Dear reader, I frequently have very strong food cravings. Merciless, hard hitting cravings of either a sweet or savoury affliction. Like the other day in the middle of night, I was thinking of baklava, which I normally don’t like because I find it a bit too sweet for me. But for some reason layers of filo pastry dripping with sickly sweet syrup was exactly what I wanted. Since I was going to visit my sister in Cabramatta anyway, I could pick some up on the way via the ‘Middle Eastern’ Sydney suburb, Auburn.
I only had time to visit one store and did as much research online as I could. So when I came across Gaziantep Sweets & Pastry, specialising in Turkish pistachio roll baklava, my decision was made.
The store itself is brightly lit, important because it’s a treat in itself to see all the house made baklava glistening proudly on display in their metal baking trays. Turkish baklava makes no use of rosewater, which is perfect because I can’t stand the stuff in food.
All pastries are charged by the kilo, as is the norm for baklava in Sydney. At Gaziantep, most of the items were $18/kg with the pistachio roll and hand made baklava the most expensive at $35/kg. My choice of eight pastries only cost $10.27 which was perfect because I rarely carry cash and $10 is the eftpos minimum.
I cuddled my package for the unbearably long 60 minute train journey back home. After a hasty cheese jaffle for dinner, I sat my partner, and baklava lover, Ash down for some serious baklava indulging.
Noodles wrapped into a cylinder and positively drenched in syrup, while it tastes fantastically sweet, I’m just not in love with the texture of the noodles. Where the noodle pieces stick out, and have dried from lack of syrup, they are brittle. This minor complaint is purely a personal preference and fully encourage you to try it for yourself at least once.
Baklava with pistachio & walnuts
I prefer the regular baklava, a flaky filo pastry atop a base of chopped pistachios and walnuts, with the pastry crunching between the teeth and the nuts have soaked up all the syrupy goodness.
Now we reach the house specialty, the pistachio roll. At the store it’s irresistible emerald green hue stood out amongst its burnished gold cousins, so these were the first to go into my takeaway box. This contains a very dense pistachio filling rolled up in a thin layer of filo and isn’t as sweet as the others, being quite savoury makes it an enjoyable ‘break’ from the other sugar-laced pastries and I’d imagine this would be popular with both sweet tooths and Asian parents born pre-80s.
I do love a macabre sounding name, which is what drew me to the lady finger and I’m so upset I only bought two. It is above all my favourite of the pick, the nut-to-pastry ratio is about even, my ideal preference for baklava. My only observation is that these slender treats remind me more of cigars than fingers. Consisting of chopped walnut filling rolled up tightly in golden pastry,with a scant lick of syrup on the outside, it remains mostly crunchy on the outside, but soft and nutty inside. In between bites I mutter that I’m putting in an order for a tray of these at my earliest but Ash was too busy lapsing into a sugar coma and so was I. Our sweeth tooths definitely satiated.
It’s only a matter of time before I return to Gaziantep as well as the many other baklava stores in Auburn for, yep, scientific research.
Mon – Thurs & Sun 9am to 10pm
Fri & Sat 9am to 11pm
gaziantep sweets and pastry