If you thought NYC was the only city proudly dominating the global bagel scene, you've overlooked Montreal. Canada's creative, culinary-minded city has a fierce bagel industry, with longtime bagel houses like St-Viateur and Fairmount waging war over 'best bagel' naming rights. Now, Sydney's got a piece of the action, with seasoned coffee roasters and San Fransisco-trained bakers Mark Treviranus and Dave Young opening a Montreal-style bagelry in Woolloomooloo.
With a little shopfront on Cathedral Street, Smoking Gun Bagels is Sydney's first bagelry to serve authentic Montreal-style bagels. The bagels are made on-site in what's apparently Australia's largest purpose-built bagel woodfired oven — sitting at 14 tonnes, constructed by stone masons and flown in from Canada, so it's legit. Melbourne's already got a Montreal-style bagelry in Mile End, but this is Sydney's first.
So what makes Montreal-style bagels any different? "Montreal style bagels are smaller and sweeter than other bagels," says Treviranus. "We individually hand roll, boil them in water sweetened with honey, before placing them into the woodfire oven. That gives them a crispy outside and chewy inside, quite different to any other style produced in Sydney."
Smoking Gun's bagels are even be Montreal-advised; Treviranus and Young developed the recipe with the St-Viateur team — one of the aforementioned top bagel houses in Montreal (the head baker even came to Australia to help the pair learn the tricks of the trade). They've also worked with Jo Barrett, head of pastry at Yarra Valley's Oakridge Winery to craft the menu. All bagels are presented 'open style' and feature local artisan products, including our favourite cultured butter producers Pepe Saya.
You can see your bagel rolled, boiled and wood-fired at Smoking Gun, with the oven positioned to let you watch the whole process.