With all the balmy Instagram images flooding Facebook feeds, it would appear nearly everyone in Sydney is off enjoying a sun-drenched holiday. And if the recent Audrey Tatou film Delicacy piqued your weary palate for European joie de vivre, you can be forgiven for feeling jaded with your Sydney wintry routine. Et voilà, there is refuge: Kurtosh, the charming Hungarian-inspired bakery of Randwick has opened shop in Surry Hills.
If the baby blue shopfront stops you in your Crown Street tracks, the heavenly aroma shall entice you inside. Here is an industrial-style delight, but for all the exposed brick and worn-down woods, Kurtosh is whimsical and welcoming. The folksy painted tiles, stacks of duck-egg blue plates and colourful canister-lined countertop make this hideaway feel homely.
The enticing treats at Kurtosh are sold by weight, which is bliss for indecisive types who can't resist a slither of everything. There are the savoury burekas, crisply containing potato, spinach and ricotta or three-cheese ($4.90 for 100g), for a salty start. Expect plenty of sweet favourites, too, like rogallach ($4.90 for 100g) and cheesecake ($4 for 100g) to satiate all European yearnings. Kurtosh, the titular treat is a chimney-shaped cake made of brioche-like ribbons of pastry, finely coiled and caressed with a luscious coating. The cinnamon and sugar kurtosh ($7.50) is fragrantly reminiscent of delicious doughnuts, yet with coatings like pistachio, Nutella and coconut there is a flavour for gratifying all continental cravings. They are adequately portioned and perfect for sharing between two, or as part of a sweet spread among more.
Caffeine fiends take note: the coffee alone is worth getting your tush to Kurtosh. The serious industrial Spirit machine is, I'm told, one of few in Australia and the beans from Mecca espresso. Here, it is caramel-like and creamy, with the perfect palate-tainting of tartness ($3.50). And for all that genteel Europeans may sniff at the unorthodoxy of it, the relaxed ambience at Kurtosh allows for the divine practice of tearing one's pastry and dipping the flaky fragments into a beverage, before covetously consuming. And that, perhaps, is something to be particularly grateful for in egalitarian Oz.
Photos by Madeline Milani.