Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clip 'round the cake hole

To be a student again – loitering about ‘bohemian’ suburbs, mooching around campus and nearby establishments, and the freedom of 3-day schedules – I miss it but there are certainly parts I don’t. On weekdays the suburbs of Newtown and Glebe appear to be a veritable playground of the young educates, who fill the cafés and street intersections with their textbooks, laptop computers and interesting plays on fashion.

Latte at Clipper Cafe, Glebe Point Road, Glebe
A late Monday afternoon would appear to be an unusual peak hour, but for Clipper Café it seems rather normal with students interspersed with the occasional lunching ladies and generally categorised ‘others’. The espresso machine whirrs continuously while the display wall features a mounted bicycle and range of coffee makers or kettles (including an Atomic espresso maker) among other things in kitsch, grandma fashion.

It can be a bit of a wait/fight for seating, and even a bit of musical seats when it comes to the communal table. There’s a definite sense of linger-ability here despite the tight seating, but the students don’t seem to mind, the coffees are good and the baked eggs look popular even well after breakfast. The menu stretches from light brekky options to more substantial lunch choices, with a specials board of about half a dozen versions of baked eggs.

Fruit salad with yoghurt and honey
My meal is in between brunch and afternoon tea, which I wouldn’t quite call lunch; decidedly healthy but safe in the knowledge of ensuing unhealthiness just next door. The fruit salad is not a cheap option, nor does it arrive without a follow-up. With its abundance of strawberries, kiwifruit, banana, rockmelon, honeydew, papaya and pineapple, doused in natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey, the tropical party in my overflowing bowl almost replaced the cool weather outside.

Clipper Café is comforting, welcoming and home-like; no wonder the attraction for students. And better yet, it’s right next door to a gorgeous and new-in-town French patisserie and bakery, with glass cabinets brimming with little sweet treats and rustic shelves laden with freshly baked breads.

Petite cakes and tarts at La Banette, Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Bread loaves and baguettes
La Banette in Glebe is the newest outpost for the original Avalon patisserie, with so many delightful cakes and pastries that resistance was futile, though not quite with as many students in custom. If not for the quasi lunch at Clipper, I would have jumped on one of the ratatouille tarts or the thick, golden sausage rolls.

Ratatouille tarts
Instead, it was the delicate, couple-of-bites-sized cakes that made the cut, eaten in the store on a sandstone bench. Coffee would be a nice addition.

Strawberry mousse cake (left) and tarts (right)
The strawberry mousse cake is sweet and surprisingly light – though perhaps being of whipped egg whites it shouldn’t be so surprising. Fluffy sponge held it all together in a perfectly petite sized cake that was easy on both guilt and richness factors.

Chocolate hazelnut slice (left) and tart (right)
Not so light and easy was the hazelnut and chocolate slice, a rectangle block of ground hazelnuts and iced white with a red-pink squiggle. This was the definition of rich, sweet and loaded with a covert hit of brandy or like liquor that rendered the petite slice rather filling and heavy, and the icing completely unnecessary. Again, this might have been just the thing with a macchiato.

Pastries in the front cabinet

Large cakes and tarts
This rejuvenated eastern end of Glebe Point Road is a haven from impending storms, uni, work or whatever one needs to run from. It encompasses the art of “hanging out in Glebe” remarkably well and should see the students suitably caffeine-d and sweetened up.

Clipper Cafe on Urbanspoon

La Banette Patisserie on Urbanspoon


chocolatesuze said...

ooh how cute are the ratatouille tarts!

missklicious said...

The tarts look so yum! I would have picked the ratatouille tart too.

Betty @ The Hungry Girl said...

Oh, what a great new find! Everything looks so pretty! This looks like the perfect place to unwind post-Glebe browsing :)

Tina said...

Hi suze - Mmm, great idea, isn't it? Good to see you again!

Hi missklicious - Yeah, I can't wait to go try it!

Hi Betty - Oh so pretty, like you want to eat everything you see! :)

Simon Food Favourites said...

oh wow. i gotta get myself down to glebe to check out that cake shop now :-) so many choices!

this is me without you said...

That fruit salad looks amazing!!!
and those ratatouille tarts, yum!

Tina said...

Hi Simon - Take your sweet tooth!

Hi this is me - Yeah, a pretty impressive fruit salad, but also a bit pricey :S


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