There is so much to love about New York; Broadway shows, shopping in Soho, brunch in Central Park and eating a sandwich the size your head. For the purist bagel luvva this is mecca; streets of delis with the real deal – overnight fermented, hand rolled, boiled then baked bagels with a ‘hole’ lot of love.
Until recently our bagel scene has been more like mock meat – bagels trying to impersonate the real thing, but not fooling anyone. Thankfully Brooklyn Boy Bagels bakery began and brought artisan bagels to our city, selling at farmers markets and at their former store in Matraville. Michael Shafran, food journalist turned entrepreneur still had a dream to fulfill and now its come true. Their name is up in red neon lights with the launch of their CBD Bagelry in Macquarie Place.
It’s a sexy spot. Casual tables outside and sleek on the inside. A main serving bar shows off every bagel, like Barney’s showed us apparel. What’s your addiction? Pumpernickel, rye, sesame, everything, onion, poppy, plain, pumpkin, rainbow? Diversity and inclusion extends to bagels…
Simple things are done well. ‘Broadway Smash’ is a perfect balance of seasoned avocado, thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes, za’atar and watercress. There are fancier options that freestyle Jewish traditions so try peanut butter and pomegranate or nashi pear with cinnamon and honey. Lunch is a riot. Grab a copy of The New Yorker as cute trays lined with checkerboard paper are glamazoned up with ‘Fish Tanked’ an in house recipe whiskey cured ocean trout with red onion slaw and labneh. We would swap the pumpernickel bagel for a lighter style to really appreciate ocean trout. Vegetarians will love ‘Tavern onna Greens’ beetroot carpaccio, delicately blended with cashew cream and fresh herbs.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is a non bagel one (wot no!), we almost can’t type this…if you are on the hunt for the best club sandwich, its here. N’da Turkey Club – its everything we have been waiting for. The ‘pain de mie’ house baked bread is soft but has the right amount of attitude and hugs luscious layers of bacon, roast turkey and gruyere. It’s a show stopper. If you need a jaw stopper order a $29 XXL ‘Katz me if you Can’ pastrami classic.
For the most part, Sydney has been a barren bagel wasteland. We have been bagel-less for too long, in the shadows, relegated to instagram for our bagel kicks and addictions. So it’s great to know that out of darkness comes light… Just make sure you look for that neon sign.
Shop 6, Level 1, 1 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay
Hours: Mon to Fri 7am–4pm