As you approach Pasticceria Papa, you will inevitably join a queue which proceeds passed the front door. Trust me it is worth the wait. Once you enter, you will be able to view the start of the display cabinets, and the famous baked ricotta cheesecake will be the first thing in sight. It is a good idea to bring someone along with you, so when one person is waiting patiently in the queue, the other can browse all the goodies.
The torta de ricotta (baked ricotta cheesecake) is undoubtedly the most famous item of the shop ($4.10 a slice). It is thoroughly delectable and truly lives up to all they hype. The crust tastes like a soft shortcrust pastry, lightly dusted with icing sugar and cinnamon. The cinnamon really give an extra dimension, just like cinnamon on Portuguese tarts. The inside is a soft creamy ricotta mixture, which is not very sweet, which I really like.
I would also recommend the passionfruit, blueberry or strawberry cheesecake. This is not like any ordinary cheesecake.The ricotta makes the cake light and creamy, and not too dense, rich or sickly sweet like some other cheesecakes. The thin fruit gelatin layer is a great offset to the ricotta.
The other ricotta item I would recommend is the ricotta cannoli. There are two sizes, and three flavours of cannoli – chocolate and vanilla custard fillings and ricotta. Ricotta is by far my favourite of the three.
There is a small cafe portion to the establishment. There is an inside and outside section. The coffee is decent here, with a take-away or dine-in option, but be warned, at a busy time you might be waiting a little while.
The bread is also a good purchase at $2 a loaf.
As an accompaniment to the crusty, freshly baked bread, I would highly recommend a trip to the nearby family-owned cheese factory in Marrickville – Paesanella Cheese Manufacturers. It is honestly to die for!
Overall, I can honestly place hand over heart and say that everything I’ve ever tasted at Pasticceria Papa has been delicious. I have never left feeling disappointed … it was a close shave once when I arrived near closing time and they had almost sold out of cakes, but I was lucky enough to still nab one. Lesson is to come early in the day so you have a broad selection to still pick from.
value for money 7.5/10