26 September 2010
Balha’s Pastry @ 761-763 Sydney Road, Brunswick
As soon as you step through the doors of Balha’s Pastry, you are immediately swept away by the aromas of baked pastry, roasted nuts and sweet syrup. Instantly, you know you have been transported to a good place.
Behind the glass panels that line the front of the store, there sit endless trays of freshly baked Lebanese pastries. The contents of these trays scream only one thing – decadence.
My order today included the following pastries: Baklavas, Half Moon Baklavas (Cashews), Half Moon Baklavas (Pistachios), Birds Nests and Fingers.
The pastries at Balha’s were all baked to perfection to give the filo pastry a nice crisp bite. Although it is very easy to over sweeten Lebanese pastries, it seems that Balha’s has found the perfect balance. I have always found the Birds Nest pastries to be the most appealing. The Birds Nest contains a mixture of crushed cashews and syrup, which is tightly wrapped in layers of crunchy filo pastry to form a cylindrical tube. The pastry tube is then curved to form the shape of a birds nest and more crushed nuts are then sprinkled on top. The Birds Nest creation at Balha’s is truly divine.
Balha’s also churns out homemade ice cream on the premises. After a short deliberation, we finally decided to order the pistachio and passionfruit. Unlike most ice cream stores that use artificial pistachio flavouring, Balha’s uses real pistachio nuts to flavour its pistachio ice cream. Disappointingly, the nuttiness from the pistachio was simply unrecognisable. On the other hand, the passionfruit ice cream was fresh, tangy and sweet; just how it should be.
The implementation of a numbered ticketing system suggests that the pastries at Balha’s are not short in demand. If you have a sweet tooth, you should definitely consider driving down to Sydney Road to see what the fuss is about.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)