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By Marissa Ciampi
September 02, 2020
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By Marissa Ciampi
September 02, 2020
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The quietly expanding suburb of Dulwich Hill is home to some top-notch cafes — and some of the best bagels in Sydney. Small Talk is owner Sam Terrey's answer to North American delis, and he's turned this simple concept into a go-to destination for pastries, doughnuts and Montreal-style bagels.

"We were always looking for a location that is a bit 'off the beaten track'," says Terrey. "The Dulwich Hill spot isn't really near anything, but it worked out well and is serving people who don't have access to too much."

Terrey boasts a decade in the hospo industry, including seven years in Montreal and three years at Sydney's Mecca coffee roasters. Though Terrey opened Small Talk back in May 2017, the delicatessen has recently been given a refresh and is now counter service-only. It works well with the venue's deli vibes, so the team plans to stick with takeaway going forward.

"The inspiration for our food is easy deli eats and we're producing as much as we can in house, including all of the pastries and sweets," says Terrey.

Small Talk's main offering is the "all-dressed" (aka everything) bagels — that include a mix of poppy, sesame and caraway seeds. Schmear your bagel with classic chive cream cheese for a fiver, or turn it into a proper sanga. Options include the BLT ($15) and the lox (smoked salmon and capers, $16.50), plus, the pastrami with sauerkraut, pickles and mustard ($15) and the extra cheesy brekkie bagel with egg and jalapeño relish ($14).

Apart from the all-important bagels, Terrey is also making focaccia in house, with regular toppings including tomato, chilli and garlic and a rosemary potato, olive and ricotta number. For pastries, don't miss out on the cinnamon sugar or stuffed doughies — the latter are filled with lemon-y ricotta and rhubarb jam.

Then there's the 'morning bun', a homage to the Finnish pulla pastry that's a buttery knot of dough and comes in flavours like choc-almond and cinnamon at Small Talk. Other specials like spinach and ricotta scrolls with garlic butter and maple butter tarts have also made the menu in recent weeks. For drinks, it's just Reuben Hills cuppas and hot chocolates here — and what more do you need, really.

The team completely rebuilt the space last month, removing all of the seats from inside and leaving just a few outside for those who (understandably) can't wait to tuck in. The new fit-out has proven to be much more pandemic-friendly and works well for the business as a whole. Expect a service counter to one side and retail shelves to the other — stocked full with dry goods, pickles, condiments and hot sauces.

A second outpost of Small Talk is on the horizon, too, with a location secured in Glebe and an expected opening date of late October/early November this year.

Images: Trent Van der Jagt for Buffet Digital.

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