Silo bakery and café is a Canberra institution. This means it is super-popular and can be very busy.
I arrive at the small but bright store early on Friday morning, as I am keen to try their walnut and cranberry baguette for a picnic the next day. Sadly, these were not ready yet (note to self – do not arrive before 7:30 am). I buy a sour dough loaf, croissants and an orange and pistachio scroll. The sour dough was still warm from the oven and my car smelled heavenly on the drive home.
Sour dough. This is a wonderful dense loaf with a rich, earthy sour flavour. My only grumble is that the crust is very thick – jaw-achingly thick – and a little burnt on the bottom. I struggled to get through it with a regular knife. But my goodness, this is the best tasting sour dough I have ever eaten. I love that they brand the loaf with an ‘S’.
Croissants. These were soft inside with a crisp crust that was perfectly flaky. Almost creamy buttery inside and so good for breakfast with coffeeeee.
Orange and pistachio scroll. I didn’t get to try this, but my teenage son inhaled it for breakfast. He proclaimed it ‘alright’, which is very high praise coming from this teenager.
I return later in the early afternoon and buy some rye bread and some of their tarts (for the purposes of research, of course!). On both times when I visited, the bakery and cafe didn’t seem overly busy and though I wasn’t planning to eat-in, there were plenty of tables that looked free.
Rye bread. The lady behind the counter said this mini-loaf was 70% rye. It was a moist, dense and chewy loaf with a distinct nutty flavour and a heady aroma. It wasn’t too strong on the rye and I just loved it. I had it with some spiced pear paste and smoked cheddar.
Chocolate/cherry/almond tart. This was frangipane-like, crumbly with studs of dark chocolate and sweet cherries. Absolutely divine!
Blackcurrant/cabernet/mint tart. My youngest pointed to this and said ‘want’. The title is from Silo’s web page, as it seems closest to what I bought and I wasn’t paying enough attention to the names I was being told in the shop. I’m not sure if this had mint in it. To be honest, I’m not sure it had cabernet, either. But it was definitely the most sublime blackcurrant and fruity custard tart I have tried in ages. Rich velvety custard, with a combination of sweet and tart fruit in a delicate shortcrust case.
Silo. It’s worth it.