More sweeties

March 2008

Walking around Auburn a while ago, marvelling at the bread, the kebabs and the icecream at Mado, we came upon an old friend. Farouk el Bahsa used to work with his brother Charlie at Chehade el Bahsa & Sons in Bankstown. Now he has his own shop called, as you'd imagine, Farouk el Bahsa & Sons, and it's at 34 Auburn Road, 9646 5554. The two el Bahsa brothers are at the peak of the Middle Eastern pastry profession in Sydney - you ain't lived until you've tried their mafrouki with ashtar (just go and try it) and their delicate lady's fingers and fennel horseshoe biscuits. (In Bankstown at 288 Chapel Road 9796 4818.) May a thousand angels bestow blessings on their baklava.

In that rapidly developing food hub of the Inner East, Waterloo, Slow Food Sydney convenor Michele Guberina has opened Le Patisse (197 Young Street Waterloo 9690 0665), which offers French pastries, coffee and cooking classes given by pastry chef Greg Burge. Go to www.patisse.com.au or call them for details.

And, finally, one of the town's premier patissiers, Bernard Thoral, is off to Thailand to teach at the Vatel pastry school in Bangkok. He has sold his business to his young assistant of three years, Nok Niparat. Au revoir, Bernard. Merci pour touts les gateaux - and welcome, Nok.

Oy! Speaking of Thailand, have you been to Oy, the new restaurant in Potts Point (71a Macleay Street 9361 4498) opened by Peter Bowyer of Sailor's Thai fame? It's a swish-looking joint, another Burley Katon Halliday creation (like the divine Darley Street Thai), all open to the street and sexy red. It's open for lunch Tuesday to Sunday and dinner seven nights with two entirely different menus. Lunch is real Thai office worker stuff, such as kanom jin - room-temperature rice noodles with a spicy nam prik relish and raw and deepfried vegetables on the side - while dinner is very much in the style of Sailor's Thai Canteen. Another class act from Mr Bowyer.

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