Textbook Boulangerie, Alexandria
I've driven past, I've watched their instagram (and several others) and despite my awe and admiration at the pastry skills in their croissants, I'd never been. I changed that by visiting recently - and my world has now changed. I'm scared to buy baguettes (or croissants for that matter) anywhere else, and now I've visited I'm pretty sure there is no going back.
Scroll willingly, or aimlessly, and you’re bound to come across atleast one image of a center-cut croissant from textbook. Look on their profile directly and you'll see hundreds. A tonne of varieties too. You see the layers. They rise perfectly. You then understand why the pastry is repeatedly folded, over and over and over, to make these kind of delights.
You then visit, and you then get the flavour element. Long gone are the painful reminders of a cheap, oily croissant you bought from Coles on special, went home and jammed some ham into it. And despite the ham, it was still tasteless. Soft before cooking and soggy when heated. You won’t find that kind at Textbook. There's a moistness to the pastry, but it's not soggy, it's somewhat 'set'. It's creamy, slightly savoury, slightly sweet. It's light. It's fine. No layers stick together and now you understand what a croissant should really be.
Treat yourself to a french breakfast ($20) if you’re visiting for brunch and share between two. Enjoy a two coffees, baguette, a croissant and the classic pain au chocolat. It’s not sweet, and nor should it be. Its slightly bitter and gives the overall pastry some depth. You’ll also get two coffees and pepe saya butter, honey and housemade jam which seemingly rotates week to week. Visit in truffle season, and order the overly indulgent, top-shelf truffle croissant as an extra. To be honest, it's a bit much, but some people crave that stuff. Thick, creamy custard that's speckled with truffle. Encased in their beautiful flaky layers of pastry.
Their baguettes though, are a treat in themselves. Not doughy – they’re soft, light and in a sense, somewhat 'short'. Even though it's breakfast, I admire my personal discipline walking past a glorious case of immaculately-decorated cakes afterward. It's also fair to say I am fairly sated from finding what I am deeming the best example of a croissant that I have had. My semi-french expat agrees. As others state, yes, the coffee here isn't great. It's also inconsistent and sometimes better depending on who's turning the handles. But let's face it, I'm not coming here for the coffee. Clearly.
Don't think this is the best bakery in Sydney? Let me know below what is!