FRIED chicken with buttermilk pancake, peanuts, maple butter and fried egg?
You’ve got to admire an eatery that can not only come up with the combination, but actually pull it off.
My lunch companion was in seventh heaven with her huge serve of crispy, fried chicken topping a thick, sweet pancake, runny egg drizzling down through to the maple butter ($21).
“It’s quite Indonesian,” she opined.
I tentatively tried a morsel of pancake and was instantly won over—somehow these competing flavours really work.
The Mary Street Bakery is one of a number of eateries co-owned by Paul Aron and business partner and chef Michael Forde, including El Publico next door and Ace Pizza down the road.
They transformed the corner eatery into a modern venue, with polished concrete floors and painted raw brick walls—the sort of joint where boiled eggs are served in sections of egg carton and a huge living elkhorn on a steel frame decorates a central wall.
As the name suggests there’s a great selection of bread for sale, along with a mouth-watering choice of cakes and pastries.
With a menu dominated by meat and eggs, this non-egg eating vego found the baked ricotta ($15) an enticing choice.
Served on a particularly delicious multigrain bread, it turned out to be a top lunch.
The cherry tomatoes were sharp and tasty and the ricotta crumbled and tossed with pine nuts gave the dish a sweet, almost creamy piquancy.
Purely in the interests of research my mate and I checked out the sweets.
It was a hard job, but we narrowed it down to a slice of lemony polenta cake for her ($4.50) and a salted caramel tart ($6.50) for me.
The polenta cake was huge, and wonderfully moist, while my tart was heaven on a plate with its amazing mix of saltiness and sweetness with a soft caramel filling and dark chocolate top.
But for a delicious long black I could have died from the richness—but I would have died with a smile on my face.
by JENNY D’ANGER
Mary Street Bakery
corner Mary and Beaufort Streets,
0499 509 300
open 7 days, 7am–3pm