Central European-inspired Kurtosh Bakery has grown from humble beginnings since it first opened in 2011, but owner Ben Haikin has never lost sight of his original vision. “We wanted to create a place that feels local, where we can bring back childhood memories and mum’s recipes,” he says. Large format.
Since opening the first location in Sydney’s Randwick, Kurtosh has expanded to eight stores in three states: six in New South Wales, one in Victoria and a new Queensland location in West Village, which opened late december. And it quickly made an impression on the locals.
“We had queues at the door for the first two weeks,” says Haikin. During our conversation, he stops twice to greet his customers by name – not bad for a store that’s only been open a month. According to Haikin, this is part of Kurtosh’s magic – a sense of community, shared through food. “There’s a lot of love in there,” he says.
Inside the busy store, the kurtosh station stands out. Short for kürtőskalács, the Hungarian street snack is a roll of crispy, caramelized dough with a soft, brioche interior. Baked wrapped around a rolling pin, Haikin and his brother fell in love with the cylindrical dough (also known as chimney cake) during a trip to Hungary. “The texture is unlike any other,” says Haikin, who returned home eager to introduce the food to Sydneysiders. The kurtosh are freshly rolled and baked to order, then topped with a variety of flavors: traditional options such as cinnamon and coconut alongside almond, pistachio, hazelnut, walnut and Nutella.
The well-stocked display case is filled with Central European-inspired pastries, both sweet and savory. Sweet options include roulades, tea cakes, babka, croissants and a range of sliced cakes, while savory burekas come with fillings such as sweet potato and thyme, potato and mushrooms and eggplant. Flavors are mostly seasonal, with recipes concocted in the Sydney kitchen.
For indecisive diners, Kurtosh is heaven. All cakes are sold by weight, allowing customers to sample small portions if they prefer, rather than committing to a standard sized piece. Or alternatively, they can order an extra-large portion of a favorite. “[This way], people can try a bit of everything if they can’t choose,” says Haikin. “If I came here, I’d probably end up with four or five pieces of cake.” Flavors range from a fruit-filled strawberry sponge to richer options such as cookies and cream, tiramisu, and a buttery espresso roulade.
Pair your cake with Kurtosh’s specialty coffee blend, created alongside Seven Miles coffee roasters. Bottled juices, green and rose iced teas, and other cold beverages are also available.
Shop TR-06, 111 Boundary Street, West Village, West End
(07) 3667 8386