Fyshwick’s first family: Coffee and Macarons at Dream Cuisine
by Barrister Barista
‘Fyshwick is the pastry capital of Canberra’, Said No One, Ever #favouritenewhashtag. We’re saying it now, because Canberra’s strangest suburb’s got talent, with a capital tea (or coffee).
If you’ve eaten a macaron in Canberra, there’s every chance it was made in Fyshwick, at The Flute Bakery on Barrier St or at Dream Cuisine on Whyalla St. Flute, the luckiest bakers in town, open 9.00am – 3.00am weekdays and make cakes that colleagues coo over. Dream Cuisine, the farmers market fairytale, open pretty much all the time, everywhere, including 6.30am-4.00pm weekdays. As well as classic patisserie, Dream Cuisine serve Sydney-roasted Coffee Alchemy, presumably to keep themselves awake. This served as a summons for Barrister Barista to appear on the way to ‘chambers’ one morning.
This curious case has a happy ending for Canberra. Girl goes abroad, girl falls in love, girl brings her new love back to Canberra, reproduces and sells her offspring at the farmers’ market, with the help of her son. They’re so popular that she opens a shop in Fyshwick. Girl was Marilyn Chalkley, abroad was Paris, her love was probably Ladurée and her offspring were macarons (this is a metaphor, not Game of Thrones). Mother of macarons is also mother to Owen Sadler, about whom the Canberra Times got all mushy near Mothers’ Day 2013, as they should. Everybody loves a family business, and Mother and Son is great viewing.
If you’ve never been to Paris, McDonald’s or a french-inspired patisserie anywhere, you’ll know that macarons are darn fancy biscuits: a sweet meringue-based confection made with eggs, sugar, ground almond, and food colouring. Much discussed are their delicious ganache or jammy fillings and wide variety of flavours – the famous salted caramel, the more exotic champagne or chilli or lavender, or fruit-inspired classics. The French don’t make them, they buy them, silly, and a war rages in Paris as to whether the regal Ladurée or their unfaithful intern Pierre Hermé do the best. Nowadays, they’re becoming so awfully common. One can purchase a multi pack of macarons at McDonald’s, which McMarketing haven’t even deigned to call Mc-arons, for shame.
Macarons, the cheeky little ganache smugglers, have been Dream Cuisine’s gluten-free bread and butter since 2012, alongside croissants, danishes and the newbie, pain au chocolat. After The Welcome (prompt, bright, and appropriately French-accented), we order two chocky croissants on the recommendation of The Waitress. Told they were ‘50% chocolate’, we never decided whether this meant ‘fairly high cocoa content’ or ‘they’re half chocolate’: all conversation was suspended as we finger-licked the leftovers. The regular croissants were a touch brown (Siloitis?) but well-sized, and we’ll be back. We can’t decide on our macarons, and we’re encouraged to sit down and pay at the end.
With cups of carefully made coffee, Dream Cuisine makes for a special (occasional) breakfast, although The Space is shopfront through and through. A display case hits you front on, and just allows for The Hipster Factor-improving Pantone Colour Chart chairs. Pastel walls, illustrated, pink drop lights, and colourful cups, saucers and mugs add personality. This is necessary, because did we mention that Dream Cuisine is in the middle of nowhere? It doesn’t feel like it once you’re inside, but it’s a patisserie tucked primly between Tools & Equipment and Painting Supplies. We overhear waitress chat about possible expansion, and get excited. Although it’s kind of excellent that we can’t access this decadence everyday, as patisserie is not an everyday foods, kids.
We advise visits for informal catch-ups and pre-work pitstops, in twos to fours, max, with coffee. While takeaway was their major trade, our have-heres were happy times. The Long Black showed its nostrils through thin crema, but was rich and nutty, excellent friends with chocolate but a mouthful in its own right. The Capp was artsy-pour and choc-rich too. The cry ‘could have been stronger’ probably says more about the drinker than the drink. The Coffee Alchemy pedigree (from ‘grandma’s coffee trees’ to Marrickville hole-in-the-wall Flint and Steel) shows through in preparation.
The Latte Word: Coffee’s clearly not the story here, but do grab one when you stop in for macarons. Or for eclairs, if Dream Cuisine truly are on-trend (‘a serious revival in Paris’, you heard it here first). We smuggled two macs back to our desks for sharesies – a feather-light raspberry and a chunky choc-hazelnut. Neither eclipse the lime and pistachio memory we diarised about in 2012, when it was like we were the frog and the macaron the princess, but they’re light and shade, soft and chewy, smooth and crisp: a journey in every mouthful.
Do you travel to Fyshwick for your patisserie? Are you on the Flute Bandwagon or on Team Dream Cuisine? Let us know in comments, and talk us through your macaron choices.
Shop and Cafe
9/18 Whyalla St
Mon-Fri: 6.30am – 4.00pm
Saturday: 9.00am – 2.00pm
Public Holidays: Closed
Old Bus Depot Markets
Sundays: from 9am (Markets 10.00am – 4.00pm)