Sausage Roll Review: Banjo’s, Moseley Square, Glenelg

Approaching the bloodthirsty climax of Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam War tour de force Apocalypse Now there’s a scene in which Colonel Kurtz: bloated, monstrous, world-weary, insane, hidden in the jungle dark, murmurs to his would-be assassin Captain Willard, “Get me a sausage roll.”

 

Sadly for film aficionados this didn’t make the final edit, but the idea translates into contemporary living.

 

With thoughts of luncheon foodstuffs swimming before me like the haze of the Mekong River delta I ventured to Moseley Square, which hosts a new bakery, named Banjo’s. Like fruit bats or swine flu South Australia is the final challenge in their plan to colonise our country.

 

It’s a bright and spacious retailer with swarms of tables and chairs and a large menu board. The first problem occurred as I peered into a glass display case, otherwise warm and oddly exciting.

 

A cheery, young thing hovered behind the counter.

 

“Someone chopped all your sausage rolls in half,” I noted.

 

“This is how we make them,” she retorted rather obviously, I thought. A bit like saying, “Ouch, that hurt,” when a white pointer makes off with your favourite leg.

 

“Oh.” I wasn’t keen on an argument, just a full-sized sausage roll. They were all squat and abbreviated. What fresh madness is this I moaned inwardly.

 

“We have an offer,” she continued eagerly, entirely unlike Bill Murray’s character Phil in Groundhog Day. “You can buy three for $5.60.”

 

This seemed better than a half sausage roll for $2.70, so me and my gizzard signed up.

 

Francis Ford Coppola himself would’ve enjoyed the mis en scene of my outside table, two happy dogs and Glenelg’s seaside square, on a spring afternoon.

 

I sat with my trio of sausage rolls which might’ve been described by a minor character in Apocalypse Now (the plantation scene) as trio de petits pains aux saucisses.

 

I began modestly, with the traditional version. It was appropriately hot and the pastry was flaky and sweet, but not sweaty as it can often be at times. Taking a bite I examined the innards. It was alarmingly pink and pale, and I must report, tasted just this way. If I ran a photocopying franchise, I’d analyse it as being a crappy copy of what must now be an insulted, illustrious original.

 

A sausage roll should possess subtle spiciness.

 

Coming in after this golden ball duck, the next batsman was nervous. It was curry and chickpea. Yes, in a sausage roll. Does this strike you as being overly-ambitious for a common or garden sausage roll? It did me, but I found it pleasant enough to endure, although I’m unlikely to venture there again, which is what visitors say about the North Wagga Wagga RSL.

 

The dogs next to me continued to show interest while their female owners chatted. Apparently Corey had disappointed Kylie. And not for the first time either. In fact, he had been poorly behaved for a while. Move him on Kylie I thought. You’re better than that.

 

About my third sausage roll the bakery server (Hello, my name’s Siobhan and I’ll be your server today) said, “It looks like a sausage roll but tastes like a pasty as it has the same ingredients.” She smiled at me and I wept for the future.

 

Sweet Jesus I said to myself (if there’s kiddies watching flip the screen down now). What the actual fuck are these people doing?

 

Happily my inner monologue stayed just that.

 

I ate it outside in the warm sun, and you’ll be comforted to hear that it tasted just like a pasty although like a shape-shifter in a dreadful teen horror movie it was dressed up as a sausage roll.

 

Why?

 

Having set off earlier with pure intentions and a simplicity in my heart, my dream of a single, uncomplicated sausage roll had become overly complex. Banjo’s had not been in tune.

 

No wonder Colonel Kurtz went mad.

 

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About Mickey Randall

Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption Favourite song: Khe Sahn Favourite holiday destination: Gold Coast Favourite food: steak Favourite beer: VB Best player seen: Dogga Worst player seen: Frogga Last score on beep test: 3.14159 Favourite minor character in Joyce’s Ulysses: Punch Costello

Comments

  1. Last time I was in Adelaide (2009), I went to a bakery on Anzac Highway, where the pies and pasties were good.
    If it was not the Orange Spot, it was its predecessor!

  2. I reckon it was the Orange Spot back then too. While not inexpensive it’s good. I understand Kellie Underwood used to work there. It’s always massively busy.

  3. Colin Ritchie says

    One of my joys when on the road travelling is to find the local bakery and buy a pie, and sometimes, just sometimes, a vanilla slice as well! I find the smaller the town, the better the pies seem to be, in many cases the bakery is a family concern that has carried on for many years and have obviously got their pies down pat.

  4. Thanks Col. Agreed but I can’t imagine there’s a regional bakery in this country that’s not won an award or competition. But, the vanilla slice is a whole topic of conversation too!

  5. You know what they say about sausage rolls that taste like pasties don’t you? X

  6. Mark Duffett says

    Having been acquainted with a Banjo’s sausage roll or two in their native Tasmanian habitat, Mickey, for mine you’re selling them slightly, er, short. What they lack in length they at least somewhat make up for in diameter. More field research to establish a statistically significant basis for robust volumetric comparison may be called for.

    But not with curry and chickpea. Who ever heard of a curry and chick pea sausage? I rest my case.

  7. Yes, fair point Mark. While Banjo’s would likely argue that these are not sausage rolls but as their website suggests “savoury rolls” for me the aesthetic and eating experience requires a sausage shape to the roll. There’s a weight of historical and cultural expectation at play too. I know this is a conservative view, but don’t start me on deconstructed vegemite toast either! Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Sweet Thyme Cafe in Winchelsea Victoria, the BEST sausage rolls in the WORLD, made on the premises and all gone before lunchtime they are sooooo good, and so big you can only eat one, getting hungry just thinking about it ….

  9. Someone- thanks for the reminder.

    Gerry- if it’s possible or even sensible to have a sausage roll bucket list (too many sausage rolls and you kick the bucket earlier) then Sweet Thyme Café makes the cut. Brilliant. Thanks.

  10. There are websites set up solely to critique parmas Mickey, maybe the world requires one for sausage rolls ….. and vanilla slices too perhaps, but they are not featured on my culinary delights

  11. Thanks for the review, Mickey.
    I am partial to a good bakery, so this review will certainly assist for the next time I am in Glenelg.

    For what it’s worth, the best bakery I have ever been to in this country is Jackman & McRoss in Battery Point. The best coffee, and big sausage rolls which are to die for.

  12. And, may I add, that I am a sucker for any piece of writing which references my favorite ever film.

  13. Smokie- Battery Point is among my favourite places in the country. The Shipwrights Arms, the Prince of Wales and now, you tell me, a mighty bakery. Sensational.

    Years ago, pre-boys, Apocalypse Now Redux had just been released and I trotted down to the local cinema one Sunday night to watch it. Being the only person at a film screening was one of those weird aspirations I had and a couple minutes in, I thought the megaplex was all mine. Then two people wandered in. Disappointing. While the film was excellent I can see why much of it like the second playboy bunnies scene was omitted the first time.

    Thanks Smokie.

    Gerry- I like your thinking on this. Good idea.

  14. Snowy from Busso says

    Had a sausage roll from Banjos Megan’s, Tasmania.The inside was a strange orange colour

  15. Snowy from Busso says

    Legana not Megan’s ?

  16. Entertaining as always,Mickey

  17. Snowy- The inside was a disconcerting colour that reminded me of saucepan water after cooking hot dogs (saveloys). I’m seeking a bolder, reassuring hue in my sausage rolls (aren’t we all?).

    Thanks Rulebook. I’m guessing you’re a Vili’s man given the traditional connection to the Norwood footy club.

  18. roger lowrey says

    Sorry Mickey. I missed this one last week.

    As I think I may have posted before, the verdict around Geelong & Western District types is a tie between Chitticks of Warrnambool and Clarkes of Mortlake. When we Geelong folk are down that way it is quite common for us to stock up and distribute the booty around friends upon arrival back in Cats town.

    As an indestructible young fella some time ago I made it a habit to have a Chitticks pie at each of the three days of the Grand Annual carnival. These days I try to keep it to two – and have a Clarkes on the way home!

    Routleys of Geelong go OK but I wouldn’t die in a ditch for them like I would the other two.

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