It may be a dessert but look, we could chow down a baklava for any meal of the day. Crispy, sweet, nutty, and just plain yummy, baklavas have our hearts. And with Melbourne being the multicultural heaven it is, there are baklavas and baklawas everywhere. Be still your beating hearts because we’ve rounded up some of the best in Melbs…and by best we mean ‘stuff-yourself-til-you’re-in-a-food-coma’ best.
So here they are, Melbourne’s best baklava.
Brunswick East and Kew
Okay, prepare yourself because you are about to drool when you see, let alone imagine, Hellenic Republic’s Bombe Baklava. That’s sweet meringue on the outside, chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, and the baklava on the inside. We are emotional. On the menu at Kew’s Hellenic Republic, this is a definite must when you drop by. But don’t worry; the Brunswick East store has the iconic Baklava Sokolatas me Siropi Samou—chocolate baklava with Samos syrup.
Executive Chef Murat Ovaz, of Yagiz restaurant is pulling out all the stops with his hot-outta-the-recipe-book baklava dessert. Totally innovative, it’s a combo of new and old with delicate filo pastry and chestnut ice-cream. Already bringing in the crowds, Ovaz’s baklava is proving to be a popular new fave.
Contemporary Armenian restaurant, Sezar, certainly supplies the goods when it comes to this style of cuisine, and with National Baklava Day on the mind, we want you to know (ore remember) their ‘New Style Baklava’. It’s the combo of crispy filo, walnut toffee ice cream and salted caramel. It might be a lil’ different to the classic but it’ll still cause a raucous in the house. #confectionperfection
Niko’s Oakleigh Quality Cakes
You can bet award-winning Niko’s Oakleigh Quality Cakes deliver the goods with a massive range of customised cakes for every occasion…including your fave—the baklava. Found under Niko’s Specialty Cakes, you can expect all that crispy sweet goodness with a touch of finesse. A local favourite, you gotta drop by this one at least on
e hundred times…it is in Oakleigh after all.
A1 Lebanese Bakery
Brunswick and Dandenong
These guys have been delivering the goods (and some of Melbourne's best baklava) since 1992, so we feel we're in extremely safe hands every time we drop by A1. Their baklava is an excellent balance of filo and sweet syrup and as far as we're concerned, a never fail. The bakery also sells a large variety of bread, pita, pies, Lebanese pizza and Middle Eastern groceries if you're in the mood to continue the Lebanese party.
Vanilla Cake Lounge
Whipping up some fancy cakes, pastries, mousse, tarts, and of course baklava (normal, mini, and largeee), Vanilla Lounge is the place to hit for all your pastry needs. But wait, this isn’t just your ol’ pastry shop; Vanilla Lounge is also a dining hall for the very best of both worlds. Staying classic, Vanilla serves up a mean baklava packed full with a walnut and almond mix and the good stuff—Greek syrup.
If it's Middle Eastern sweet treats you're after, your destination’s Balha's Pastry. Everything is made fresh daily in house at this family-run establishment. Think delightful bite-sized baklawa’s packed full of cashews and pistachios. Balha's also has a huge range of traditional pastries, biscuits, continental desserts and fruity ice cream, which is often very distracting when you're coming in on a baklawa mission. Essentially, you never leave with just one baklawa…or thing.
They’re known for their super stretchy, chewy, and unmeltable ice-cream but Cuppa Turca also offers homemade baklava. Sprinkled over with pistachios, Cuppa Turca’s baklava has a bit of a different crunch to it but the greatness is all the same to us. Unmeltable ice-cream or homemade baklava, both.
For something a little less traditional, but no less delectable, try the peanut butter baklava at Maha. Chef Shane Delia's creation includes a peanut butter parfait, chocolate sorbet, baklava crumbs made with pistachio, almonds and walnuts, as well as salted caramel to tie it all together. This dessert pays homage to the humble baklava while giving it a flavour-infused reinvention.
Anywhere that blesses us with all-day brunch is already a winner in our books. But the cherry on top, well baklava, in this case, is the French toast at Demitri's Feast . It’s become pretty well-known as one of Melbourne's best breakfast options for any self-respecting sweet tooth. Greek brioche bun (tsoureki) is covered in thick Greek yoghurt, walnut praline, honey and orange blossom syrup. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so get yours off to a good start.
Fresh Prince Of Baklava
Hands down, if you’re looking for something a little weird and wonderful you have to check out Fresh Prince of Baklava. Why? Because they whip up homemade, traditional baklava with Monte Carlo biscuits, Oreos, Tim Tams, Cherry Ripes, Mint slice, and Nutella. *Heaven is a place on earth places in background* A combo of Middle Eastern Flavours and Western indulgences, you can expect the very best of the fluffiest, crispiest, and golden-est pastry in a hella rad confectionary combo.
While this one is not always available, we still felt we had to include Messina's baklava gelato in this list. Rosewater gelato smashed with house-made baklava is simply perfection when your sweet tooth cravings just won't quit on a hot day.
For all your Middle Eastern nibbles, Miznon has your back. Headed by celebrity chef Eyal Shani, the man who blessed us with pitas, Miznon is also home to some damn good Turkish baklavas. If their pitas are anything to go off on, you can trust your tum tums with a couple of Miznon’s baklavas.
Abla’s handmade pastries are filled with premium cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios, so they’re obvs using the best ingredients. The baklava is soaked in rosewater and orange blossom syrup, and the end result is both fragrant and delicious. You don't have to take our word for it, bakers Jacques Abd El Nour and Hazim Hazim took out first and second place in the 2013 Baklava Bake Off held in Melbourne last year.
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Image Credit: Hellenic Republic