You remember Andy Bowdy right? He’s the Inner West tambourine man and pastry chef that sparked a thousand glucose highs with his weekly menu of elaborate soft serve desserts at Hartsyard in Enmore. And now he has his own café and bakery that makes getting a sugar hit even easier.
His new digs are a former meatball shop on Enmore Road that he found while searching for sneakers on Gumtree. Painting over the NYC-themed murals and lining the narrow concrete room in blonde timber scaffolding and indoor plants completed the transformation.
Bowdy had been baking after hours in the Messina kitchens up until this point, but now everything is made onsite at Saga. Salted honey tarts come cupped in a sharp pastry that snaps clean as you bit into the rich, sweet baked custard filling – it’s like a British take on a Southern chess pie, by way of Australia. Bowdy is also condensing the flavours of your childhood into a miniature version of his custom column cakes. Fifteen bucks gets you a greedy person’s serve of Milo mousse on a chocolate fudge cake base with Maltesers, chocolate crumbs like a bashed-up cookie, more fudge and a little toasted meringue on top.
Want to impress your next load of dinner party guests? Serve ’em the $20 tiramisú. Bowdy is soaking the Savoiardi biscuits in tequila, mixing white chocolate into the mascarpone and throwing some Kahlua jelly in there for good measure. And even without the titillating name we can see why the Paris-Brest is a best seller – the ring of puffy choux pastry is lined in a fudgy caramel made with brown sugar, pecans and butter that reminds us a little bit of cookie dough, and then raised up on soft, whipped angel waves of Chantilly cream.
Before you start reaching for the insulin, this is not an exclusive sugar rodeo. They do proper breakfast here; monster sangas at lunchtime; and the coffee made from Artificer beans is a smooth, gentle introduction to consciousness first thing in the morning.
You know those That’s Not My... baby books full of different textures? The corn pudding is the breakfast edition. You've got a soft and creamy poached egg as the prize in the centre of a ring of chewy spelt grains; charred corn kernels; a sweet creamy corn puree base; and bits of corn bread. A smattering of parmesan adds savoury grunt and the combination of fresh and picked celery slices adds fresh zip and vigour. We’ll be coming back for the breakfast rice with chorizo and bacon with a nectarine soda on the side.
What with Black Star Pastry, Bourke Street Bakery, Cow and the Moon Gelato and Haikiki Turkish ice cream, you’d think that Enmore/Newtown’s sweet cravings were all covered off. But the popularity of this new addition proves there's always more room for dessert.