HCB Comparo, Part 2

A HCB delegation happened to be sent to Melbourne prior to Easter. What, are we inflaming the Melbourne-versus-Sydney debate? Never!

This delegation’s investigations were assessed under stricter conditions than the original comparo’s: “Look, Smell, Taste, Eat” philosophy.

The buns were laid out, the buns were warmed up in the oven. They were then sliced in half, and the fruit distribution compared. Finally, they were eaten.

The Melbourne HCBs

Do you feel queasy yet at the amount of fruity bread like products about to be consumed?

Ombra Restaurant $5 each:

Ombra HCB

Oh the sacrifices we make. Although six buns had already been consumed through the course of the day, and a full meal; when this was spotted on the menu: how could you not order it?
This was eaten on a night out at the restaurant.
Dark coloured, skinny piped cross.
Over toasted.
Very plain in flavour
No. 7 by both delegates.

street: 76 Bourke St Melbourne Victoria 3000
web: Ombra Bar

Babka #6 $2 each

Babka HCB - inside

Really nice even distribution of fruit
Raisins and sultanas
There was finely grated citrus (tiny dots visible) and strong citrus smell and taste
Not overly spicy, more sweet and sugary
Lighter and more fluffy than the others.
Rated as No 3 by the second delegate, No 6 by the first.

Babka HCB - inside

street: 358 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
web: Babka Bakery on urbanspoon

Fatto a Mano bakery #5

Fato e Manno HCB

Good crunchy crust, partly because of the reheating.
Chewy texture.
Uneven piped cross.
Not very spicy
Not too sweet – a little bready in texture.
No citrus
Sultanas and raisins
Super sticky glaze
Rated as No. 6 by the second delegate, No. 5 by the first.

Fato e Mano HCB - inside

street: 226-228 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia.
web: fatto e mano

French Lettuce, $2 Ea.

French Lettuce HCB

A thick custard like cross, similar to Le Chocoreve (Sydney). Quite doughy in texture, on the “just borderline” undercooked.
Slightly bitter spice in there, possibly from cardamom.
Sultanas, raisins, big yellow sultanas. Quite an even distribution of fruit.
I like the look of the cross – it looks like it has been rolled and applied by hand.
Quite a dark dough – use of a spice similar to cinnamon but not cassia. It started with S … but we can’t think what, possibly star anise.
Rated as No. 5 by the second delegate, No. 4 by the first.

French Lettuce HCB - inside

Street: 237 Nicholson St Carlton VIC 3053
Web: The French Lettuce

Candied Bakery #3, $$2.70 ea:

Candied Bakery HCB

They looked like little jewels nestling in their box. They also look like they have been individually ‘raised’ and proved: rather they each bun helping the others rise on the baking tray.
Quite a sweet glaze – very sticky
Juicy and plump fruit
Good balance of spice, possibly cloves.
Doughy but dense
No citrus – sultanas and raisins
Rated as No. 2 by the second delegate, No. 3 by the first.

Candied Bakery HCB - inside

street: 81a Hudsons Rd., Spotswood, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3015
web:Candied Bakery

Baker D #2 $3.20 each:

Baker D HCB

Strong citrus – chunks of orange peel
Possibly a part sourdough base.
Glaze not over powering
Raisins, sultanas, orange peel
Dark dough
A lot of fruit – evenly distributed
Quite a sweet glaze but not just sugar sweet
Possibly freshly grated ginger in the mix.
Quite a dense texture.
Rated as No. 3 by the second delegate, No. 2 by the first.

Baker D HCB  - inside

street: 3/149 Fitzroy St, St Kilda Victoria 3182
web: Baker D

Dench, $ $16.60 for 6:

Dench HCB

Finely grated citrus (tiny dots visible) as well as bigger chunks and strong citrus smell and taste
Strong spice – possibly cardamom
dense but doughy
Good chewiness
Dark dough
Not too sweet
A favourite with both delegates!

Dench HCB - inside

street: 109 Scotchmer St, Fitzroy North, Victoria 3065
web:

Rylstone Bakery $1.50 Ea:

Rylstone HCB
I also had the opportunity to try the buns from Rylstone Bakery. Unfortunately only the chocolate chip ones were left. They were tasty and moreish, although there was a bit of a granular grittiness in the mixture. It may have come from hand ground cinnamon.

street: 55 Louee Street, Rylstone, NSW 2848
web: Rylstone Bakery

Here is Epicure’s Comparison, from theage newspaper.

I also stumbled across this website, who did a HCB comparo in 2011.

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