Freshwater Creek Cakes

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650 Anglesea Rd, Freshwater Creek. Phone: 5264 5246

Despite its apparent fame – with those who live locally and those headed for some serious leisure time on the Surf Coast or Bellarine Peninsula – online information about Freshwater Creek Cakes has been hard to find.

So I am singularly unprepared for the fact that business does not have EFTPOS facilities.

The staff member who greets me tells me there’s an ATM at the gas station a few hundred metres down the road, so off I go … to find there is no such ATM and that I am left to make what I can of the single $10 note I am carrying.

No matter – it’s a pleasure to be around so much old-style goodiness.

Freshwater Creek Cakes has been operating at the same site since the mid-1980s.

It’s housed in a rather charmless building – the cool roadside signs give a much more evocative reflection of what I am expecting inside.

The No.1 hot-ticket item here are the sponge cakes.

They make about 100 a day and they come in four basic configurations – chocolate, vanilla with passionfruit icing, ginger fluff and a real old-school item called Victoria sponge with just jam and cream.

I don’t need EFTPOS or heaps of cash to know how very fine they are.

My Geelong Advertiser colleague Shaun had brought a couple to work a few nights previously and I happily slurped up a slice of the passionfruit/vanilla number.

Oh my! Deep, rich icing, feather-light sponge and the incredible, smooth and unmistakable texture of real whipped cream. None of that canned garbage here, folks!

Forget your chef’s hats and fancy awards – there is surely no greater praise than “just like mum used to make”!

The sponges cost $15.95 – a fair price given the quality of the product.

Like the cookies and cakes also on display, the prices here seem quite high – but that’s what you pay, I guess, for quality.

As far as bargains go, the day-after sponges are the go.

The bakery gets phone calls every morning inquiring if such items are on hand – not always the case.

They cost $8.

And as everyone knows, day-after sponges can often be even tastier and have, um, more structural integrity than fresh ones.

Confusingly, the cakes and loaves – which sell for about the $12-$13 – are both presented in loaf form.

What’s the difference between a loaf and a cake anyway?

The Freshwater line-up includes apricot and fruit loaf, date and nut loaf, pineapple and carrot loaf, banana cake, chocolate cake, lemon cake and orange cake.

The cookies sell for $7.95 a bag – and it’s on a bag of raspberry shortbreads that I squander the best part of my meagre $10.

They, too, taste “just like mum used to make”!

Freshwater Creek Cakes has a coffee machine but the eating-in options seem to be restricted to a couple of picnic tables to the side.

The Pie & Pastry House

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166 Churchill Ave, Braybrook. Phone: 9311 3388

Gotta love an old-school pie shop – and it’s a delight that there’s so many in the western suburbs, happily holding their own amid the multicultural swirl.

The Pie & Pastry House, operating since 1952 according the its business card, certainly fits the bill right from the decor and screen door to the milkshake machine and technicolour display of doughnuts.

It lives in a Braybrook shopping strip that features a couple of Filipino places awaiting our further exploration and opposite a park and adventure playground at which we’ve attended many a birthday party.

I order my standard lunch in such places – a plain beef pie and a sausage roll.

The plastic cutlery is a bit of a downer, offset by the tomato sauce coming in squeeze bottle form rather than the a horrid sachet.

The pastry outer of my sausage roll is incredibly flaky, and soon the whole table is flecked with it. It’s just OK, tending towards blandness – as sausage rolls tend to do.

The pie, pastry not so flaky, is better, though in need of a seasoning boost by my way of thinking.

I like my lunch items, and I sense that they and the other lines the shop sells are perfectly suited for its loyal and long-term customers, quite a few of whom come and go as I am going about my lunch business.

The vanilla slices look scrumptious.

The ginormous family-size pasties, at $9.50, look like an outright bargain and destined soon for a test run on our dinner table. Visual appraisal suggests that with a bit of help from salad on the side, they’d feed two adults and two kids no problem

All I take away with me though are a single lemon tart ($1.25) and a single cream shortbread ($1).

The former is, fittingly, old-school, with a slightly chewy filling.

The latter is a sensational taste grenade – two pieces of light, fresh shortbread, joined by a smooth vanilla cream and dusted in icing sugar.

It’s not just the highlight of the day – it’s the best of the week.

Such a simple, affordable pleasure!

Sourdough Kitchen

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172 Victoria St, Seddon. Phone: 9687 5662

Heading out for breakfast used to be a major part of our routine a few years back.

Mind you, we’re talking coffee and toast mostly – not the egg-heavy chow-down fry-up favoured by so many.

But our morning habits have evolved and changed.

We make our own muesli, and we know that’s very good for our insides, allowing us to be a little bit naughty during the rest of the day.

Besides, for cereal/muesli most cafes charge double the price listed for toast/jam.

Isn’t this exactly the wrong way around?

I mean, toast is grain made into something – bread.

Jam is fruit that’s been made into something.

Butter is milk that’s been churned.

Muesli is just grain, plus a few bits and pieces, yet in many places it goes for $10 or more.

We’d go the bacon/eggs/spinach/hashbrowns/snags/mushies/avocado/tomatos/kitchen sink route less than once a year.

And in terms of eating out, isn’t lunch or dinner so much more alive with potential for miracles and greatness?


But it is the near-complete absence of out-and-about brekkies from our lives that makes a Friday morning visit to Sourdough Kitchen charged with novelty value and a sense of refreshing change.

We’d not noticed preparations for the bakery before it opened, so were surprised when Deb trumpeted its debut at Bear Head Soup.

Since then we’ve visited several times – for coffee (very good) and takeaway scrolls (fruity, heavy, delicious).

We’ve also enjoyed several slices of primal pizza, including a fragrant chewy number topped with  zucchini, eggplant, some capsicum, olives, fresh rosemary, olive oil. The slices are scrumptious, cost $5.50 and have already become a lunchbox option for us.

Just like that (sound of fingers snapping) Sourdough Kitchen has become a splendid part of the local scenery. As I read my newspaper and enjoy my breakfast, a steady stream of customers come and go. Takeaway coffee, bread, rolls. Another couple of tables host locals deep into their caffeine hits and conversation.

My toast and jam costs $5.50 and is fine. I get three slices of good sourdough and more than enough butter. The strawberry jam, though, is a bit on the runny side and is almost all syrup and very little fruit.

As I’m going about my business I imbibe two outstanding lattes.

The brekkie tab is just a tad over $11.

The bakery is restricting its options to fairly light fare for both breakfast and lunch – see menu below – for what I have been told are reasons connected to power supply issues. For lunch, in addition to the pizza slices, there are some fine-looking filled rolls.

Sourdough Kitchen already feels like it’s been around for a lot longer than a mere month or so – and I mean that as a compliment!

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