Penny Fours

Restaurants Leichhardt
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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A new bakery brings a serious sugar hit to the Norton Street mix

Forget being king of the Seven Kingdoms, the only crown we’ll be needing is the one made of sweet, marshmallow-y peaks on top of the mini lemon meringue tarts from Penny Fours. A tiny shell of crisp, short-crust pastry filled with zingy lemon curd comes with nine gravity-defying spires of gently caramelised meringue. Being about the size of a golf ball they vanish in two bites, but those are two seriously excellent mouthfuls.

We can thank the deft hands of Penelope Ransley for these pint-sized wonders. Having clocked time in front of the ovens at Tetsuya’s, Sepia, and most recently Iggy’s Bread, Ransley has now ventured out on her own, opening up a butter-yellow tiled bakery on Norton Street. It’s a small operation here. A handful of seats by the windows and a gleaming glass display case is pretty much it, but we aren’t here for décor, we are here for cake.

And at Penny Fours they have the sticky bun of your dreams. Flaky, buttery pastry is dusted with cinnamon then lined with crushed walnuts, honey and maple syrup. It's wrapped around on itself and sealed with a light, sticky-sweet glaze on the outer shell. Cripes. Prefer the good bits in the middle? Order one of the subtly sweet brioche buns filled with a lightly whipped sour cream and sprinkled with brown sugar. Serious sugar junkies should also add a shard of the leatherwood honeycomb to their plate for a shatter factor that puts Violet Crumbles to shame.

Sugar and spice is the name of the game here, but they do make a few concessions to more substantial eats with one of the most crisp-shelled croissants we have ever come across and a quiche filled with cheese, pesto and whole cherry tomatoes.

If you want somewhere on a weekend without the heaving queues, Penny Fours is a good bet. They no longer serve coffee here, but fortunately you can bring your own and Bar Italia is only a few doors down. Set on a quieter stretch of Leichhardt’s famous eat street, you might walk right past if you weren’t looking out for it, but keep your eyes peeled: what comes out of the ovens here are what afternoon tea dreams are made of.

Venue name: Penny Fours
Address: 141 Norton Street
Opening hours: Daily 7.15am-4.30pm
Price: $10-$50
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