’re looking for Lode’s famous Crown on 487 (a doughnut-shaped croissant filled with white chocolate creme, glazed with raspberry and dusted with pistachio and rose petals), you won’t find it here. It’s available only at the flagship in Surry Hills.
Lode Pies Sydney Place
Shop CQT.05B, 33 Pitt Street, Sydney
Mon to Sat 8am–3pm