The Flute bakery

12 Feb

Canberrans and non-Canberrans alike will argue that Silo Bakery in Kingston is the best bakery in Canberra. I feel pity for these people, because that means they’ve never been to the

Mr Smith cake and 10 layer chocolate cake

actual best bakery in town: The Flute.

The Flute doesn’t do itself many favours by making a lot of the things we take for granted about bakeries – and even modern dining – and thumbing its nose at them. For starters, the bakery is in Fyshwick, hidden across the road from Super Toyworld and almost masked by trees and other industrial buildings. Add to that a crowded and confusing cashier area, opening hours of just 8am to 3pm (!), not being open on weekends (!!) and no Eftpos facilities (!!!), and you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’re deliberately trying to put themselves out of business.

Cappuccino, cookies and cream and mint chocolate flavoured macarons (I’d eaten the rest by the time this pic was taken)

Instead, The Flute is – going by numbers of people during the work day and the difficulty in getting a carpark – an absolute success. It all comes down to the food. Their macarons ($2 each) are not only the best in Canberra, but the best I’ve tasted in Australia (and I’ve eaten a lot). They get the biscuit base just right, and the fillings are divine. Too many macarons I’ve eaten seem to layer on the filling, with something akin to gloopy icing. Instead, The Flute’s macarons’ flavours are light, but with enough of a punch that when you eat a Blueberry and Cream or a Mint Chocolate one, you can’t mistake those flavours.

Their oval-shaped pies (~$5) work, again, because they get the combinations right: the fillings are meaty but have plenty of delicious gravy (making the pie

Delicious Beef and Red Wine pie

difficult to place down mid-way through, because you’re guaranteed to spill some of the precious gravy and have to mop it up with your finger later), and the pastry is light without being overly flaky. (The Flute also offers a range of sandwiches which seem very popular, but I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never tried one because I just can’t go past a good pie.) If you’re getting a pie at lunchtime, you have to be quick. While they’re constantly restocking their offerings, if you go there after 1pm the selection is going to be significantly reduced. My personal favourite is the Beef and Red Wine, but I’ve also heard great things about the Chicken, Tarragon and Leek and the Beef Curry.

But what keeps me going back to The Flute is their selection of cakes. They offer a selection of smaller cakes (~$6.50 each) and much larger cakes (~$25-$40) which really show off the bakers’ skills. They’re all aesthetically pleasing, but some really catch your eye – like distinctly green Mr Smith cake (you guessed it – apples) which even has a small ‘apple’ sitting on top. I’m always a sucker for the brilliant Hazelnut meringue, which is a soft meringue filled with custard with fresh strawberries gleaming on top. I mistakenly once got what I thought was the Hazelnut meringue but instead was custard in a tart shell. It was my one truly disappointing experience from the bakery.

Mmm gravy…

The difference between the larger cakes and what’s involved with them can make it a bit overwhelming to choose. I once got a salted caramel cake which was enjoyed by all, but the saltiness did become a little overwhelming. I’d recommend going for anything with a meringue base and with both mousse and crunchy layers in it – taste and texture sensation!

I’ll admit it is an effort to get to The Flute, but it’s a great Friday lunchtime treat, and you’ll definitely impress any guests or loved ones if you get any cake from there for a special occasion. Every time I’ve been there, someone’s been caught out with the fact that there are no Eftpos facilities (apparently there’s an ATM around the corner on Newcastle St), so make sure you bring cash. And, if you have impulse control issues like me, maybe bring a lot of cash!

Mr Smith and 10 layer chocolate cakes cut in half

Attendees: T1

When: Last visit 10 February

Where: 8 Barrier Street, Fyshwick

Cost: Last visit (okay this is shameful): $36.50 total. Beef and Red Wine pie $5, 6 macarons (blueberry and cream, salted caramel, raspberry, strawberry and cream, cappuccino, cookies and cream) $12, Mr Smith individual cake $6.50, 10 layer chocolate individual cake $6.50, Hazelnut meringue $6.50.

Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile

Want more? As far as I can tell, The Flute doesn’t have a website. You’re just going to have to trust me and go there!

The Flute Bakery on Urbanspoon


8 Responses to “The Flute bakery”

  1. Jules February 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    I love Flute! If only it was open on the weekends. If ever I have a day off mid week it usually ends up with me getting a Flute pie for lunch….and a quiche….and a cake! 🙂

  2. Sarah October 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

    Mmm get the Jaffa Bomb cake if you ever need a special occasion cake. My family has been getting it for years and we are still not sick of it! Its got a crunchy biscuity base, very rich dark chocolate mousse, white chocolate mousse and then a super tangy orange jelly layer in a giant dome that all together is just AMAZING!!!! Seriously have yet to find a cake to top the Jaffa Bomb!

    • inthetaratory October 7, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      Yuuuuuuuum. The crunchy biscuity base with the mousse layer – any mousse layer – is an absolute winner.


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