Most of us are familiar with the wonderful empanada and the delightful churro, but this little Chilean bakery in Fairfield has much much more.
South American food is all the rage right now. Most of us are familiar with the wonderful empanada and the delightful churro (never mind heath food stores' obsession with quinoa), but this little Chilean bakery in Fairfield has much much more to offer.
For one, the atmosphere. Plastic chairs and tables, white tiles, and Chilean pride everywhere. We're talking coloured streamers that stay up all year, flags, plastic streamers of flags, and Chilean television buzzing away at the end of the room. If you're trying to learn Spanish, this is the perfect chance to practise.
More importantly, the food. The equivalent of a pork roll from your local Vietnamese bakery is the Lomito, which in the Completo version comes as pork slices on a white bun with lettuce, tomato, sauerkraut and mayo. Chacarero ($8.80 for the 'Palta' or avocado version) is the beef alternative. Then, of course, there's the empanadas. Choose from eight varieties, including Pino ($3.70) with beef and egg, Pollo ($3.70) with chicken and olive, Espinaca ($3.70) with spinach and cheese, or the indulgent Queso ($2.60), fried with cheese filling. One of the more unusual savories not to be missed is the Tamale ($2.50 each). Made from masa (corn dough) and wrapped in a leaf, these are super soft and filled with surprises.
The desserts (up to $3) have a cabinet all to themselves and, to be fair, they deserve it. The specialties here feature manjar, which is a little like dulche de leche. Try the Tres Leche, three milk cake or the Horns filled with manjar. You'll also find churros (Chilean donuts), Berlin donuts and a range of biscuits.
La Paula is the real deal, and it tastes (and feels) like it. Prices are low and the food is super fresh, making it well worth the journey to Fairfield - or the Kingsford branch if you prefer.
Published on February 14, 2012 by Trish Roberts