Sunday, 9 November 2008

F is for Fyshwick, and Friday, and Flute

You might think that there's nothing foodie in Fyshwick, Canberra's light industrial centre. Furniture, car repairs, motorcycles, home renovation supplies, whitegoods, sex shops and brothels, yes, but food? If you are new to Canberra and that's your impression, then you'd be wrong. There are several notable foodie things in Fyshwick. Though I really don't recommend chocolate body paint from the sex shops. Nasty stuff, that, but I guess everybody has to try it once.

There's actually quite a few places worth mentioning. First, of course, is the Fyshwick Fresh Food Markets. These are across the railway line from the more industrial zone, with access off Canberra Avenue via Dalby St. It's almost Kingston. It's open Thursday to Sunday, and boasts a couple of delis, an Asian grocer, two fish shops, a poulterer, a couple of bakeries, two butchers, an organic fruit & veg stall, and a lot of general fruit & veg retailers. I'm fond of the nut stall, with the fresh roast nuts and shop-ground peanut better. I don't go out there that often, though, since Belconnen is usually more convenient for me.

Even in the industrial zone, there are several places worth a visit. Last Friday I had to go to pick up a motorbike part, and I took the opportunity to go to Cosmorex coffee and The Flute bakery. Cosmorex, at 44 Kembla Street, sells coffee equipment of all kinds: grinders, plungers, roasters, espresso machines, mugs, and more. They also sell their own blends of coffee and tea, some of it nicely packaged up for Xmas gifts. The coffees are around $8-10 for 250g, unless you want the famous Jamaican Blue Mountains - at $180/kg, they keep a little in stock around Xmas but otherwise you have to place a special order. They're open Monday to Friday 8-4.40, and Saturday mornings 9-12.

The Flute Bakery, at 8 Barrier St, is even less accessible to the full time worker since it's a Monday to Friday concern, and they close early. I think it's 8am-3pm. But I'm only 80% full time, so I can get there now and then. I do love my Fridays! This little bakery and patisserie is very impressive - they turn out a terrifically good crusty white sourdough loaf, as well as multigrains and rye and fruit loaf and so on. I'm told their pies are excellent, too, but I haven't yet tried them. Their patisserie is wonderful: it's a hard choice between all the little French fruit tarts and cheesecakes and profiteroles and mousses. One of The Flute's specialties is the mini fruit-filled brioche. I took home a blueberry and ricotta one for Saturday breakfast, and had a pear and almond tart with my Friday morning coffee. The tart had a lovely crisp sweet shortcrust, and a creamy almond base under the fruit, and a pistachio garnish. Yum. And to top it off, the coffee was brilliant! It's seriously one of the best in Canberra: full bodied, aromatic, rich and strong without any burned in bitterness.

Also in Fyshwick, there are a few new looking cafes around to cater to the local workers and the weekend furniture shoppers. I haven't tried any of them yet, so if you have any suggestions, please do pop them in the comments. The one place that I really want to get to soon is Zierholtz. I've been to the brewery, and the beer is really great. Debacle keep a couple of varieties on tap, if you want to try it in town. But now a cafe/restaurant has opened up, and I'm hearing rumours that it's got good food as well as beer. I want to get there soon!


Zoe said...

We had a lamb pie from Flute, and the flavour was fantastic - unfortunately only one piece of meat in the pie, however. I'd still try it again.

Beth said...

I'd only ever associated Fyshwick with sex and fireworks shops... I can now add 'food' to that list!

Anonymous said...

Just commenting on this OLD post because I've FINALLY made it to Flute! And ohmygod, it's almost lucky it's NOT open on weekends because I'd send myself broke buying all the cute bitty cakey and cheesy things and one of the work of art cakes ... lawdy.

Had to settle for a very good coffee, ham'n'cheese pastry, and pain du chocolate for morning tea.

I can almost forgive our new dog for requiring an emergency visit to the Animal Emergency Centre (which has just moved to Fyshwick from Braddon) and hence an early-morning pickup the next day and thus placing us in the vicinity ...

lesley said...

I would like to add a little comment - most of the cakes, tarts, will last up to four days in the fridge, so if you do need a dessert on Saturday or Sunday, you can buy during the week. I had a chocolate mousse cake from there on Christmas Day - it was a big hit. I also have had the lemon tart for a dessert on another occasion. Wno needs to cook anymore! Not a Weekend Cook