Sorrows end in snot (block)

I hadn’t been to Aldi for a while but I was shocked to see that their fresh bread cabinet had completely disappeared. When I enquired at the checkout, the attendant informed me that they were no longer doing fresh baked products across all Australian stores. ūüė¶

I was really sad as their $1.99 tiger loaf was absolutely delicious at a bargain price. So I went to drown my sorrows in a packet of small frozen vanilla slices (also known as ‘snot blocks’ in Australia). It seemed easy enough, just defrost the portions for 20 minutes at room temperature and then they are ready to go.

Not exactly like the real thing from your local bakery as the custard is very light, but still, a tasty tiny morsel that is ready in a matter of minutes. Tee hee, so cute and teeny tiny.

Koi Dessert Bar

This was the last stop of the day during our epic progressive foodie tour across Sydney CBD. We had booked Koi Dessert bar several weeks beforehand and we tried to keep enough stomach space to enjoy their famous delightful desserts.Complimentary bread and butter~

Set dinner ($77.oo pp)

first course

Eggplant

steamed eggplant, trout roe, eschalots and smoked eggplant broth

This arrived so quickly and the portion was so small, I had initially mistaken it for an amuse bouche. I loved the clean presentation but I found the broth’s harsh eggplant burnt taste too much like baba ganoush, which I’m not really a fan of.

second course

Quack

duck breast, micro green, cherries and cherry reduction

I loved how they cut the cherries in tiny little precise wedges; they made for gorgeous adorning presentation and provided just that little bit of sweetness to the duck. There was a good meat to fat to skin ratio, it was just a shame that it was all over in a matter of a few bites.

third course

Angus

Angus beef with wagyu bresaola, burnt onion and mushroom puree (cooked medium rare)

After my first bite, I thought I really enjoyed this course until I realised what I really like was the mushroom puree. We were all a bit disappointed as the duck course had set the bar high and the beef was hard to cut and a little chewy.

fourth course

Vanilla Cherry

vanilla mousse, frozen raspberry, blackberry gel, cherry slices and long pepper

Oh wow, I loved the way they presented the cherries. The mousse was super delicate and carried well to sweeten the flavours from all the fruit. Despite the presence of long pepper, there was only a subtle amount of heat. This was delicious.

fifth course

Typical chocolate

summer berries, chocolate, citrus and caramel. We were advised to start with berries and ending with caramel

It was no surprise that chocolate paired well with berries but I made a disgusted face when I bit into the burnt citrus; it was a very harsh flavour and I did not enjoy it. The caramel was a beautiful way to finish off the dessert though, I could just sit and eat that all day.

optional sixth course ($20.00) 

We were all super full from the day’s events but we weren’t one to miss out on a course even if it was optional. It was nice that they let us order one to share between the four of us.

Moss

pistachio mousse, caramel gel, white chocolate matcha dulce cremeux, pistachio sponge, matcha moss, apple blossom jelly, nitro lime and yoghurt and green apple

Many different components to this dish and I can’t say that I could taste them all even though I was careful to get a bit of everything on my spoon. The strong flavours to me came from the nitro lime, yoghurt, white chocolate and apple. I liked how the sour and sweet notes were subsided with the yoghurt and white chocolate.

seventh course

Cheesecake

lime cheesecake mousse, brown butter and shiso.

I loved who they made a well out of the cream cheese in this deconstructed cheesecake, I might use that idea if I ever try to recreate something similar. Like all of the previous desserts, this was not a heavy dessert that was OTT; they really understand the balance of flavours and textures.We felt a little up and down about the mains but when the desserts came out, it felt like I was eating at another restaurant. It was seriously next level! And although we had eaten four desserts, I never did feel like something was too sweet or heavy that I couldn’t finish it. I will definitely have to bring TimmyC with me next time I come.

Venue: Koi Dessert Bar

Address: 46 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

Phone: (02) 9212 1230

KOI Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gumnut patisserie is a must!

I will stop and talk to anyone who will listen to¬†rave about Gumnut Patisserie.¬†The last three things I’ve eaten from there was phenomenal. Sorry about the price¬†uncertainty, I was too excited about my baked goods to notice.

The award winning¬†vanilla slice¬†($6.00?) was fabulous, ticking all the boxes by having great pastry, a rich custard topped with a sweet marbled icing.Caramel and macadamia tart ($30.00?). My great friends took a stab in the dark when choosing my birthday cake but little did they realise that this is my favourite tart from the patisserie. The whole tart is generously studded with macadamias, embedded in a not too sweet caramel which leaves you wanting more.Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce ($32.00?). I asked how to serve it¬†and they said to microwave each individual slice and just to spoon on a helping of sauce and it just melted perfectly. The pudding wasn’t dense and overly sweet like you would ¬†get in a Sara Lee version, it was more of a tall fluffy cake studded with dates.Catch them at their various locations in Bowral, Berrima and Mittagong.
Gumnut Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sabor in the Hunter Lovedale

So it turns out that the dessert cafe Sabor has two locations: one that the locals know about (and now you), which is away from all the hustle and bustle of the vineyards and one located within a winery in the gorgeous Pokolbin area. Both venues have beautiful cakes and chocolates to tempt the young and old.

As you step in you can smell the sweetness in the air. We walked past the chocolate truffles and locally made cookies to be met with two large glass cabinets filled with eye catching desserts. ‘You can only choose one’ I thought to myself as much as I wanted one of everything and chocolates to go. I was tempted with the tasting plate which seemed to be the indecisive person’s easy way out as it had a range of five minature desserts.

Please forgive the bad photos, I took two quick photos and then had to make some very big decisions.Caramel and hazelnut cone milk chocolate and praline mousse, centered with a caramel creme, sitting on a chocolate sponge and a crushed hazelnut halo (around $14.00 dine in).¬†After much deliberation, I had chosen the caramel hazelnut cone. It looked very glamorous and upon reading the description I thought it would be fairly light. There wasn’t much complexity to the flavours, it was like a light chocolate mousse with a nutty after taste if you got some nuts in the bite.

Red velvet and summer berry cheesecake a moist red velvet cake set upon a croquant base, doused in raspberry coulis then buried in a summer berry cheesecake, encased with a raspberry glitter glaze topped with a blueberries and blueberry crumble ($14.00 dine in). This dessert was visually stunning and even though it wasn’t mine, I instagrammed it but not without at least taking a bite to taste. I was surprised to see¬†a cake encased in cheesecake which definitely took this to the next level. I thought the way that the glitter glistened in the light was beautiful.
Carmel cheesecake a baked cheesecake in a sweet pastry case topped with a generous swirl of caramel and sprinkled with chocolate flakes ($11.00). Karma would have it that I teased my friend for getting such a simple looking dessert and I preferred his over mine. We were disappointed that there wasn’t caramel throughout the cheesecake and just on top but the cream cheese made this dessert not as sweet as the others.On a day with beautiful weather and nothing but picturesque surroundings on one side, this would be the perfect place to catch up with friends or indulge for a special occasion.Venue: Sabor¬†in the Hunter Lovedale

Address: 319 Wilderness Road, Lovedale / Rothbury

Phone: 1300 958 850

Opening hours:
Saturday 10am – 4.30pm
Sunday 10am – 4.30pm (unless sold out)

Website: https://saborinthehunter.com.au/
Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Petit Feast – Buvette

I tagged along to the launch of Buvette‘s Petit Feast as a guest of fellow blogger The Food Avenue (go check out her awesome site here). I had been to Buvette before and didn’t love their dinner but after reading FoodPornJournal’s blog (see her dinner experience here), I saw that within a few months there were stark differences between our visits and I was excited to give Buvette another chance.

We were quickly seated and asked what we wanted for drinks. There was complimentary ros√© on arrival but the waitress said I could substitute it for a soft drink or a juice so I chose an apple juice. They also offer mimosas which are bottomless sparkling and orange juice topped up all afternoon for only $15.00 per person.

Petit Feast includes one glass of ros√© on arrival ($65.00 pp). The Petit Feast is anything but petite. For me, it was essentially a unisex high tea served on slates that encourages all day grazing. The feast is served in two ‘courses’, starting off with savoury and then followed by sweets.

Chef’s selection of charcuterie, duck liver parfait, oysters, quiches, mini sandwiches, olives and cheese. I was impressed with the serving size. We each got a plate with two finger sandwiches, a vegetarian quiche, a delicious slice of marinated eggplant, a natural oyster, a medley of marinated olives, two wedges of cheese and a hot beef pie. And that was just the beginning. We then were given the most delicious bread and butter to share (even though I was full at the end, I was still tempted to order more bread and butter) as well as a charcuterie board consisting of salami, lavosh bread, prosciutto, rillettes and a duck liver parfait. Although I pretty much loved everything and finished all my cheese, my favourite shout outs would have to be: the eggplant (it looks simple but the flavours were oh so good), the cheese, the humble bread and butter, the salami, the proscuitto and I surprisingly didn’t mind the duck liver parfait. Mini tartlets, profiteroles, tiramisu, friands and macarons. Half way through our savoury, the slate of sweets arrive at our table and we are blown away. Not only was it visually stunning, it was BIG! There was one of everything for the both of us, which meant that Miss Avenue didn’t have to miss out. ūüėČ There was tiramisu, a profiterole, chocolate brownie, pistachio and raspberry friands, lemon meringue tartlet, a chocolate macaron and a very decadent chocolate tart topped with salted caramel popcorn (I couldn’t finish it all because it was so rich). My absolute favourites would include the tiramisu, lemon meringue tartlet and the moist friands.I loved that the sweets came out half way through the savoury course because it meant that I could flick back and forth between the two and I usually like ending on savoury. Seriously, even though it is technically not a ‘high tea’, it has got to be one of the best high tea like objects in Canberra (and I’ve eaten a wide range). This all day grazing style food in addition to fabulous company really makes for a great day. I would happily encourage everyone to go and try it out for yourselves. I know I’ll be going back.

Venue: Buvette

Event: Petit Feast every Saturdays between 11:30am – 2:30am

$65.00 per person

Address: 18 National Circuit, Barton ACT

Phone: (02) 6163 1818
Buvette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Rustica Sourdough¬†Bakery- Melbourne series

I am a massive fan of Pierre Herme’s Ispahan macaron, so you could imagine the excitement on my face when I came across an Instagram photo of an¬†Ispahan croissant from Rustica Sourdough¬†Bakery;¬†it¬†was one of my few food requests while we were in Melbourne visiting TimmyC’s trendy cousin and she took us there for brunch.I was trying to concentrate on what I wanted for breakfast but it was a bit hard when their display cabinet had the most beautiful and enticing pastries and sweets. I believe this is the very definition of food porn! Wow, it was really amazing to see. One of the biggest food regrets that I have is that we didn’t order that blueberry danish pastry.

Our meals arrived pretty promptly which was good because we were getting hungry.Scrambled chilli eggs with spring onion, coriander, bacon, shaved pecorino and sourdough ($16.50). Once I eventually dragged myself away from the counter and sat myself down to look at the menu, I knew exactly what I wanted within 5 seconds (which never happens). This had everything that I would want in a savoury breakfast and it was delicious! I personally would have upped the chilli just a little.Eggs anyway on sourdough ($9.00) ¬†potato hash ($3.00).¬†Lobster eggs benedict lobster, apple, green salad, poached eggs, hollandaise and a brioche bun ($22.00). I believe this is when my sister would say “that’s what rich people eat”. Lobster for breakfast, why not? I particularly liked the sweetness and crisp texture of the apple and sweet salad.We finished everything but the brioche bun, it was too filling so we only ate half of it.Cronut¬†salted caramel?¬†($6.50). Now I don’t¬†remember the exact flavour of the cronut but it doesn’t matter because it was hands down the best one I have ever eaten. It was so buttery and sweet but what was perfection was the texture. As you bite down you could feel all the pastry layers break, I’m drooling just thinking about it again.Ispahan Croissant twice baked, rose, lychee, almond, raspberry ($6.50). I know this croissant is why we came to this bakery but in comparison to the cronut, it wasn’t as good. It had nice rose and raspberry flavour through it, although I couldn’t detect any lychee flavours.I¬†seriously wish I grabbed a sour dough under my arm on the way out so I had something to munch on at the airport. I really want to come back here and eat more!

 

Venue: Rustica Sourdough Bakery

Address: 402 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Phone: (03) 9417 7775

Website: http://rusticasourdough.com.au/
Rustica Sourdough Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

La Sable Patisserie 

A friend had told me about La Sable Patisserie a few weeks ago (thanks Katie!) and ever since I saw her photos, I had food envy and wanted to go ASAP.

I justified a bakery breakfast before a whole weekend of eating in Sydney by telling TimmyC that we didn’t have time to eat breakfast at home because we were running late and that La Sable Patisserie was on the way anyway. I didn’t mention the fact that I haven’t been there before and I was excited for another patisserie¬†to join the Canberra scene, but surely he would have known that as I was taking lots of photos with a big smile on my face. It was easy to find where La Sable was because¬†everyone else in Mitchell was there too.Some people enjoying the lovely sun and some tasty¬†bakery treats.¬†This is the beautiful cake that they had on display at the¬†One Fine Day Wedding NightHmm what to choose?Croissant ($3.00). This was a super buttery and flakey croissant not¬†dry and bready like most¬†bakeries. As Tim was eating it in front of me I was getting shards of pastry raining all over me and we both had to dust ourselves off before getting in the car.Macaroons ($3.00 each).¬†We were sceptical about their macarons because their sign is labelled macaroons… If you don’t know what it is, that can’t be a good start but despite our initial hesitancy we order one anyway. The texture was okay but I wouldn’t have¬†guessed the flavour, it tasted slightly alcoholic from their rum soaked raisins and I would have guessed tiramisu or something.Chicken and leek gourmet pie ($7.50). The pie filling was super thick and so when you bite into it nothing really leaked out which was handy. I’m more of a beef pie girl but I let TimmyC decide the pie flavour,¬†it must mean¬†that I have to go back to try their beef pie.Choux pastry ($5¬†ish based on change?). A nice choux pastry filled with subtle sweet custard enrobed with a sticky hard toffee. It is clever that they put two together because one is never enough.¬†

Everything is made on site from their pastries to their chocolate and their elaborate wedding cakes.

The secret is out about this place, going there over the¬†weekend was busy and people just kept on flowing in.¬†I would really like to go back and try other things like their vanilla slice, tarts, beef pie and sausage rolls.¬†Items in the cabinet must change all the time because Food Porn Journal happen to go¬†a couple of hours after I did and she didn’t have the same¬†choices, see her post here.

Venue: La Sable Patisserie

Address: 83 Lysaght St Mitchell, ACT

Phone: 02 6241 2966
La Sable Patisserie on Urbanspoon

 

Bharat International re-run

It has been a while since I’ve blogged about Bharat International, but I have been going there on and off for years. Although, I felt that the food and cleanliness of the area was going downhill during my last visit and so I’ve held off on going back until a work colleague¬†mentioned¬†that when he went to get some sweets before Diwali that there were new owners and that the place looked a little different.

I had hoped the change was for the better as Bharat International was my window into traditional Indian food and sweets that you wouldn’t usually find in Indian restaurants that¬†have made all their dishes more mild and creamy to suit the Australian¬†palette.IMG_9562The differences are subtle but the place looked a lot cleaner, they have shuffled things around and most importantly they still serve¬†choley bhature! It is still an ‘order and pay’ at the front counter situation but they don’t have the flashing number in the dining area and instead they yell out the ticket number which can be sometimes missed if you’re talking excitedly amongst friends.

I went with my friend who has an Indian background and I had many questions to ask him as I read the menu. Besides the usual lunch menu, the new owners have expanded and added a list of chef specials of curries and specialty items. Additionally they have also added ‘thali‘¬†options, so someone could taste an array of different things with the added bonus of a discounted price.

Pani puri ($4.99). I have never seen this in my life! It was handy to have a friend who knew what he was doing. He quickly put spoonfuls of the centre liquid in each delicate crunchy ‘basket’ and we quickly put the whole thing in our mouths. It was unexpectedly really cold on my teeth but eventually my teeth got used to the temperature and I started to explore the taste sensation of tamarind sweet and sour water balanced out by potatoes and onions with a crunchy texture. The second ‘shot’ of pani puri, I was more prepared for the temperature against my teeth and it was much nicer.

Have you seen anything like this? If I wasn’t with my friend, I wouldn’t know how to eat this.IMG_9582Chat papri ($5.99). This is a little harder to share but in my mind it was like adding the shards of pastry from a samosa to a pool of yoghurt, tamarind chutney¬†and hint of mint. These delicious mouthfuls was like eating a broken vegetarian samosa with lashings of sauce added on top and I would definitely get this again; I just have to remember what it is called. :/

Chat papri is pictured on the right next to the choley (chickpea curry).IMG_9574Choley Bhature. I still love this dish, the bread¬†is a little oily but it goes really well with the chick pea curry, onions and pickles. We are all familiar with naan, roti and other Indian breads but I’ve never come across bhature until I went to Bharat International.IMG_9572Malai kofta ($13.99). Okay I’ve fallen in love with the ‘Westernised’ version of this from another restaurant so when this didn’t taste¬†exactly¬†the same, I wasn’t¬†the keenest on it although my friends tasted my sauce and absolutely loved it. The little patties were very potato-ey but I found the sauce to be a whole lot of cream and very bland. My friend proceeded to eat the rest of my dish as I moved onto something else.IMG_9579IMG_9581Rice ($2.50). This was a mountain of rice for $2.50, although it felt a little dry even for basmati rice.IMG_9576Mango lassi ($4.00?). Your average mango lassi, I had it in anticipation of coming across something hot. I thought it was a small serve.IMG_9575Goat curry. I couldn’t remember which one my friend ordered but she liked her curry a lot.IMG_9570Masala¬†dosa ($9.50). This was the crispiest crepe I’ve ever had and I loved it. The filling¬†consisted of strong curried potato flavours with mustard seeds and served with a side of something made mixed in with desiccated coconut. The accompanying sambar was nice but being a heavy meat eater I probably would have preferred a meat component¬†but I loved the crepe.IMG_9586A peek inside the masala dosa.IMG_9588An assortment of sweets. I’m not quite sure what any of these are called as my friend snuck off and surprised us with a plate of sweets to share but when he describes the process of making each sweet, it is elaborate! That clear looking one on the right is apparently made from pumpkin; it had a really interesting texture that was really syrupy.IMG_9591The shop is much more tidy and although differences were subtle, it makes a huge difference to the atmosphere and sets the new owners apart.IMG_9564They have moved the freezer section and added more freezers. It looks much better and more organised nowIMG_9569Not much difference in the dining area except for the TV screens showing Bollywood movies.IMG_9594I like coming here because when my friend describes the cooking and preparation of these Indian dishes, it sounds tedious and very laborious; it is much nicer to go somewhere and buy everything you want from savoury items and complex sweets. I would recommend not coming here just before Diwali as the line can be very long and slow as it seems like everyone in town is in there.

Human Brochure – Tea time at A. Baker

While trying to explore the most out of our surrounds, my friends and I opted to go next door to A. baker for some sweet treats after our lunch at the Parlour Room.

Everyone knew their drink orders well, but what to choose from the cake cabinet?IMG_6416.JPGThe boy of the group suggested we only needed three sweets between the four of us, but unfortunately majority rules and he was out voted by the other three women.IMG_6417.JPGCake cabinet~ All sweets were about $5.00 –¬†6.00¬†from memory.

Salted caramel Definitely one of the sweeter treats of the day but I did expect a lot sweeter based on the thickness of the caramel. It would have went nicely with a beverage but I prefer variety over having just one thing. Bring friends along so you can share and try more!IMG_6423.JPGChoc orange ricotta I know this combination isn’t for everyone but all the flavours work perfectly together.IMG_6425.JPGPumpkin and maple Ever since my American friend introduced me to pumpkin pies, I must say I’m a big fan! This might have contributed to the fact that this was my pick of the bunch!IMG_6418.JPGLemon meringue a humble classic! The lemon component could have been more tart but still executed well.IMG_6420.JPGYes we almost ordered one of everything…IMG_6427.JPGIt was a lovely way to end a wonderful long lunch, it was just a shame that some of us needed to return to work.

Chocolate D’Or – Robyn Rowe’s chocolates

I didn’t expect to head to Robyn Rowe’s straight after our brunch at Poachers pantry but then again I didn’t expect to eat two breakfasts that morning either. It is literally down the road from Poachers pantry, so it would be silly not to go to Chocolate D’Or!

Robyn serving happy customers who have driven quite a long way to visit her.IMG_4313.JPGA window into their operations and behind the scenes area.IMG_4312.JPGI wonder if the staff get paid in money or chocolate… I would choose a little from column A and a little from column B!IMG_4326.JPGThey have a nice patio to sit and enjoy their hand-made chocolates.IMG_4311.JPGMore seating out in the sun, if only it came¬†out to play.IMG_4310.JPGDespite being full, each couple ordered an assiette to share which consists of a hot chocolate (milk or dark), three chocolate truffles, a chocolate cup filled with ice cream and complete with a chocolate spoon ($18.00). It would be hard to choose only three truffles from their large range of flavours that they had but I told myself that one day I’ll get around to trying every flavour eventually.IMG_4333.JPGSea salted caramel, butterscotch schnapps truffle and a¬†caramel¬†raspberry. Chocolates are made weekly to ensure freshness as they don’t have a long shelf life in comparison to store bought chocolate. I found that this batch of sea salted caramel (which had always been our favourite) to be too salty and sharply drowned out the sweetness of the caramel rather than enhance it. The butterscotch schnapps didn’t impress me that much either but the raspberry caramel- wow! One of my new favourites!

A close up of the goodies on the plate.IMG_4337.JPGWe chose a dark hot chocolate because it was just as tasty as the milk (and TimmyC never usually goes for dark!), you have to stir quickly in order to avoid lumps.IMG_4332.JPGI ‚̧ their caramel raspberry truffle.IMG_4340.JPGI had also come out here to grab a gift for a dear friend, selections for his truffle box included: lime coconut zing, French vanilla, caramel raspberry and orange cr√©me truffle ($2.00 per truffle).IMG_4321.JPGHmmm, what to choose?IMG_4320.JPGA cute place to grab an afternoon tea¬†as well as grab a lovely gift for someone. After trying their cocoa nibs and chocolate callets, I couldn’t help but buy a block of chocolate for home. Do I dare state that I liked it more than Haighs plain chocolate? I’m a big fan of Callebaut.

According to their website, they have chocolate flavours which include Sea Salted Caramel, Belgian Style Café Truffles, Star Anise Truffles, Orange Créme Truffle, Banana Flambé, Minty, Chilli Chocolate, Caramel Raspberry Framboise, Aramatoquie Poire, (Pear), Open Sesame, Lime Coconut Zing and Caramel Speculaas. Ooooh caramel speculaas! My next flavour to try.

 

Venue: Chocolate D’Or

Address: 1153 Murrumbateman Rd Nanima, NSW

Phone: (02) 6227 0550

Website: robynrowechocolates.com.au

Chocolate D'Or on Urbanspoon

Burbury Hotel high tea

My wonderful foodie friend, fellow 101localhuman and blogger (see her fabulous blogs here and here,¬†I barely have time to write one blog, how does she write two!?) had arranged for a few of us to meet and exchange foodie news over high tea that the Burbury Hotel now hosts. I’ve always been on the hunt to try all the high teas in and around Canberra and am close to finishing the list. I was surprised to hear that the Burbury hotel now does high tea considering they have only used the Terrace area for functions and hotel breakfast but it is a good use of the space as it has gorgeous views of the city.

Taken from the website, their description is: “Perched on the rooftop of the award winning Burbury Hotel, the rooftop terrace overlooking the city, lake and leafy Barton will host Canberra‚Äôs most exclusive high tea. With a selection of finely made French cakes & tarts, delicate savouries and traditional scones, accompanied with TWG fine teas and freshly brewed coffee.”

Arriving at the 7th (top) floor, I was told my friends were already waiting. As I sat down to take in the beautiful views, the incredible amount of natural light this space has and quickly admiring other people’s sweets, I was promptly asked if I would like champagne to start to which I declined.

My friend’s bubbles.IMG_4403.JPGA very spacious area and I wasn’t surprised that it was filled with lots of girlfriends and young families catching up over some cake.IMG_4406.JPGThe tea menu was varied which meant something to suit everyone. I went with the ‘Napoleon‘ which had fragrant vanilla notes and I had it black with no added sugar (I figured I would get a huge sugar hit from the food anyway).IMG_4409.JPGMatching tea pots and tea cups.¬†IMG_4423.JPGFinally, the main event arrives! A high tea platter for three people. I did notice that we were short a pistachio cake and I wasn’t afraid to ask for another one to which they came back with two more of the little cakes.IMG_4420.JPGA break down of each tier:

Bottom tier~ I am a huge fan of catching up over cakes, TWG teas but I mainly went to catch up with my foodie friends. I miss how we all whip out all cameras and start clicking as soon as food arrives.

A close up of our brioche buns with salmon and crustless cucumber sandwiches. I was a little disheartened to find that there were no hot savouries on the platter and there was nothing interesting about the savouries choices either but they were a necessity to balance out the inevitable sugar high I would be on later that day. I carefully rationed out my savoury bites between all the sugary sweets.IMG_4412.JPGMiddle tier~

Plain and cranberry scones¬†with what looked like a fruit compote and cream. There was no way that those cute little pots contained enough ‘jam’ and cream for 6 scones,¬†so I asked for more as soon as we ran out. I was hoping that the plain scone was really a cheese scone because it had a weird dark glaze to it, but alas it wasn’t. Not the most ‘fluffiest’ scones and they weren’t warmed either but the condiments did the trick of hiding all the flaws.IMG_4426.JPGTop tier~

As cute as these selection of cakes were, I was lead to believe based on their photos and promos that there would be mini eclairs, macarons and profiteroles on this tier. ūüė¶

The top of the lemon tart (which was crazy tart btw) was like a weird marshmallow, the opera cake packed a big coffee punch, the chocolate tart was really sweet but I did love the popcorn and the mini friands were moist and okay.IMG_4419.JPGGluten free option~

It looked like a last minute creation when the two halves of a macaron was split into two and decorated with chocolate filling and berries on top.IMG_4424.JPGAn odd shaped gluten free roll served with ‘jam’ and cream.IMG_4425.JPGI don’t know if you’ve ever had untoasted gluten free thick sliced bread, but it’s not good.IMG_4427.JPGIt was a¬†cloudy wet day, but I could imagine on a gorgeous clear sunny day, this place would have beautiful views.IMG_4435.JPGOne of the last tables to leave as well as leaving all our mess.IMG_4436.JPGA mediore high tea at best but the views and the natural lighting is amazing. I would come again more for the atmosphere rather than the food, I do hope it improves though.

Venue: Hotel Burbury  (7th floor)

Address: 1 Burbury Close, Barton ACT 2600

Phone:  (02) 6173 2700

High tea: Friday РSunday 1pm to 4pm

Traditional $39.00 per person $20.00 per person (kids under 12)

Champagne $49.00 per person

Three eateries in 3.5 hours – Dessert Castle

It didn’t take long to literally drive down the street to our next destination¬†Dessert Castle but it did take¬†us a while to find it. I was trying to quickly Instagram between meals as TimmyC drove past the ANU street theatre, past Spicy Ginger cafe and then all the way near Dominos and Chatime. I would have been no help anyway because I didn’t have my glasses on (yes I’m getting old) so we decided to park first and then find it. Turns out it was just to our left next to Shanghai dumpling cafe. There was signs on the door but with dim colour changing lights on the inside it wasn’t particular obvious and it was lacking an outdoor sign from the ceiling.20140627-072557-26757367.jpgCould¬†you spot Dessert Castle easily from the street?20140627-072558-26758707.jpgI must admit, I had already made up my mind about this place before I even went there. I saw photos on other blogs and it just looked like a bigger selection of sub par cakes from a cafe looking awkward next to a bunch of froyo machines and some chocolate truffles, but TimmyC wanted to take me out to dinner and then dessert at Dessert Castle to make sure for ourselves. Fair enough, you can’t judge a venue without experiencing it for yourselves.

Inside was a lot smaller than I thought it would be. To your right is a wall of frozen yoghurt with lots of different flavours ranging from taro to peanut butter. At the far wall is the cake cabinet housing a large range of individual cakes, macarons and chocolate truffles while coming back around the other wall is the drinks, menu and cash register.

A big selection of macarons and chocolate truffles.20140627-072602-26762694.jpgA large glass¬†cabinet full of individual cakes and tarts.20140627-072601-26761353.jpgA big wall of froyo with about 10 flavours.20140627-072600-26760009.jpgEverything inside was very ‘busy’ between the ceiling, the ever changing coloured lights, the froyo wall and all the cake selection, it was hard to focus on just one thing.20140627-072648-26808996.jpgTimmyC couldn’t decide what to get and his eyes darted around like a kid in a candy store. I suggested he order the crepes from the menu which he did not see and he knew then straight away what he wanted. I opted for macarons and froyo to get a wider scope of the menu.

Despite the lumpy look of the macaron shells, I decided to get two. I asked if they were made on site and I was informed that three sources make their macarons but what I couldn’t understand was if there are three different suppliers/people making them, why did they all consistently look lumpy? Also some of the fillings looked like a split cake batter which I was a bit dubious about. They also said that they have a size requirement for their cakes, so that must mean they source those as well.

Macarons – Tim tam and salted caramel flavour ($2.50). I was relieved to find that the macarons had a great texture and they weren’t stale but unfortunately, all I could taste was sweetness and I couldn’t distinguish the flavours. There was a hint of salt in the salted caramel one but other than that, they just tasted really sweet.

Lump looking macarons but I took a chance.20140627-072647-26807476.jpgIt looks like my macaron had goosebumps.20140627-072910-26950210.jpgBut at least it had a good texture.20140627-072911-26951674.jpgOreo cheesecake ($6.50?). My friends ordered this cake and it tasted surprisingly really good, it tasted like a mix of white chocolate and oreo in a smooth cheese cake that wasn’t overly sweet or heavy.20140627-072645-26805658.jpgThis is a huge container, don’t fill it all up as the price is based on weight, $2.20 per 100g.20140627-072644-26804289.jpgI tried to choose my flavours wisely at the froyo section. I started off with nutella, then peanut butter which came out a different consistency, followed by cookies and cream, chocolate, cherry and plain. My taste tester tub, which looked like 50 shades of brown came to $7.05. The cherry flavour was TimmyC’s favourite, to me it tasted like a mouthful of pink nerds candy. My favourite (if I had to choose) would have been the Nutella but because this type of frozen yoghurt like most froyo franchises isn’t creamy, all the flavours tasted watered down (fancy fillings strawberry is still my favourite). You can also add toppings but I didn’t bother with any, the amount of people I saw licking their fingers from dripping froyo to the topping counter was disconcerting.20140627-072729-26849520.jpgPancakes with maple syrup, strawberries, banana, whipped cream all topped off with chocolate sauce ¬†($12.00). We thought ordering off the menu meant that it was a hot menu item but sadly everything was very cold. The pancakes had no ‘bend’ to them and felt crumbly when you cut through it while¬†all the condiments were OTT and too sweet. It might have been okay if you were under the age of 10 and you just wanted a sugar hit.20140627-072732-26852710.jpgThis is all we could finish of the pancakes before we gave up.20140627-072916-26956203.jpgCrepes¬†served¬†with strawberries, banana, vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream all topped off with chocolate sauce ¬†($12.00). Again, this was cold, underwhelming and too sweet.20140627-072735-26855868.jpg20140627-072734-26854249.jpgFlat white ($4.00). Nothing amazing about it but the slight bitter coffee taste was refreshing between all the sweet desserts.20140627-072731-26851107.jpgI wanted to like it, after all the staff were very friendly and asked us as they¬†walked past about what we thought. It was all underwhelming but I was surprised to find that what I thought¬†I would like the least being the best tasting dessert (the cheesecake). I guess I had high expectations of a place that had dedicated their whole store to¬†desserts that the calibre would be much higher.

After all the¬†sweetness and not being particularly satisfied, I asked one of my friends if they would like to go to the Golden Drum for a bit of supper. She was keen so we left Dessert Castle and started walking up the road when something magical happened….

Venue: Dessert Castle

Address: 35 Childers St Canberra, ACT 

Website: http://www.dessertcastle.com.au/

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