When A and I arrived in Canberra, we were met at the airport by one of A’s friends, M. I soon realised that M is a bit of a foodie herself when she took me on a little impromptu tour of Canberra sites and suburbs, which included a drive-by of two of her favourite eateries in Canberra – Mee’s Sushi (which she states is the best sushi in Australia) and Urban Pantry, both located within the suburb of Manuka. Her third recommendation was in regards to freshly baked croissants and exceptional coffee from Autolyse in Braddon.
A and I tried all three eateries within our first two weeks in Canberra and can confidently say that M was right – Autolyse is exceptional!
Autolyse is a bakery with a simple concept – freshly baked breads and pastries, a limited lunch menu and well-made coffee. This simple concept evolves into greatness when executed well and Autolyse does just that.
Seeing as though the focus at Autolyse is freshly baked bread and pastries, the majority of the inside space of their Braddon premises is taken up by their open bakery. In the centre of this area, you’ll find a long bench that enables you to watch the baking process. Autolyse imports French flour (as there is a difference in wheat and milling practices than other flours) and Autolyse boasts about their preservative-free, 100 per cent, all-natural sourdough. Other breads on offer include a seedy variety (made with linseed, chai and quinoa), wholemeal or rye.
On this occasion, A and I visited Autolyse to sample their croissants. When we arrived, we initially searched for a menu but found that the daily specials and menus are written on the white tiles or mirror behind the counter. This is due to their regularly changing menu, as it changes due to the season and availability of produce. However, an important aspect to note is that there was nothing on the menu over $15!
After we ordered at the counter, we grabbed a seat outside to soak up the sun and watch the happenings on busy Lonsdale Street. It wasn’t long before my Fougasse arrived, which is a French flat bread topped with ham, cheese, tomato and basil. I hadn’t heard of this type of bread before my visit to Autolyse but really enjoyed it.
A ordered an almond croissant and found the pastry flaky and buttery. Delicious!
On another occasion, we ordered a pain au raisin and a chocolate croissant. The chocolate croissant was the standout – it was a crispy and delicate with dark, rich chocolate in the middle.
Autolyse also knows how to make a great coffee and uses the reserve blend of Ritual coffee beans (from Launceston, Tasmania). The coffee is smooth, balanced and just a tiny bit sweet – exactly the way I prefer it. The pairing of a freshly made croissant and an exceptional coffee really is a perfect morning ritual.