I remember when I was young and the Concorde supersonic passenger jet made a rare visit to Sydney. It was due to fly overhead and my teacher, an odd Marist Brother (all Marist Brothers are odd) decided he’d call us out of the classroom by row to watch it. It was on its way, so he first called his favourite row, the Greens, to step out onto the balcony to see it. The Reds, Golds and my row, the Blues, anxiously waited for our turn. Of course the bloody thing went so fast that it was half-way to London before the Greens even finished stepping out onto the balcony. So whenever I hear the name of the suburb Concord I’m reminded of my teacher’s appalling lack of judgment that cost me any chance of ever seeing the world’s fastest passenger jet.
I had to make a trip to Concord (the Sydney suburb), so I did my research beforehand to see if I could get a doughnut while I was there. The internet told me about a place called Pari Pasticceria on Majors Bay Road, Concord that did Italian Doughnuts in canoli style. Perfect!
When I got to the Pari Pasticceria address, I was met with a buzzing sign, paper on the windows and a For Lease sign on the door.
It made me disappointed for 2 reasons.
One is that the internet had let me down, not knowing that the cafe had closed (this has since been updated).
But more importantly, I was disappointed because it’s another small business that has closed up shop. Whether it’s due to the impact of COVID or some other reason, I’ll probably never know.
What is it about Concords that lead to disappointment? A creepy Marist Brother standing across the road grinning at my misfortune would have completed the picture.
I took a walk around the small shopping precinct on Majors Bay Road, hoping to find somewhere with a decent doughnut to make my trip worthwhile.
There were a few Italian cafes. Sydney has lost a lot of its Italian culture, smothered by other cultures and the next generations of Italians becoming more anglicised. So I was happy to see some Italiano remaining in Concord.
There were also a couple of Vietnamese bakeries and a Tella Balls. After my first and only visit to Tella Balls – no thanks!
The very last cafe I came to had doughnuts – beautiful homemade Italian doughnuts.
Cucina Espresso is at the lower end of the Concord village hill. The lady serving me was very nice even though the rest of the staff didn’t give a hoot about me and the other customers – and by that I mean no eye contact, no smile, no “excuse me” as they passed by, no “thank you” to complete the transaction and no pleasantries whatsoever.
They had a choice of 3 doughnuts – Jam, Custard and Cinnamon. I went with the Jam.
As expected, it was delightful. The only criticism was that it was smothered in sugar and didn’t need to be.
The runny jam was lovely and tangy – probably not homemade, but it was a nice choice. And there was just the right amount.
If you’ve never had an Italian doughnut, do yourself a favour. They are different to other doughnuts. Make sure you find a place that makes them onsite, like Cucina Espresso, Concord.
I hope you won’t feel disappointed.
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