Such is my love of living and eating in Marrickville I’ve decided to do a series of pieces entitled ‘My Marrickville’, where I’ll write a little bit about each of my favourite food shops, cafés and restaurants in this marvelous suburb. This one, as you’ve probably surmised already from the title, is going to be about food shops.
(Incidentally, the ‘My’ of ‘My Marrickville’ is a fun little poke at Mr T who is constantly bemoaning the current fashion in advertising where everything is preceded by ‘my’, e.g. My Bank, My Insurance, My Healthcare, as if these two little letters were sufficient to kid us into thinking we’ve got any control, autonomy or choice! My Marrickville, however, is a different matter.)
Bourke Street Bakery
2 Mitchell Street
The sourdough bread is our pretend reason for popping in here on a Saturday morning; favourites include green olive and rosemary (delicious slathered in taramasalata), fig and cranberry (divine with butter and honey) and the plain white sourdough. Often it’s hard to resist a little sweet treat – I’ll go for a sticky macadamia and honey bun, a perfect ginger brûlée tart, or a pain au chocolat, while Mr T prefers an apple galette or a rhubarb and almond tart. The sausage rolls (lamb, almond and harissa or pork and fennel) and pies (the beef and mushroom in red wine, especially) are fantastic too. Add to all that slices of rustic pizza, gourmet sandwiches, great coffee and fast, friendly service and this place is a winner every time.
Lamia Super Deli
270 Marrickville Road
You’re hit by the aroma, when you first walk into this Greek treasure trove, of all things brined, cured and dried: a dozen buckets of glistening olives and peppers, whole salt cod and rib racks on hooks, and salamis, sausages and hams aplenty. As well as olives, Lamia specialises in Greek cheeses: kefalograviera, feta, haloumi and many more. Shelves groan with dried beans, pulses and seeds, pastas and polentas, imported bottled and tinned goods, and the fresh section includes trays of homemade moussaka and dense spinach and ricotta pie. Personal favourites are the fresh dolmades (drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil at home), taramasalata, and halva sliced to order from an enormous dome, swirled with chocolate and studded with almonds.
Paesanella Cheese Manufacturers
27 Gerald Street
This award-winning, Italian, family run institution has been making Italian fresh specialty cheeses in Australia since 1956, but has 300 years of cheese-making history under its belt. These days they supply multiple delis and shops around the country, but it’s well worth getting to the factory and counter sale outlet in Gerald St (beware the opening hours of 6am to 1pm, Sunday to Friday); nowhere else will you be able to pick up a half kilo or kilo tub of daily made ricotta that is still warm! Also made on the premises are buffalo mozzarella, bocconcini, burrata (balls of mozzarella filled with cream), fior di latte, mascarpone and more. Of the many imported cheeses they stock, my favourites include pecorino pepato and gorgonzola.
Aside from the fact that these three shops are all objectively fantastic, I feel I ought to declare a sentimental attachment that I’ve just recalled. The meal at Mr T’s and my Australian wedding in 2010 (as opposed to the one we had in the UK) featured an antipasto course that was sourced almost entirely from these three places: a selection of breads from Bourke Street Bakery, prosciutto and salami from Lamia, and bocconcini, pecorino pepato and gorgonzola from Paesanella. Bottled olives, semi dried tomatoes, artichokes, aubergines and red peppers came from the also fantastic Oriental & Continental Foods in Artarmon.
What are your favourite food shops in Marrickville, or your suburb?