Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bindoon Bakery and New Norcia

I was meant to have a friend come over this weekend, but she bailed (2 big nights in a row - but didn't plan on telling me she wasnt coming till I asked her.. nice hey) and so I was left wondering what to make of my weekend at home in the country. I've boycotted going into the city for a few weekends, because I'm tired of travelling the 2 hours there and back for friends who are never prepared to come out here. So today, on a sunny, blue skied sunday, I decided to go and sample the goods from Bindoon Bakery, and see what New Norcia had to offer.

Bindoon is about 20mins away, on the Great Northern Highway. Its home to many a mandarin and orange grove, and more famously, the Bindoon Bakery. I heard it was award winning but I didnt know what for - bread, pastry, pies - no idea. So I went for coffee, cake and a pie. Yes I made a pig of myself! But I didnt eat the entire piece of cake, thats sitting on the kitchen table waiting for me to finish it off! I've recently read that it has won awards for its vanilla slice, which I didnt order. Bugger. Next time! Anyway, I ordered a beef and guiness pie, and a cake that I wasn't too sure what it was. The pie was alright, the pastry was great, as I would expect from any bakery pie, but as usual, the filling was more sauce than meat, and didnt blow me away with flavour. I'm finding that most places I go that are known for good pies, Im disappointed with, because the sauce is a bit too gelatinous, and isnt meaty enough. Yes they're better than a Mrs Macs, but at the same time, still not mind blowing! Considering it cost $5.50 I was expecting more meat. It was nice though, Id go back again, but probably wouldn't go for a pie!

Now the cake, Im not sure what it was, I forgot to ask. I figured Id go for something that really gives the baker a chance to show off their baking skills, rather than how well they make custard or glaze fruit. A cake is ALL baker. So it tastes like a pretty standard butter cake with walnuts, with butter cream icing. I was expecting more to be honest! The texture of the cake was pretty nice, it was dense and moist and resembled my nannas coconut cake, without the coconut! But it had a disappointing amount of walnuts in it, and needed some more flavour - something extra! a squeeze of lemon, some cinnamon, something! Actually lemon would have been nice to cut through the fattiness of the butter cream icing, which after 2 or 3 bites makes you feel a bit like your arteries are clogging up! Didnt say it wasn't tasty, just obviously unhealthy! However the consistancy of the cake kinda saved it, as well as its size, it was huge! Some for now, some for later! Next time I go Ill have a crack at the vanilla slice...

Bindoon Bakehaus & cafe on Urbanspoon

Anyway, off to New Norica! Its a really old town which started in the 1800s because some spanish benedictine monks started a mission for the Aboriginal people living in the area. The architechture in the town is pretty special, and as the town is on the highway you just drive straight into it, its really unexpected if you dont know whats there! One of the first things you notice is the hotel, its really big for a tiny town surrounded by farmland! I went in to have a quick look, I didnt realise there was a cafe there, which I was excited and bummed out by at the same time, because I'd already eaten at the bakery, and there were a few things that I definately wanted to try! For some reason the ploughmans lunch appealed to me, which was cold meat, cheese, salad and bread. It sounds boring, but I'm imagining it with fresh local bread and butter, pickles etc. Next time...
I headed into the museum and shop, and somehow got talked into paying $10 to visit the museum... It wasnt THAT interesting, Ive been to better, and worse! There were some cool things though, all the old tools they used in their bakery, and all this old homeopathic stuff, little vials of god knows what... cos kinda cool. But then I headed into the shop, which is where I found the food! Food is always what gets my attention... They sold the New Norcia Bakery bread, nut cake, biscotti and chocolatti... and it was all pretty expensive. They had 3 kinds of bread and the only one they had left was the multigrain fruit loaf, which definately grabbed my attention when I read the ingredients! Sultanas, bakers flour, wholemeal flour, currants, dried apricots, unsalted butter, yeast, wheat flakes, crushed wheat, kibbled soy, linseed, rolled oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts, sesame seeds, rye flour, salt, water, vitamins (thiamin and folate). WOW. This stuff is GOOD for you! and at $9.90 a loaf it'd wanna just about cure cancer! This is not a bread I'll be making a habit of buying. Its definately nice. But not near on $10 a loaf nice. 680g for $9.90. and its a small loaf, its just really heavy! But ill support the all natural ingredients just this once, next week when I go there Ill buy another one lol. I also bought some of their biscotti which was really nice, they had some to sample. Its nice and lemony. Also quite expensive... I bought the bread, the biscotti and a bottle of their shiraz (I didnt know they did wine too?!) and it cost me about $50... expensive. But worth it for a one off.

After that I just wandered around the place for about 45mins, checking out a cemetary (alot of monks with Spanish names, quite old, some from the late 1800s) and just generally wandering around the property. Didnt see any monks though...
Drove home, with my ipod playing a brilliant mix on shuffle (Rolling Stones, Beatles, Kasabian and The Verve amongst others) and then on the way decided to pop into one of the wineries thats on the road home, Jylland, which can be saved for another blog post ;)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a wonderful day.

    Hope you enjoy the leftover cake - sometimes that's the best way to have it!!