Penny Fours offers a reprieve from greasy pizza and pasta in Leichhardt's little Italy.
Had enough of pizza and spaghetti when wandering down Norton Street, Leichhardt? Well we're here with good news: you won't have to look any further than Penny Fours for your hit of something sweet. Recently setting up shop at the quiet end of Sydney's little Italy, Penny Fours is a patisserie owned by pastry chef Penelope Ransley (ex Tetsuya's, Sepia and Iggy's).
The space isn't huge but light-filled and furnished with simple decor, perhaps to highlight the small selection of treats in the glass counter; not a vast selection of pastries, but a considered one. The little delicacies are also of perfect portions and there's certainly been no forfeiting of pleasing flavours and well-balanced textures.
Chocolate lovers can't go past the chocolate tart ($4); the white chocolate curl embellishment on top and crumbly base offsets the not-too-rich chocolate filling. A berry-frangipane tart ($4) delivers everything you'd expect, so too does an apricot Danish ($3.50). But what you're really here for are the lemon meringue tarts ($2.50-$4). Put simply, they will capture your heart.
After something savoury? Quiche of the day ($5) emerges from the oven from 11am onwards. Quite commonly a vegetarian option, the pumpkin, spinach and ricotta is just one of the varieties that might entice you to eat your main before dessert.
To accompany the gourmet treats, the coffee is roasted under the name of Lore in Marrickville, and Penny Fours is the first place to offer a freshly brewed cup ($3-$3.80 takeaway). With a hint of nuttiness to it, the delicate coffee matches nicely with Ransley's masterpieces.
It's admirable that Ransley can create such fine delights banging about the pans out back in Leichhardt with not one utterance of "oui oui, mademoiselle" or "ca va tres bien"; the quality of Penny Fours' pastries might have you believing you've walked into a character-filled patisserie on the Champs Elysses. We also recommend you watch this space because the future holds the prospect of a lengthier menu including sandwiches and freshly baked bread.