SAGA Bakery: Review
WORDS BY ALANA CALLUS & BIANCA DAVINO
Nestled away amidst the grimy records stores and vintage shops of Enmore Road lies pastry luminary, Andy Bowdy’s latest endeavour to completely dominate brunch posts across Instagram. Saga is clearly a haven for lovers of all things sugar, spice and everything nice. But don’t let the sleek modern interior fool you, everything about Saga screams tradition with a millennial twist.
To avoid going into a total diabetic, shock-induced coma, we tried just three of Andy Bowdy’s creations. Here’s the lowdown on our sugar high:
RASPBERRY MOUSSE, COCOA NIB CAKE, BAKED CHEESECAKE, CANDIED HAZELNUT, LEMON JAM, MILK CRUMB, TORCHED MERINGUE
A cross-section pic of this bad-boy will SURELY have your crush sliding into those DMs. Not to mention that its top tier of meringue and freeze-dried raspberries is the dessert equivalent of the Snapchat flower crown. Boomerang a cute spoonful-in-mouth and/or sugar-high happy dance to amass a cult following of over 60k just like ol mate Andy Bowdy.
You know how Ed Sheeran tried to integrate every genre on his latest album, Divide, eventuating in a sonically assaulting cacophony? Well, Andy Bowdy has taken this concept and made it WORK. Yes, there may be 7 different desserts intermingling here but they all complement each other. The baked cheesecake curbed the tartness of the raspberry mousse, with the milk crumb and torched meringue adding a further layers of texture. Probably the most modern take on a Jam & Cream cake you’ll ever encounter.
Though she be but little, she is fierce - do not attempt to devour this delight on your own. BYO dessert-eating team to conquer this piece of sugary sculpture. The whole time I couldn’t help but think that, just maybe, there was possibly a little too much going on? There are so many elements in each spoonful that are worthy of full appreciation that it does get a little muddled. But if more-is-more is what they’re going for here, we can get behind it.
CHOUX PASTRY, PECAN PIE FILLING, SALTED CARAMEL CHANTILLY
You’re guaranteed at least 30 new followers if you can get a perfectly timed hands-free of this cutie’s chantilly cream billowing out onto your plate. Heads up, you only get one chance before this voluminous pastry becomes a squished puddle.
This one is for the diehard sweet tooths. The salted caramel infused chantilly cream was OTHER WORLDLY but did get overwhelming after a few bites. As a contrast to the silky cream, the pecan pie filling was perfecto. After watching one too many seasons of Masterchef (and don’t even get me started on The Great British Bake Off), my eye has been keened for perfect choux and the Paris Brest was most definitely the (Paris) BEST example of pastry finesse.
Be prepared to get this everywhere because there is no pretty way to eat this beauty. Getting that chantilly all over your face will probably be less ‘romantic Parisian chic’ and more ‘Bruce in Matilda eating that chocolate cake’.
ROUGH PUFF BASE, PEACH JAM, MAPLE BRULEE, GINGER PUFF
Save it for the story. This sweet treat probably isn’t worthy of a solo post unless you have a total rustic chic aesthetic going. If you’re willing to stand on a chair to get that perfect shot though, its flowery-shape looks mighty fine in a flat lay next to some of Saga’s other magical creations.
I’m admittedly usually skeptical towards molecular gastronomy stylings within food - anything as a “foam” or “puff” usually gives me the heebie jeebies - so the Ginger Puff didn’t exactly catch my eye straight away. However, I’ve been converted by the texture of this classy take on carnival fairy floss that quite literally melts in your mouth. Shortcrust style pastry base was as flakey and crunchy as you remember your childhood’s local bakery’s Portuguese Tart to be. Don’t get caught up in nostalgia for too long though - the cinnamon infused peach jam & gooey maple brulee cream was 2017 to a T.
Although aesthetically appearing the most rustic and humble of the three offerings, it’s simplistic brilliance shone through. It’s classic Andy Bowdy - taking a dessert you already know and love, then adding a little something new just because he can. We bow down to Bowdy and give him a George-Calombaris-approved 11/10.
FUN FACT: If you love desserts but sadly gluten doesn’t love you back, do not fear! Saga have a delicioso Pistachio Cake that is free from gluten and other baddies. There’s also a savoury menu but let’s be honest, you clicked on this article because you love sweets as much as we do.