With two successful cafés in Canberra, Autolyse has opened its first Sydney location in the Central Park complex in Chippendale. The building is a luxurious and grand home to a polished artisan bakery that prides itself on producing freshly baked bread and pastries all day long at extremely good prices.
I toured the premises with one of the owners, Darren Perryman (the other two being Mickey Gubas and head baker David Damour) and watched first hand as the delicious baked goods progressed from ingredients to final products, the entire process visible to diners in the open bakery section.
Quality and care is evident throughout. David Damour was on hand to oversee the baking processes and every staff member we passed was quietly confident and professional in their work. The French Bongard baking equipment was a sight to behold and an example of extremely high quality resources being combined with knowledge and experience, a theme that represents Autolyse very well.
As we made our way around the café, one of the reasons for Autolyse’s success in Canberra became apparent: outstanding customer service. When customers travel interstate simply to have a look at your new store and to congratulate you, you can certainly feel confident in your accomplishments.
Location-wise I can see this bakery benefiting not only from being situated within a popular city location but also from the fact that it is right on the Chippendale border, home to many other breakfast cafés so it will fit right in.
Do you want to see a San Remo Opera coffee machine in action? Then you’ll have to visit Autolyse, Chippendale because they have the first one in commercial operation in Australia! It is the result of 8 of the world’s foremost coffee tasters and baristas essentially designing their ultimate coffee machine. I haven’t seen anything like it before, the styling is gorgeous and thanks to the fact that it can be tuned and refined using Bluetooth from an Android tablet, it ensures that the resulting cups are brewed exactly as the barista intends.
Now obviously you can have the best coffee machine in the world (and we probably do) but this would mean nothing without good coffee to put in it. I hadn’t heard of ONA before as it is based in Canberra but as I stood behind the counter and some beans were ground, I fell in love. The aroma was fantastic and this carried through into the cups that everyone at my table thoroughly enjoyed. Every coffee was also presented very expertly. Long story short: if you’re after an extraordinary coffee experience, visit Autolyse.
The hot chocolate ($4) was also a triumph as it actually uses real melted chocolate, not powder.
The organic teas ($5) available are supplied by Tielka. Options include China Breakfast, white, green, camomile, peppermint, chai, oolong and Earl Grey.
There is a decidedly French influence on the menu and you’ll find that most of the dishes have a bit more flair than the name suggests. The mushrooms on toast ($12) for example contains three varieties: enoki, oyster and button mushroom, sauteed and delicately herbed to allow their flavours to shine through. My guest was very happy with her choice and I definitely agree.
The star of the morning was without doubt the French toast ($12). Two thick slices of fluffy toast, layered with cinnamon sugar and flavoured with vanilla, topped with sweetened dessert yoghurt and blueberries. Simple but executed brilliantly and the flavours combined exceedingly well.
The egg white and ricotta omelette ($14.90) definitely was’t served as one would normally expect. It came in the dish it was cooked in, presenting very well, topped with mushrooms and tomatoes. While the mushrooms were well seasoned, my guests and I felt that a stronger-flavoured cheese was needed as the ricotta did not bring enough to the dish.
The baked egg, chorizo and beans ($14.90) was served with a tomato base which was rich and filled with beans and chunks of tomato. The egg yolk was still runny which was appreciated and the large tower of bread roll served alongside was perfect for soaking up the sauce. A high quality, filling savoury dish.
On an ever-evolving menu, I foresee the slow cooked lamb sandwich ($9.50) being a regular item. This roll came packed with succulent and flavoursome 12 hour sous vide lamb. As with most other ingredients at Autolyse, the lamb is prepared onsite. The lamb was offset by pickled onion and quinoa tabouli. Of course as I came to expect from Autolyse’s baked goods, the roll itself was soft and delicious with a good crunch. If I was after a savoury dish, this is without doubt the pick of the morning and at a price that is unheard of for this sort of quality.
The post-breakfast pastries simply couldn’t come soon enough. After I tasted the samples of brownie and escargot near the entrance, I was excited for more. The escargot ($4.50) was my clear winner as it was plump, airy and delicately sweet. The passionfruit and orange maccarons ($2) were other favourites around the table. There are a few more flavours available including salted caramel, raspberry, Turkish delight and chocolate mint.
The caramel tart ($5.50) was fantastic with a soft, slightly salted caramel layer beneath rich chocolate. This was definitely one to share because of the richness. We did not enjoy the blondie although that is a recipe that is still being tweaked.
With such friendly service, fresh bread around the clock, superb coffee and a clean, modern environment, I am confident that Autolyse will gain a tremendous following.
Other items on the current menu include French omelette with toast ($12) – which is filled with Gruyere cheese and looked fantastic by the way, whole sardines, skoedalia and citrus salsa ($14.90), roasted chorizo and white bean salad with grilled corn, capsicum and red wine vinaigrette ($13.50) and the bouillebaisse (rich tomato broth with mussels, vongole, prawns, calamari and whiting served with baguette and rouille ($14.90).
As you can see, everything is under $15 so drop by for a food experience that aims well beyond the meager price-point!
Payment Options: Credit card, EFTPOS, cash