Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sourdough Kitchen

Sourdough, wood-fired, free range - all these buzzwords have been criticised as being yuppie, floaty concepts that will be gone in the next chew-and-swallow of the food trend cycle.  The thing is, the artisan, slow-food model has been around a lot longer than industrial innovations like quick-rise yeast or factory farming.  Once upon a time, all bread was sourdough.  Home bakers discovered that if they left flour and water to ferment and "catch" wild yeasts, it would produce a risen loaf with a pleasant sour tang.  It was only closer to the industrial revolution that yeast was isolated from its wild form, where every house's sourdough starter would be slightly different, and standardised.


In the news recently, a major bread manufacturer has announced an "innovation" in which new additives will mean bread will remain fresh for up to 14 days.  This makes me want to throw up.  Thank goodness then for all our local bakeries and suppliers - Natural Tucker bread from Footscray Market Deli, Hausfrau (bread from Noisette), Waldie's, good ole Bakers Delight (closet pullapart lovers, hands up) and my personal favourite, Sourdough Kitchen.


This is where the old Bowerbird boutique used to be in Seddon and I love the quiet, cool vibe inside.  The terrazzo floor is quaint and strangely soothing as you lean back against dove-grey walls, accented by peasant chic handmade lace doilies.


Everything here is sourdough, from the white casalinga made with organic flour to vegan tray-baked pizzas, fat fruit buns and (no kidding) sourdough croissants.  The bread range begins with classic casalinga and earnest wholegrain before dallying into spelt, sultana and rosemary, and pepita-studded pumpkin territory.  The more standard loaves are available by the half which is a fantastic way for smaller households to never be out of fresh bread.

Latte, $3.50

Great coffee made with Genovese that rarely disappoints.

Pork and fennel sausage roll, $5

The menu is small but confident.  The generous pork and fennel sausage rolls are truly the best in Melbourne!  Sweet pork mince is augmented by the occasional aniseed zing of fennel seeds, rolled in luscious, buttery puff pastry.  An abundance of sweet homemade chutney arrives alongside.

Pizza, $5.50

Three types of square-cut, tray-baked pizza all get the vegan tick.  Here we have wafer-thin potato and rosemary on a chewy sourdough base.  A scattering of salt flakes could take it to the next level.

Sandwiches, $7.50

Hearty, freshly-made sandwiches on thick-cut bread.  Here, bitey cheese complemented tasty pastrami and tangy baby pickles.  Delicious.  Did you know that Sourdough Kitchen are very community-minded, supplying local food co-ops and donating excess bread to the Western Region Health Centre?


I am hopelessly enamoured with Sourdough Kitchen's pain au chocolat - light croissant dough rolled around a Callebaut dark chocolate stick.  The croissants are also fabulous, the sourdough starter giving them a faint but tantalising sour tang.  Sourdough is healthy, ergo, sourdough croissants are healthy.  Right?  Right?

* Okonomiyaki recipe coming next week!

Sourdough Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Sourdough Kitchen (Facebook)
172 Victoria Street, Seddon
Phone:  9687 5662


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  1. Mmm, I love me a good sausage roll. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I've been meaning to get down here. My neighbours recommended it too. Now the big question: are the pork and fennel sausage rolls as good as the Bourke St Bakery ones in Sydney?

  3. my baby and I have spent a lot of mat leave time in this place! choc croissant and a cap if it's a late brekky, the delicious pork sausage roll for lunch. the new sourdough ciabatta is yum and the owners are really nice too! Desley

  4. I like this place but I'm not with you on the croissants - find the tang weird! And I find them heavy. Maybe if they had a different name I would embrace them, I'm just always expecting that sweet, buttery lightness and am always a bit disappointed. Next time I'll try to conceptualise them as sourdough crescent buns and see if that works.

  5. 14 days?! That really is disgusting. I'm craving a pastrami sandwich now haha! And that glorious pork and fennel sausage roll looks suspiciously similar to the one I spied at Friends of Mine in Richmond!

  6. OH YUM!! I am going tomorrow

  7. I love the bread at sourdough kitchen, but I have to say the customer service needs looking at. Standing at the counter while several staff members buzz around and not even acknowledged is pretty poor. And also pretty common. Especially since I'm a regular customer with a well-stamped card. I'm not the only one who's had this experience.
    Good bread will only take you so far- if the customer service doesn't improve I can always get my sourdough from elsewhere. But I would rather support a local business.
    I see they have a planning permit for a cafe and restaurant- best wishes but please don't forget those people who just want to buy a loaf of bread.

  8. Anon - sorry to hear about your experience. I must say, I was looking on Urbanspoon before and there are indeed a lot of complaints about the service. I haven't had that experience myself but then again I am a sporadic visitor (only because I get bread delivered weekly through my co-op) so maybe I have just been lucky. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Jane, they are indeed heavier than regular croissants but I personally don't mind it. More croissant to love! Maybe the plum jam-filled ones would be a good foil for the tang?

    Desley, great to hear!

    Billy, if only we could do an inter-city sausage roll-off!

    Hi Vee and Daniel too and thanks for stopping by, and second anon, I hope you enjoy it!

  9. i've only been there once, but really liked it. I WISH there was a good bakery in the Spotswood/Newport/Williamstown area

  10. I guess a yuppie place for me is when the vibe is pretentious and seem's to make the 'non yuppie' customer feel like they shouldn't be there. I've seen it, the customer service makes you feel like you are not welcomed or that they are doing you a favor by serving you.

    Thank goodness it hardly happens in the west!!!

    I LOVE the spelt bread from this bakery, so nutty and delicious.

  11. I have been at the dentist for almost 4 hours... And now I am drooling even more! I have bought bread there only to date-- but I can hear one of those sausage rolls calling my name! I did a short one day workshop on sourdough a couple of weeks ago-- slowly getting there! :-)

  12. The service has always felt a little weird. I've filled out a few bread cards over the past 6 months so it's not as if I'm an unfamiliar face, but the staff rarely say more than the basic hello and goodbye. They're not in the least bit rude or unfriendly, just cold.

    Still, I'll keep going back a couple of times a week because the bread is worth it, as is the coffee, and their sandwiches are great value. The sausage rolls are wonderful and the pizzas a little chewy, but tasty. As you can see, I've spent a bit of time and money there.

    The only other place nearby to get decent bread is at the Showgrounds (now Debney Park) Farmers' market each Sunday morning - not convenient if I've run out on a Thursday.

  13. Anon, how about Crumbs Organic Bakehouse in Ascot Vale? Footscray Market Deli also have bread daily from Natural Tucker in North Fitzroy as well as Andrew's Sourdough from Laverton.

    Interesting to hear about the service - Seddon is such a village and there is so much opportunity to give fabulous, friendly, personal service, like Jeremy at Seddon Wine Store for example.

  14. This place is just rad. I've been back a couple of times for their sausage rolls. We should so do brunch there one weekend > haven't seen you in yonks!

  15. I too used to go a lot and have stopped going. I was thrilled when it opened,went up to a few times a week.
    The service was always ordinary but fine but intensfied when the place got a rush on. It's definitely the guy they've got (or had?) managing the place. He'd get moodier and stroppier as he got busier, slamming down water and other passive aggressive behaviour.
    The last time I was there the treatment was just plain hateful, he couldn't even disguise the curl of the lip. We were simply 5 women out for coffee and most of us regulars and locals. And he let me pay for my friend (throwing the money in the till without even glancing at it) and she told me later she'd already paid.
    I love your blog and your review is all true, but this has to be said.
    Best regards, and best wishes to the owners of Sourdough Kitchen, who everyone agrees are lovely.

  16. Anon, what a shame!! Urbanspoon comments and reviews are easy to dismiss as so much of that site is full of vitriole but I am now very aware that there is a genuine strong local feeling about Sourdough Kitchen's service. I fully respect that you had to say it and appreciate you adding your voice.

  17. To Anon of Dec 9, both Gusto and the grocer in Barkly St, West Footscray sell loaves of proper sourdough bread. I think they get it from Zeally Bay bakery.

  18. Just a bit of an FYI--I heard today that an acquaintance of mine is now apparently managing the place or working there in some capacity---and if that is the case I expect the customer service will pick up...she has a reputation of going into restaurants/food establishments and picking them up and running them properly and has been at a handful of quite successful establishments in the area...fingers crossed the service will start to equal the quality of the food! :-)

  19. I've been back lately and the service was much better.... I was acknowledged at the counter and even got a smile! It's the small things isn't it. I haven't been there during a very busy period however. I hope they are doing well with their new cafe menu and I look forward to trying it out in the next few weeks.
    Anon of December.

    1. Ooh new menu! Thanks for keeping us updated, anon - I'm so glad to hear that as I want them to do well long term. Did you see Kurichan's comment just above that there's a new manager or consultant-type person helping out - perhaps that's the magic ingredient.

  20. We are locals and go there pretty regularly for take away coffee. My husband and I don't really eat much bread. We're also both vegan and just assumed that this place wouldn't have anything for us. We used to take trips to Ascot Vale crumbs and mr nice guy for baked goodies on occasion. Just went to Sourdough Kitchen yesterday and asked a staff member if they might have any vegan products, and she not only knew what vegan is but also seemed very enthusiastic and listed off all the things that are vegan. My husband was sooo excited that the fruit scrolls were vegan, including the chocolate and berry ones. The pizza is vegan too. We were very impressed that the woman serving us had that knowledge. They also use good soy milk in their coffees. The only thing I would mention is that, while waiting for coffees I've sat at the window stools and seen some stray flies making their rounds around the pizza slices...put me off ordering those (vegan) pizza slices...and they look soooo good!!


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