19 Rialto Ln Manly, NSW 2095
|Opening hours||Mon-Sat 7am-3pm, Sun 7am-2pm|
|Prices||Cheap (mains under $20)|
Roll up, roll up! Come and see the amazing sushi croissant!
But do note – it's no novelty act. It's one of the star attractions at this new collaboration between baker James Sideris (of Butter Boy, supplier of baked goods to cafes across Sydney), and Bo Hinzack (formerly Manly's Showbox Coffee Brewers).
As might be expected with such a duo at the helm, Rollers is all about baked goods and coffee – Sydney's answer to Lune Croissanterie in Melbourne or perhaps more so, to Mr Holmes Bakehouse in San Francisco. And since the pastries are headliners, consider it a licence to eat a three-course meal that's croissant-croissant-croissant, with a side of bottomless batch brew. It's a casual affair: order, pay and collect at the counter.
A mix of pale pink hues, grey Besser blocks and potted cacti add up to a cool Palm Springs look. Filling the role of "gleaming desert oasis" is the shiny glass cabinet filled with pastries – it's what greets you as you round the corner into the cafe from the otherwise fairly tumbleweed-worthy Rialto Lane.
A courtyard next to the counter and kitchen has a retractable awning, tables to fit at least a dozen pastry fiends, plus plenty of stools, and two-tier cement banquette seating along one side. The Rollers branding is strong – the "wake and bake" slogan a clue the aim of the game is fun.
A mix of beautifully flaky savoury croissants might include the aforementioned "sushi roll" – with pastry blackened with activated charcoal, a filling of smoked salmon, pickled ginger and wasabi, and topping of sesame seeds and crisscrossed nori strips. Defying logic, it hits the mark – as do more seemly croissant combos such as "garlic bread" and rosemary and black olive.
Variety is widest first thing in the morning; however baking continues throughout the day, so perhaps ask what's freshest from the oven and go with that. Double choc pain au chocolat (another with charcoal-blackened pastry), and gruyere, ham and wholegrain mustard (adorned with cornichon and cocktail onion as a foil to the rich buttery-ness) were great but would have been better warm and oozy.
The range of sugary options might include monkey bread, made with croissant dough offcuts, banana and cinnamon; or satisfyingly sweet white-choc and cashew frangipane croissants topped with dehydrated strawberry. The only non-baked good is popcorn granola – a toasty, crunchy, gluten-free mix of roasted buckwheat, popcorn, nuts and sesame seeds, plus tangy blood orange peel and rhubarb compote, Greek yoghurt and a side of almond milk.
Beans are roasted by Hinzack's Okay coffee brand, co-owned with Aaron Wood of Melbourne's Wood and Co coffee roasters. Okay's (more than OK) Stargazer blend is used for both for milk and espresso, their Colombian La Piramide for mugs of smooth-drinking batch. There's also Mork hot chocolate, Assembly tea, house-made sodas and almond milk turmeric lattes.
Not licensed. Drown your sorrows in croissants.
Avo factor None. You're here for croissants, not avocado
Caffe latte $4
Loving The inventiveness, and the excuse to eat multiple croissants in one sitting
Not getting Dine-in coffees not delivered to the table
Overheard "Oh, you've stolen mummy's croissant, have you?"