Sweet Envy

$-$$   Hat iconHat iconHat icon
341 Elizabeth St, North Hobart
03) 6234 8805
Open: Mon to Thu 8.30am to 5.30pm; Fri and Sat to 6pm or 7pm. Takeaways.

This is Alistair Wise’s and Teena Kearney’s long awaited “neighbourhood cake shop” as Wise calls it. If you can’t count the street numbers, you’ll find it by the oohs and ahhs of people stopped in their tracks by the window display. Or coming through the door with a goodie bag and a smile on their face. For this is a very small but beautiful, very classy addition to the crowded North Hobart food scene.

Wise, readers may recall, was uberchef Gordon Ramsey’s pastry chef, first in London, and then in his new restaurant in New York where, despite middling reviews for the restaurant, his desserts and pastries won high critical praise and took out the New York Times’ BonBon of The Year Award. Kearney, in the meantime, perfected her cake-making and -decorating skills as she rose to become manager of one of London’s most exclusive cake shops. Wise and Kearney start cooking in the downstairs kitchen each morning at 2.30am – so everything’s fresh, is available until it sells out and, if you want something special, you need to get there early.

Between them, they present such an ever-changing, mind-boggling array of sweet and savoury treats that it requires a second cup of coffee before you can decide which to choose. Stands proudly display iced and artfully decorated and tiered special occasion cakes. Plates are piled high with macaroons, cup cakes, assorted fruit tarts with swirls of delicious lavender cream, chocolate tarts, flaky, buttery, plain and almond croissants, real pecan pies, nougat, biscuits, a stunning hazelnut caramel brulee cake and lots more. And, in a fun-for-kids touch, bonbons, chocolate monkeys, knotted marshmallows, pastry cartoon characters and other sweet treats decorate white-washed ladders.

Their Opera cake is 14 exquisite layers of pure technical perfection. The bread is a cross between ciabatta and stiacciata and comes generously filled with things like butter roasted chicken. Lunch-time pies and sausage rolls of wonderful flaky pastry might contain smoked ox tongue and beef cheek, slow-roasted pork beautifully spiked with fennel or harissa lamb.

Seating and communal table space are limited, the coffee’s good, service is personable and knowledgeable, and, whatever you might choose for lunch or an in-between indulgence, don’t leave before a final chill-out taste of one of their fabulous ice creams.

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