On the menu at Blaq Piq, the CBD’s newest cafe, you’ll find pandan-buttermilk pancakes, Kermit-coloured discs topped with crumbled pecan, jellied coconut, mango and edible flowers, onto which you pour smoky coconut-sugar syrup. The pandan is strained over several days and blended straight into the buttermilk to make the base of the pancakes, rather than infused as is the case for most pandan recipes. The final dish is beautiful, creative and delicious.
Blaq Piq is owned and run by Andy Aquett and Lemindau Hanapie, the previous owners and operators of Surry Hills café, Le Monde. “We are of Indonesian background, so pandan leaf is used in everything, even in our rice,” Aquett says. He does most of the menu design and cooking. He says once upon a time serving something like pandan pancakes would have been too risky, but now the market is right. He mentions a few durian-related experiments he’s been toying with. “In Indo we do durian with what they call a pancake, but it's more like from rice flour with bubbles, so when you pour the sauce on top it goes inside.”
The cafe is only in its first month of operation and until Aquett and Hanapie finalise their experiments, the menu will mostly read like a string of modern cafe regulars. The exception is Aquett’s tender twice-cooked pork belly with pumpkin puree, 63-degree eggs, hollandaise sauce, Parmesan crisps and pickled vegetables and rocket.
Everything on the menu – with the exception of the bread and croissants, which is from Bread and Butter Project – is made in-house by Aquett, Hanapie or their pastry chef, Effendy Hendra. Hendra is to thank for the store’s increasingly popular doughnuts – popular for their pillowy texture and the fillings he’s packing inside. They’ve been changing most days; we tried a sweet vegemite and cheese filling, the week before there was a doughnut sandwich with coconut ice cream and milo. Last week it was Nutella or house-made berry jam.
Typically, the doughnuts are served with some junk-food-styled milkshakes. There’s no Nutella yet, but there is a biscuit-blended Oreo shake and a crumble-topped banoffee shake. Considering the great open-air spot the duo has landed in the Albert Street courtyard, we predict a lot of Instagram snaps with loaded shakes and jammy doughnuts.
11–15 Alberta Street, Sydney
0422 023 349
Mon to Fri 7am—4pm