Bite-size Bowdy: First look inside Andrew Bowden's Saga cafe in Enmore

Scaled down versions of Andy Bowdy signature cakes, Tony (left) and Jasper.
Scaled down versions of Andy Bowdy signature cakes, Tony (left) and Jasper.  Photo: Edwina Pickles

Saga is an apt name for Andrew Bowden's new Enmore cafe – there were many tedious, to-be-continued dramas that delayed its launch.

The ex-Hartsyard pastry chef (known as Andy Bowdy to his 50,000 Instagram followers) finally opens his venue at Ballers Polpetteria's old site on Friday, March 10, five months after originally planned.

Andrew Bowden, aka Andy Bowdy, is opening Saga with his partner Maddison Howes
Andrew Bowden, aka Andy Bowdy, is opening Saga with his partner Maddison Howes Photo: Edwina Pickles

Expect mini versions of his blockbuster cakes; Anzac-biscuit-style granola with honey rosemary yoghurt, white peach jam and a crunchy sprinkling of deep-fried rosemary, plus tiramisu in two unapologetic sizes: "enough" and "fat f---".

The menu also includes the best kind of recycling: Bowden giving desserts a booster shot of his excess pastry. There are thickshakes made with gingercake leftovers; a Nan-inspired apricot crostata featuring coconut cream and tart offcuts; plus a remix of pecan pie and paris-brest that is enhanced by a piped paste of blitzed scraps from his vanilla and cocoa nib cakes and served with caramel chantilly and brown sugar salted pecans.

Like these cleverly repurposed ingredients, the cafe's title is also multifunctional.

The paris-brest has a piped paste of blitzed scraps from his vanilla and cocoa nib cakes and is served with caramel ...
The paris-brest has a piped paste of blitzed scraps from his vanilla and cocoa nib cakes and is served with caramel chantilly and brown sugar salted pecans. Photo: Edwina Pickles

"Saga makes sense, because all my cakes are named after people," Bowden says. Also, the name is inspired by his much-loved Asics Gel Saga sneakers – which was always going to be a more cafe-appropriate title than the other kicks he liked (think Gel Lyte III or Air Max One).

Flamingos, another shoe he worships, was shortlisted as a title. Ultimately, he appropriated its pink shade as the palette for the interiors (designed by Smith & Carmody, with joinery by Porter and Maple).

Bowden also chose Saga as he didn't want to adopt an ego-inflating, brand-pimping name. "This space isn't just about me, it's about me and [partner/manager] Maddison [Howes]. This is our story up to now."

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The pair met while working at Hartsyard nearby; he was fast gaining fans for his cult desserts (like the peanut butter sundae with pretzel ice-cream) as she became restaurant manager. Saga is about what they like to consume, with Howes in charge of wines and breakfast cocktails at the venue. "I don't know if people will drink in the morning," Bowden says. "I will."

The menu's strong savoury element includes "fried fried rice", a fennel-stuffed porchetta sandwich with bacon vinaigrette and a four-meat sandwich that is an Italian deli section squeezed between bread.

FYI vegetarians, there's charred broccoli focaccia, grilled bread with whipped curd, plum jam and ginger pickled grapes, plus an eggplant parmigiana sandwich with parmesan custard.

Tarts: "I’ve done a molasses and rhubarb brulee tart, like shoofly pie but more approachable ... There’s rhubarb jam in ...
Tarts: "I’ve done a molasses and rhubarb brulee tart, like shoofly pie but more approachable ... There’s rhubarb jam in the bottom and obviously, there’s a brulee baked over the top and I’ll do poached rhubarb sticks on top." On the right is his take on an Asian-style pineapple tart.  Photo: Edwina Pickles

"It's going to be a place where I do what I want," Bowden says.

Open Wed-Sat, 8am-5pm; Sun, 8am-4pm.

178 Enmore Road, Enmore, instagram.com/saga_enmore