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Sweet Infinity is easy to like. Especially for me. As a long-term ‘let’s make a detour and get some bread’ fan of Infinity Bakery just up the road in Darlinghurst, the penny drops when I taste the baguettes. Aha! The bread for these and the loaves in the window come from there – although everything else is prepared in the bakery in full view behind this tiny cafe.
I guess if you squeezed, you could get ten people seated on the low chunky stools, and a couple more outside, but most people seem to race in, choose from the display counter or the blackboards crammed with pie, baguette of dessert temptations and hurry off. That’s after a cheery exchange with Leanne, the owner, or her assistant. Think, French boulangerie without the language difficulties.
I’ve never been to this little strip of Riley Street between the Domain and William Street. It’s not really on the beaten track to anywhere it seems and if success is due to location, location, location, then this little place forgot that when they signed the lease. Regardless, it’s now firmly lodged on the radar of serious food-lovers, and it seems all the locals and nearby office workers and celebs such as Russell Crowe know it well.
It’s still busy when we drop in for a late lunch on the day before Easter. There are just a few things left, but the customers keep coming. The regulars know exactly what to ask for: a cup of soup and a roll, excellently made coffee from a roaster I hadn’t heard of (Little Marionettes in Balmain, they tell us) or a luscious lemon meringue pie (or three!).
I understand the latter when I try it. Gloriously gooey lemon on a crisp dark pastry base with a mountain of creamy meringue on top, its peak is browned to the point of irresistibility. It’s not even my order, but I keep sneaking spoonfuls from my partner’s plate.
To be fair I’ve been more than happy with my pork and fennel pie ($6.50) with chunky pieces of meat and a fabulous pastry which I jealously guarded and didn’t share.
It’s not surprising this place is so good. Pastry chef Leanne Beck has a CV as faultless as her baking: Wildfire, Establishment, glass and Salon Blanc, as well as OS cred from London and Paris.
As an added bonus, Sweet Infinity is accredited by The Heart Foundation. I’m hardly surprised. It has certainly won my heart.
Sweet Infinity, 53 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo, 02 9331 2448. (Now moved to The Strand Arcade, Sydney CBD)
Open: weekdays 6am to 5pm, Saturdays 7am to 1pn, corporate and private catering available.
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