Sea Sweet Patisserie
The beklawa(or “baklava”; beklawa is the Lebanese spelling) at Sea Sweet, a takeaway sweet shop, is lighter in colour than others; when you slice it, it doesn’t ooze syrup or fold inwards, but snaps in layers. The difference is the filo pastry. Sea Sweet makes its own, rather than importing it. Ordering can be a little bewildering. There’s beklawa with pine nuts, pistachio or cashew, crepes jammed with clotted cream, spongy semolina cakes, chewy mochi-like rice cakes with cream, and shortbread-style biscuits with dates or nuts.
Sea Sweet started in Lebanon in 1973 and now has more than 10 stores across the country. When it set up in Australia in 2008 the owners wanted it to be an exact copy of the Lebanese original.
The most important of all the sweets back then, and now, was knafeh, syrup-soaked cheesecake. In Lebanon it’s a breakfast snack sold on the street. If the stall has no seats or plates, it might sell it stuffed into a sesame bun.
You’ll see the same thing at Sea Sweet: workers coming through the door for their first meal of the day and walking out with a coffee and a hot cheesecake sandwich.
The Lebanese “fruit cocktail” (a mix of avocado, fruit and cream) is the only other thing available for eating in.