Like tragic fashion choices – if you wait long enough, some things come back again.
So, I was keyed up by the Potato Pizza Revival at Bourke Street Bakery. The topping made a blink-long appearance earlier this year as a special, but luckily, the other week, it got properly added to the new menu. I was hugely excited because the pizza is one of my favourites: the crispy potato, salt and rosemary sprigs square off perfectly with the sweet spread of ricotta and Spanish onion.
I ordered it, repeatedly.
Sadly, that didn’t stop it from falling out of menu favour. It got taken off the board after a week or so. Apparently it is just too high-maintenance to make, the potato has to get pre-cooked, etc etc. No wonder they reinstated the fuss-free Tomato & Basil Pizza ($6) instead.
As consolation, you can get your potato fix through the various soups that get ladled out during the week at Bourke Street Bakery. I haven’t yet had the Potato & Leek ($9) (which is so chunky, the bowl seems to house starchy icebergs) but I did enjoy a variation with fennel recently (which says a lot, given that I don’t entirely love fennel! It can be such a recipe-hog, frequently outscreaming any other ingredients it has to share billing with).
While some of the soups are great (I’m a fan of the Zucchini & Parmesan), others can be homey and plain, reminding me of comedian Daniel Kitson’s take on the dish. Whereas he loves yum cha and tapas, soup is entirely the opposite of those flavour lotteries: you only need four spoons-full and the point is made. The surprise element is pretty much dead. (I’m just paraphrasing: imagine that being said in a more endearingly cheeky fashion, complete with loveable British-accented swearing, and the physical presence of specs and a prominent, good-natured beard.)
I wonder what Daniel Kitson would think about potato pizza menu-grief. (Small consolation: you could probably make a similar version at home, including potato prep shortcuts where necessary. Or just wait until the dish eventually comes back into fashion again, when everyone’s too memory-fogged to remember its original shortfalls.)
Bourke Street Bakery, 474 Gardeners Road, Alexandria NSW (02) 8339 1001.
This is the main bakery but there are other branches: 633 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW (02) 9699 1011;
2 Mitchell St, Marrickville NSW (02) 9569 3225.