Its amazing how quickly things can change. Towards the end of 2012 my department at work moved from our offices in O'Connor to Cockburn Central. While I was based in O'Connor, Alissa hipped me to a patisserie 5 minutes away in suburban Willagee that was famous for their award winning pies, with their signature being a very gourmet beef, blue cheese and porcini pie. Then called Jaylea's Patisserie and Lunch Bar, its shop front didn't exactly scream 'quality patisserie', yet tasting many of their pies it could not be denied that they were indeed very good at what they do. After moving to Cockburn Central Jaylea's was no longer a convenient lunchtime option, and it was a lazy public holiday weekend that eventually brought us back 15 months later.
We found that Jaylea's had had a significant rebrand, moving from its location in the middle of the Archibald St shops to the corner space that once housed a realty office. The ugly font and the 'Lunch Bar' designation were gone, replaced by a much hipper style more in keeping with the kind of image a classy yet accessible quality patisserie should project.
To the left of the shop is a lovely mural that makes a lot more sense next to the patisserie than next to a realty office.
The interior design of the space again follows a very contemporary style, with lovely brickwork along the walls, marble counters and the consistent use of their signage font.
When I was here last, I had an awesome cherry pie. We didn't see one this time, but their cake display was impressive nonetheless. The vivid colour of the macarons was very tempting indeed!
But of course I was here for the pie, and since they had the Beef, Blue Cheese and Porcini Pie available, I decided to forego non-beef eating to try it.
The pie was as delicious as I remembered it - nice, chunky pieces of real beef mixed with the umami flavour of porcini make for an excellent, up-market spin on the usually tasteless mushrooms of a standard steak and mushroom pie. Best of all though is the generous injection of blue cheese, its stinky deliciousness providing even more flavour to the proceedings. I've had better pastry at other bakeries, but as a whole this is a truly impressive pie.
Alissa was not quite feeling the idea of a pie for breakfast, and went with a nice Ham, Cheese and Tomato croissant in the display. The quality of the croissant was very good but was very much what you'd expect from this fairly standard filling combination - definitely not quite up there with the incredible croissants at Salon de Joel Robuchon in Hong Kong. Still, Alissa was very satisfied with her breakfast.
With the cake display calling to Alissa, we decided to have a sweet treat each. Not wanting anything too huge and my favourite cherry pie not available, I went with the Chocolate Mousse Cake. I'm more of a fruit-based dessert fan, but this was a good chocolate mousse cake - smooth, airy and with a richness that ensured I was well and truly full by the end of it.
Having worked at a few cafes Alissa is something of a connoisseur of carrot cake, and on the drive home went over all the criteria for a good one. The cake has to be moist but dense, sweet but not sickeningly so, filled with a decent amount of nuts and carrot and topped with a good cream cheese icing. Jaylea's Carrot Cake ticked all the boxes, and left Alissa very satisfied.
The Verdict: Very Good
It's always great to see a local business doing well, and returning to find the new Jaylea's doing very well was a lovely surprise. While they are justifiably most famous for their posh pies, they're strong performers across the board - their carrot cake definitely impressed Alissa and I was happy with my chocolate mousse cake. Though it was not available this time the cherry pie they make is amazing - if you're going for a sweet dish please try it. Considering we got our breakfast for about $17, its very good value too. For northerners, I wouldn't suggest driving all the way just to eat here, but for those in the inner south Jaylea's are well worth it.