The major draw-card is all about the quality of Berkelo's sourdough bread. Their bread is so good that top fine-dining restaurants, like Pilu, St Peter, Aqua Dining, Chiosco at the Spit and The Boathouse Group are all serving Berkelo's breads.
Founder of Berkelo ,Tom Eadie is a believer on old school baking techniques. All of his loaves are naturally leavened and don't contain any commercial grains, yeast or artificial raisers. Tom insists on using unbleached 100% Australian stoneground flours and the very best in Certified Sustainable and Organic ingredients. His long fermented breads spend no fewer than eighteen hours cold fermenting before being baked on stone.That is probably why his traditional handcrafted organic sourdough breads are so well-known.
Those who have been to Berkelo's before will like its unpretentious atmosphere.It is very popular for takeaways with people streaming in to buy a croissant or bread and coffee. I could see many locals stopping by this buzzing tiny garage-like bakery to get their freshly baked bread in the morning. By 11:00am, the shelves were almost bare. Its popularity means one should come early to avoid disappointment.
First up, we had Berkelo's bread sampler. It consisted 3 different types (original, fruit and brown sourdoughs). I rather like these sourdoughs, each slice was perfectly crisp-edged, fluffy soft on the inside.
It was hard to resist these sourdough paired with Eadie's house-churned butter and some of his Dad's organic raw honey. They left a delicious taste in my mouth. I really must say, these were probably the best sourdough breads in Sydney.
Avocados in Brookvale $14 (Fermented veg, egg, herbs, brown bread)
The Avocardos in Brookvale consisted of smashed avocado with fermented vegetables and herbs with a poached egg and was a delicious vegetarian dish. The dish came with more thick-cut brown bread and the egg was poached wonderfully runny. Nothing too fancy, but good quality ingredients done well.
Mushrooms $14 (Greens thyme and signature sourdough)
There were 3 elements to this dish - the grilled mushroom with burnt butter, mushroom pate and a thyme salad. They complemented the signature sourdough extremely well. The serving size was designed for small-plate and we wanted more.
I was hesitant at first because sardines can be a little overwhelmingly strong in fish taste but my curiosity got the better of me. This turned out to be a wildcard surprise and a dish I enjoyed the most.
It was somewhat of a sensory fiesta with freshly seasoned sardines, marinated eggplant cubes, fermented chilli and fresh herbs. The exotic finger lime elevated the taste even further.
The food on offer was absolutely delicious.I definitely felt the chef was in tune to his ingredients, their freshness and the overall palate experience provided to the customers. The new extended menu has a number of European inspired dishes which will change from season to season.
Bear in mind, Berkelo is more of a bakery than a cafe at this stage. Only if the weather is fine, you can sit in the courtyard with crate chairs and wooden tables and enjoy the extended menu. Even though their extended menu plated up some culinary deliciousness of flavour, most people are here to buy the freshly-baked bread and pastries.
Everything I've tasted from Berkelo has been delicious. I love the fact that everything is handmade on site and the staff are friendly and down to earth. Before I bid goodbye, I bought a salmon sandwich and some croissants for later snacking. Their dishes are ever evolving so always keep an eye out!
Daily Sandwich $14 (Salmon, roasted tomato, brown sourdough)
This is a place where you can get a great takeaway coffee and some sweet and savoury goodies to take home. Berkelo Bakery opens 7 days a week from 7am to 1pm. By the way, you can buy some creamed honey and an organic veggie pack here as well!