Banksia Bakehouse has been a project that Chris Sheldrick, Hannah Kim-Sheldrick, Josh Kim and Aileen Zhang began developing in 2018. It was lovely to sit and chat with Aileen and hear their story and vision and they seem like a remarkable team; with passion and enthusiasm in bringing their dream to fruition.
They saw a gap in the Sydney market, where there were few businesses in the CBD selling stunning cakes for celebrations. So here came their concept, to handmake and sell beautiful cakes for both larger celebrations or that mini patisserie item to enjoy with your coffee.
Almost ready to open and 2020 brings a Pandemic which meant challenging times for the business. Banksia took this in their stride and it meant they could do a business pivot and sell their THICC Cookies and BIGG Brownies online and take time to refine and prep everything ready for their opening.
In terms of location, Grosvenor Place was the perfect choice for the store, being right in the city close to Wynyard to service the workplaces in the need for a celebratory cake or sweet treat. When tourism thrives again, it’s also super close to Circular Quay and means tourists can come and check it out.
When the relaxing of Covid regulations occurred, Banksia could open their doors and showcase their marvellous patisserie offerings.
The bakery seeks to have Australian influence to its goodies, and the name Banksia evokes feelings of the Australian characteristic native wildflower, which is fitting with the nations heritage.
The decor is refined, floor to ceiling glass windows for the exterior, brown leather banquettes to sit at and marble tables. There’s also a few tables and umbrellas outside. Head to the counter, and an impressive cabinet showcases their patisserie offerings.
The other remarkable part of the store is the visible kitchen, where you can watch the pastry chefs in action, something rare of in Sydney’s bakery scene. I watch them fold over cookie dough and take twice baked almond croissants out of the oven and it gets me excited to taste.
Food wise, there’s amazing towering cakes in a range of sizes which can be ordered for corporate or family events, as well as purchased in store. They are absolutely stunning! The clear display case showcases their mini single cake offerings such as chocolate, carrot or Black Forest.
The small patisserie pieces which are evidence of remarkable talent are impressive. We try their “apple delight” which Alisa comments is the most popular choice on the menu, and we can understand why. It tastes exactly like a deconstructed apple pie made into a physical apple. Thin white chocolate exterior with an apple cinnamon spiced compote and vanilla cream inside. Sitting on top of a sable biscuit base, makes it really feel like an apple pie. Cut into this beauty and admire the skill of the chefs before devouring it. It’s the perfect amount of sweetness with a lovely light consistency. It’s even gluten free!
Why not grab one of these Apple cakes to kick off the Granny Smith festival which began October 1 and runs the whole month long. The Granny Smith apple is perfect for Banksia Bakehouse’s cake and it’s inspiration. The light green skin, sweet taste, and crisp juicy provide the perfect filling.
In addition there’s macarons, thick cookies, brownies and some cruffins. On our visit they had apple pie, mango and Nutella. Though their menu changes.
We can recommend going for even something as simple as a plain croissant. Clearly made with the right amount of time, butter and love, to produce a flaky and tasty croissant. Keep an eye out for their special croissants soon, including a chocolate hazelnut and even a biscoff one.
There are savoury goods also on offer; a crazy crispy croque monsieurs and even a Mexican jalepeno version. A pie oven has a range of pies and sausage rolls, such as the mushroom stroganoff, satay chicken and beef brisket. The brisket pie was outstanding; crispy, flaky and buttery pastry housing a delicious filling of flavoursome brisket.
Whilst you’re there, grab a coffee or tea, with the coffee beans roasted by ‘The Grounds’.
Everything here was fabulous. We love the concept, friendly service and of course, the food.
Grosvenor Place, 225 George Street, Sydney
(02) 9949 1216
Mon to Fri 7.30am–4.30pm