Recent cravings sent me on the hunt for a good source of pie in the north eastern suburbs. Through online investigations I stumbled across one "Noirotte Patisserie" right at the footsteps of Fairfield Railway Station. Armed with my fellow critics –BFF and younger brother- we set out for a pie lunch.
We entered what first struck me as a fairly ordinary bakery. It was modest in size and seemed to house the usual culprits; neenish tarts, gingerbread men, carrot cakes with little carrot-shaped decorations, an array of danishes, custard tarts... It was also decorated with Paris kitsch, flowers and little plastic birds.
As I stream-lined to the pies, we were accompanied by the lady behind the counter. Devotedly, she talked us through all the flavours they had to offer. After much deliberation, we opted for the steak and mushroom, beef Guinness and lamb casserole. I was, however, quite intrigued by her description of the 'savoury croissant' with a vegetarian and meat option, both with beschamel sauce.
We broke into our pies, already getting a sense of the unique pastry which was thicker and crumbly compared to typical flaky, puff pasty-esque textures. The insides were chunky, aromatic, scrumptious. Our coffees followed shortly after, distinct in taste, generous in size and offering pleasant company to our pies.
In the meantime customers were trickling in and out- most seemed to be regulars, all welcomed warmly and engaged in conversation. At a free moment, I went to ask our host about the patisserie. She told me that everything was made with natural ingredients and on premises. Despite the French décor, I noticed that her accent was not French. "I'm from Romania," she informed me. I caught sight of the chef- she said he was from Lorraine in France. "Just think of quiche lorraine and you'll remember," she laughed. The patisserie, under their care, is two years old and was previously a cake shop in which the chef had worked. The landlord was unable to sustain the cake shop but due to its sentimental value, he made sure that it continued to produce delicious things.
We were keen to try one of the sweets on offer. She spoke lovingly of the macarons, which had drawn a customer all the way from Geelong upon recommendation of a friend. An exquisite rainbow of flavours, I noticed how they were not all perfectly and identically shaped, and loved the individuality of each of them. We then spoke of the danishes and I remembered reading that the croissants here were excellent. Keen to taste the pastry, we chose to share a berry Danish.
Finally, the éclairs caught my eye. Since my trip to Paris I have lamented the fate of éclairs here, made normally with whipped cream. The Parisians make them with chocolate custard. Here I saw the two versions, what our host called the "Aussie version" and the "French version." I could not resist the latter.
All in all, we had a fantastic lunch and were very well looked after. For three pies and coffees and two sweets to share, we paid $30. This place had the quality of any trendy (and more expensive!) Melbourne cafe. I sincerely recommend a visit. Try a macaron. Have a French éclair. Grab a pie, or test that savoury croissant. When I asked our host about the potential for Romanian sweets she laughed and shared her fear that they might not be well received. Perhaps you can convince her otherwise!
This is our local patisserie. We are so fortunate - it's fantastic! We went there this afternoon, my son had a French vanilla slice which was sublime and I had a berry frangipane which was delicious as always. The coffee is really good quality and the ambiance is welcoming and warm. The hostess is genuinely charming and knowledgeable of her cakes and pastries. It's great to go there at any time but in the afternoon it's so nice to sit outside, recover and enjoy the afternoon sun and have a coffee and cake.