I'm a writer/creative person living in Brisbane. Visit my work at: www.emilynuhn.com
Published May 22nd 2012
It was just before midday on an unusually hot (for winter) Sunday. I had slept in, skipped breakfast and I was, along with my furry walking companion, on a mission. We were headed to Banneton Bakery at Shop 3, 584 Waterworks Road, Ashgrove. When we reached our destination, we were pleasantly surprised to find a bustling and busy cafe/bakery.
After having travelled around Europe, I can safely say that if there is one thing the French know how to do well, it is how to bake the perfect bread or pastry. And, after living in Brisbane for almost my entire life, it is rare to find a true French artisan baker in the local burbs. But somehow Banneton has manifested in the leafy suburb of Ashgrove.
It is here you will be able to pick up a delicious and authentic French style bakery item to suit your palette, along with, of course, a great cup of coffee. The outside setup is deceptively understated. Once you head inside, you will find that Banneton seems to have it all: Turkish Bread, sourdough, macaroons, croissants, quiche, baguettes and the list goes on and on. And, each looks like it has been shipped straight from France.
Not convinced? Check out their full menu, with pictures, on their snazzy website.
I was determined to visit Banneton as I had been informed all their products are additive and artificial ingredient free, with only natural ingredients and 'time-honoured' baking methods being utilised. And, everything is cooked the old fashioned way - in a wood-fired oven. This basically prevents damage to the natural texture of each bakery item, enhances flavour and ensures each item is baked to the highest standard.
Even better, they are allergy friendly and very accommodating for any allergy based questions. As someone who has only recently discovered they are gluten intolerant, I was pleasantly surprised that they serve a variety of gluten free products. I'm not going to lie, normally the 'gluten free cake or cookie option' tastes like dried cardboard mixed with a bit of sugar. It is a hard feat to overcome, but Banneton surpassed all my expectations. The almond cake was just like the real thing - fresh and plain old delicious.
In addition, the service was great and the coffee served up within minutes! They even brought a bowl of water out for my furry companion. It was a refreshing change to have a cafe that accommodates for pets so kindly and genuinely.
You can either sit inside or out. If you sit inside you can soak up the atmosphere of a casual styled cafe. If you sit outside, there is a busy road out front, but you are sheltered by trees. It is no different to sitting in a busy cafe along one of the main streets of Paris.
The prices aren't cheap, but you get what you pay for. If you are a quantity over quality type of person, the prices may rub you the wrong way. But you enjoy quality and a properly sized meal/treat, then your in business.
After leaving Banneton, with my hunger and coffee fix satisfied, I (and my furry companion both) knew why this place is busy every Saturday and Sunday morning. If you have yet to take part of the bustle at Banneton, and you like good bread/pastry with good coffee, you know where you need to go this weekend.
If you do not live near Ashgrove your in luck, for Banneton has cafes at multiple locations, along with a great website, and they even have an iPhone app. To find out more, visit their website.