540 Marrickville Rd Dulwich Hill, NSW 2203
|Opening hours||Mon to Fri, 7am-5pm; Sat and Sun, 8am-5pm|
|Phone||0433 468 568|
At Honey & Walnut Patisserie, people leave the rain and news behind to stand transfixed before cabinets of jewel-like cakes and tarts lining spot-lit shelves like film stars posing at award ceremonies.
They point fingers at fluffy squares of cream-layered purple velvet cake made with fresh blueberries and flecked with violet-hued sugary dust. They bend to ogle creamy columns of chocolate-capped cheesecake studded with Oreos or pixie hat fondant, or raspberries and strawberries nestling on ruby topping.
To the left, fresh creme-filled fruit tarts crowned with strawberries or berries, fig and kiwi fruit hustle for attention. To the right, toffee eclairs, almond-flecked profiteroles and banana-adorned banoffee tarts with swirly caramel caps sing out to be perused.
Unlike a jewellery store or the Tower of London's royal bauble collection, the gem-like creations of Honey & Walnut Patisserie are edible. This makes looking at them almost more unbearable. There will never be enough days, or jogs around the block, to sample every coconut macaroon, world-stopping mille-feuille or chocolate and hazelnut torte created by pastry chef Peter Bozikis.
Particularly as his mission since opening this new patisserie in December with his wife Angela and co-owners Nelly and Peter Kalamvoki is planning ever new, always freshly made, varieties of cakes and tarts.
Easter preparations are already under way for house-made milk and dark chocolate eggs, Easter bunnies and chickens, along with tsoureki (traditional Greek breads featuring a whole, dyed boiled egg), and Greek Easter biscuits such as koulourakia.
Much of Honey & Walnut's menu is inspired by the co-owners' Greek and Lebanese heritage. Bozikis grew up eating fresh figs from his village in Greece where they were considered a delicacy.
Today, on an afternoon treat sortie, we order fig, honey and walnut cheesecake and a mini caramel cheesecake tower topped with chocolate buttons. The first is undeniably fresh, offering plump spoonfuls of walnut-studded cream below a fat hoof of fig and wild honey. The second's rich and trembling layers of biscuit, cream and caramel, is not for wolfing down. Its owner takes her time.
Just as fancy as the cakes is Honey & Walnut's service. Rarely does a cafe take the time to check if an iced chai served to a nine-year-old is OK and then, when she politely replies, "It's lovely … quite strong", launches great activity behind the counter to adjust milk levels, re-configure it in a new glass and deliver again, with further gentle queries. She feels special and the whole cake date is lifted to memorable treat out.
The two Peters have been in the hospitality industry for 20 years but, after signing the contract on Honey & Walnut's lease in June, two months after the Kalamvokis welcomed their third child, another lockdown was announced.
When restrictions allowed, they scraped away the rotting remnants of an old vacant mobile phone shop, brainstormed decor inspired by interiors in New York, Paris and the Hamptons and installed mosaic tiles, suspended glass lamps and inky blue cabinetry. Their aim, apart from memorable cakes, savouries and service is bringing a beautiful cafe, with European and New York flavours, into the inner west as society opens up again.
Arrive any day of the week to find Peter K at the coffee machine, Nelly K at the counter and Peter B on brief recess from the kitchen he bakes in from 3am. Angela, a cake decorator, will be meticulously building the patisserie's range of celebration cakes.
There are vegan and gluten-free options, in cakes and savoury dishes, and the latter can be ordered for family meals to take home. Try prising your cake-focused gaze towards the excellent spanakopita and sausage rolls, two of the daily house-made savoury dishes including pies, pastitsio, tiropita (Greek cheese pie) and quiches.
Or give up, join the dreamy-eyed hordes pawing the cake cabinets and fly to fancy sweet treat heaven.
Honey & Walnut Patisserie
Vibe House-made exquisite cakes and savoury snacks with a Greek and Lebanese influence
Go-to dish Fig, honey and walnut cheesecake
Insta-worthy dish Belgium chocolate cake or dark chocolate mousse.
Cost Average cost for two, $20-$25