Balkan Fresh Burek, 351 High Street, Preston. Phone: 9470 2433
All too often the bureks we see around the west look forlorn, past their use-by dates and/or like poor second cousins to other products – even including pies and the like.
Our expectations for Balkan Fresh Bureks are a good deal loftier.
After all, the place seems to have a proud manifesto encapsulated in its very name.
We’re not disappointed.
The place itself is a modest but pleasant cafe, already doing brisk business – both eat-in and take-away – even though it’s still before the noonish hour.
But so serious are they about their bureks and their freshness, that they’re not even on display – that honour sits with sweeties alone, such as bakalava and tulumbi, syrup-drenched doughnuts akin to rum baba or gulab jamun and of which we also grab a very delicious couple.
There’s only three flavours of burek – cheese, spinach (with cheese) and meat (with onion).
Full square and circle/scroll bureks lob in the mid-$20 range. Individual slices are $7 to eat in or $6 as takeaway.
As our party includes a grubby and barefoot boy straight from a rugby game, and as we’ve got some homeward driving to do before we can really relax into the weekend, we grab a couple of takeaway slices to join our doughnuts and hit the road.
At home, our slices are wrapped in foil and gently warmed in the oven before we split the goodies between us.
These are superb bureks.
The flaky pastry is rich and buttery, yet also supple and even elastic.
Bennie prefers the more robust flavour of the meat number, although his dad finds it rather plain and apparently lacking in the advertised onion.
The spinach number is, by contrast, too mild for Bennie but his dad digs the extra colours and textures of fresh spinach and smooth cheese. That’s cheese as in bland – this is your ricotta, so there’s none of the salty bite of fetta going on here.
And at $7 a slice, this is bargain territory – after our lunch we’re both fully full, despite eating only the equivalent of a single slice each.
Dang, we sure wish this place was closer to home and not a mere rugby stopover in a season soon to be ending.