The Ivy Patisserie is named after a tattoo on cafe owner Betty McKellar's leg.
While the leaf-shaped marks have been a permanent part of her life for five years, her Sutherland cafe has only existed since late February.
A colour burst of cup cakes, macarons, tarts and lollipops stands out when visitors enter the small eatery. This isn't surprising, given McKellar's sugar-laced history.
Previously, she ran a cake-decorating business, Naked Cakes, in the Sutherland Shire. After taking a patisserie course at TAFE, she opened the new venture with her husband, Michael McCrohon.
Her baking fills the counter with gluten-free mandarin muffins, vanilla-raspberry cup cakes, excellent banoffee tarts and many other sweets.
While the savoury options are limited, they include quiches. My companion is impressed with his caramelised onion, goat's cheese and prosciutto offering ($4), but my capsicum, tomato and fetta version feels a tad standard-issue.
There are also pies in flavours such as chicken and leek, spicy Mexican, and beef and red wine. These picks are very popular and we're warned that all the savoury selections will run out by 1pm. With stopwatch precision, by the time the clock hits one the oven-hot items are gone.
The rainbow rows of macarons that brighten the cafe counter come from MacQueen Macarons. Flavours include strawberry, double chocolate, cinnamon and mint. Highlights would be the orange-chocolate mash-up of jaffa, the coffee hit of mocha and the nut-studded peanut butter option.
The coffee is by boutique brand Mosaic from Caringbah. The results are solid: we have a smooth, light long black ($3.50) and a good latte.
Service is more variable: orders are served incorrectly and staff members can seem unfocused but Ivy Patisserie's many sugary distractions help sweeten the experience.
The Ivy Patisserie
Address 3/23 Leonay Street, Sutherland, 8544 8419
Open Tue-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat 7am-3pm; Sun 8am-noon
- Opening Hours - Tues-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat 8am-12pm
- Author - Lee Tran Lam