It’s not every day that I venture out towards the CBD these days, but when I do, it’s usually on a Sunday when more than half of the cafes I want to visit are not actually open. Boo.
I am however, fortunate enough to have friends who have excellent food recommendations, which is how I end up all the way in Woolloomooloo for a quick bite at Smoking Gun Bagels.
It’s a tiny store tucked away in the quieter back streets of Woollomooloo- not exactly an easy find, but the promise of delicious homemade bagels and coffee is enough to draw a constant stream of visitors. Afterall- there aren’t all that many places which do bagels in Sydney!
Seating is very limited but bagels are a quick eat so it isn’t a long wait if you’re after a table. The menu is quite simple, with options ranging from the brekkie staple of bacon & eggs, to more exciting flavours like Kimcheese as well as dessert options if something like lemon meringue is more your thing.
There’s only 8 options on the menu but the flavour options enticing enough to make choosing one quite difficult. I decide on the cleverly named You’re Just Too Good to Beetroot bagel, a very photogenic Montreal-style bagel topped with deep red hues from the beautiful beetroot cured salmon. It’s served open faced, both halves topped with an incredibly smooth Pepe Saya Creme Cheese, the cured salmon topped with pickled golden beetroot, cried capers and dill.
But it’s not just about the looks.
There’s not shortage of rave reviews for these bagels, and one bite is all it takes to understand why. The bagel itself is really something special, the texture quite unlike other bagels I’ve had in the past, dense enough to give sustenance whilst also being light and chewy at the same time, and of course it comes with a satisfyingly crisp exterior. It’s also surprisingly sweet, which goes so well with the silky creme cheese that just the two alone would have had me leaving satisfied but it’s the the fresh and lightness of the salmon and pickled beetroot really takes it to the next level.
But I’ve still got my eye on all the other bagels on the menu – 8 options means that it shouldn’t take too many visits to go through right?