On my journey to find the best dessert places in Sydney, I recently had an epiphany. How is it that one can live in the Inner West, but not know of a possibly life-changing product of sweetness? I was soon to discover Little Italy’s (Haberfield) best kept secret (which in fact wasn’t so secret because everyone in the area knew about it!).
Ever step into your grandparents house feeling overwhelmed by the amount of great food that has been prepared, despite the lack of guests accompanying you? Pasticceria Papa delivers that experience in exactly the same way except for one difference. There will be A LOT of guests attending, and if you’re lucky, they will be lining up all the way down the street behind you.
Pasticceria Papa is quite the over-the-counter experience. Be prepared to bring a few extra breaths of fresh air with you, as there will be so many questions running through your mind and travelling across the counter to the friendly staff that you may even forget to breathe. There is just so much to offer, that you will need to do a few laps of this lengthy display counter before deciding on your delicacies.
Also, don’t bother looking for names of what you are thinking of eating, like all typical grandparents, Papa encourages you to communicate as much as you can, in this case, with the staff.
If you’re looking for cakes suited for any occasion, have a look at these!
Remember how I mentioned ‘Little Italy’s best kept secret’ above? Well if there was only one thing I had to try from Pasticceria Papa so I could go home thinking my life had changed in some way, it would be the Ricotta Cheesecake.
Ricotta Cheesecake - $4.00
From the moment you lay your eyes on the cake, you know you’re in for something special. The staff member places small insertions of whipped cream alongside the cake to make sure that your spoon has the right ratio of cream to accompany each individual bite of the cheesecake.
You experience your first spoonful and within milliseconds, heavenly grace blesses your tastebuds as if the cake is an angel itself. Okay perhaps that’s slightly overdramatic but you get the drift. The first words that you can expect to come out of your mouth in slurred fashion should be “oh my god”, “wow” and “amazing”.
Combined with the whipped cream, you will experience a uniquely soft and delicately creamy texture that purposely slows down the rate at which you chew, as if to encourage full enjoyment of the dessert. Sweet, but definitely not overpowering, the ricotta layer adds a beautiful hint of cheesiness you would expect from any great cheesecake, whilst maintaining a light level of sweetness. The soft biscuit layer surrounding the ricotta filling is quite light and crumbling, adding another level of smoothness throughout the entire texture. Flour and cinnamon to garnish, the delicacy becomes complete to blissfully entertain your palate.
Chocolate Horn - $2.50
Let me just point out that the Ricotta Cheesecake is an extremely hard act to follow. In saying that, I then tried the Chocolate Horn, which certainly put up a decent fight if we were to compare the two. Very light, crunchy and almost wafer-like, this pastry resembled a well made croissant from the outside.
From the inside, it was packed to the brink with a hazelnut-infused milk chocolate sauce which was quite thick, as if the chef had literally taken a spoonful of Nutella and inserted it into the structure. This may sound like a complaint, but trust me, I love my Nutella!
Pistachio Romani Biscuit - $2.50
Finally, it was time to try the Pistachio Romani Biscuit. This would be perfect if combined with tea or coffee, due to the thickness of the pistachio filling and the doughy texture throughout the biscuit. I really liked the garnish of the pistachios on top, which added a nice spicy kick to the entire experience.
The filling was okay; it could have done with a bit more sweetness or flavour even, as it was a bit bland for my liking. The apparent lack of convincing flavour plus the doughy and thick texture of the biscuit meant that it wasn’t the best on its own, which is why I suggest accompanying it with a hot beverage.
As you may have gathered from this story, the main event for this morning meal was definitely the Ricotta Cheesecake, which totally amazed me beyond words. It’s something everyone needs to try, and if you ever come across a cafe or restaurant that does a phenomenal Ricotta Cheesecake, there’s a good chance it was distributed fresh from Pasticceria Papa.
Despite there being a long and continuous line, I would wait for as long as needed to get my hands on the delicacies I have detailed above, and more! I cannot recommend this place more to you, and if you already know me, there’s a great chance you have heard me bragging on about this place! Until the next episode, keep it sweet!
I have been dessertified!
Have you been dessertified by Pasticceria Papa? Tell me more, below!