The best baklava in Melbourne. That is a serious, serious thing. You don't go throwing titles like that around lightly.
Which is why Jacques Abd El Nour and Hazim Hazim from Abla's Patisserie were so delighted to win first and second place in the inagurual Baklava Bake Off (Professional Category) held last month in Federation Square. The Baklava Bake Off was organised by the Australian Multicultural Foundation and judged by Greg Malouf and PM24's Head Pastry Chef Cécile Veyrat. The competition asked members of the community to help find "Victoria’s best baklava, as a way of celebrating our community’s diversity and love of a common sweet".
Popping in a for a chat with Michael at Abla's Patisserie, he tells me that "We use premium nuts and that makes all the difference". The pastries are made by hand, layers of filo pastry draped over the gigantic metal trays. Then they are filled with cashews, hazelnuts or pistachios and then soaked in rosewater and orange blossom syrup.
At Abla's, people come in for a fresh lemon, ginger and mint tea. Michael says their coffee "has a subtle chocolate note. Everyone has their favourite pastry and they enjoy being able to choose a Bird's Nest or Lady Finger to enjoy with a drink." Only Jonesy's Milk is used for coffees, continuing a theme of fresh, local products.
These Abla's Patisserie gift boxes are popular for entertaining and as a small, thoughtful present when dining in someone else's home. It is not an unusual sight to see someone dashing in from Commercial Road, just before the Market closes on Saturday, to grab a selection to take out that night instead of the usual bottle of wine.
163 Commercial Road
03 9827 5881