On the busy King Street in Newtown is Izba Russian Treats, a fantastic little patisserie where genuine Russian hospitality is expressed through amazingly tasty cakes and pastries, all baked fresh on site.
Growing up surrounded by the sweets and treats of her homeland, owner Olga’s dreams of sharing them with the people of Sydney was realised when she decided to take a chance and open up the small patisserie in Newtown, and boy has it paid off. On any given morning you’ll find a line of hungry locals waiting to grab a freshly made pastry and coffee followed by an equally busy lunch rush for their great array of savoury options.
Salmon Pie $7.50
We started off with this beautifully rustic slice of Salmon Pie. With layers of smoked salmon, buckwheat, spinach, goats cheese and egg all encased in a golden and flaky puff pastry. The flavours really worked well together, even the buckwheat, which most of you know has a strong, unique flavour. What was also great was the massive portion, perfect for a hearty lunch.
Potato Pirozhki $4.5
Traditional Russian yeasty buns filled with a spiced potato mix. Also available in beef and caramelised onion or stewed sour cabbage.
Savoury Beef Blinis $11
Thick crepes made with a yeast-raised flour batter. The slightly sweet and fluffy crepe encases a savoury mix of beef and caramelised onions which is delicious, especially with a good dollop of the thick sour cream.
Sweet Cottage Cheese Blinis $11
A unique feature of a blini is their compatibility with both savoury and sweet sides. Traditionally served with smoked salmon, herring and caviar, this dish drifted towards the sweeter end of Russian cuisine and nowadays is mostly consumed with jam, condensed milk or honey. For many Russians, a blini symbolise the warmth and coziness of the motherland, and these cottage cheese blinis made me want to curl up into a warm ball and relish in their deliciousness.
Filled with a divine thick and creamy cottage cheese that is nothing like the gluggy lumpy cottage cheese Australians are used to, accompanied by a homemade cranberry jam. These were my favourite dish of the night and well worth a return visit.
Sweet Cottage Cheese Rolls
Filled with that amazing Russian cottage, these raisin filled rolls are amazingly soft and best devoured in the morning when they’re still warm from the oven.
Honey Cake $9.50
Next in the amazing array of sweets is Izba’s most famous creation, The Honey Cake. This luscious slice is made with layers of honey dough with rich whipped vanilla sour cream then topped off with a crunchy crumble. With a smooth texture and tangy taste, what I found most surprising was that this wasn’t as sweet as I had thought, the honey having more of a subtle lingering taste and the cake being quite dense.
Izba Cake $9
Sour amareno cherries rolled in dough, stacked in a pyramid-like shape and covered in vanilla laced sour cream. The Izba cake is the signature dish of the cafes pastry dishes. Inspired by the architectural marvel of old-time Russia, the wooden hut called ‘izba’. The cake also highlights the traditional ingredients of many Russian dishes, always the most wanted seasonal treats: cherries and sour cream.
Aptly described as the ‘Invasion by Chocolate’, this devilishly delectable cake is three layers of thick chocolate dough matched with a silky ganache cream, all encased in a rich dark chocolate coating. This is seriously good stuff, death by chocolate never felt so good. Cakes like this and others can also be purchased whole, for birthday, events, or if you just want to smash a whole cake by yourself (props to you if you can).
A Frenchie chef turned Russian pastry master, Izba’s chefs work tirelessly, pumping out fresh and delicious pastries every day.
If you’re looking at that bottle of vodka and wondering ‘why?’, just remember, this is a Russian kitchen, Why not?!
Izba is a little slice of heaven, with a fun and friendly team bringing a real eye opener in the fantastic food culture of Russia to Sydney. I will without a doubt be a regular customer.
Izba Russian Treats
579 King St
Newtown, NSW 2042
2 Hungry Guys dined as a guest of Izba Russian Treats