This page is dedicated to some of the restaurants that I visit where their Desserts are above standard, presented beautifully and have a taste to match. This site also has different cakes and designs that I have ordered and had the pleasure of eating that I would recommend.
Jerry Joy – Almond pancakes with Lemon Curd, Fresh Berries, Meringue and Cream Foam
Jerry Joy is located in Thornbury and comes to us from the previous owners of the well reputed The Foodrinkery – Seona and Damien Breen. Jerry Joy’s aim is to create simple and acessible dining in a space where families can come with their kids. The name comes from an old poem Seona’s nan used to read to all of the family about a naugthy little boy – once again the focus of family coming through. The cafe also caters for all sorts of dietary requirements and has an extensive menu that is beautifully presented. Coffee is from Axil Coffee Roasters.
The almond pancakes are not only beautifully plated but have wonderful flavours to match. The Almond pancakes were soft, fluffy pillows that worked well with the crunchy meringue and soft cream foam. The lemon curd added a tang with the berries providing freshness. A great combination!
A25 Pizzeria – Pannacotta with Rose Fairy Floss and Tiramasu
A25 Pizzeria is named after the autostrade (motorways) that connect Rome to the coastal town of Pescera and is owned and run by Remo Nicolini – who currently owns Non Solo Pasta (NSP) in Docklands. His brother Tony owns D.O.C – so there is no shortage of pizza and pasta experience. A25 is located on Chapel Street in South Yarra. The emphasis of A25 is to come up with new ways to make pizza and showcase some intriguing flavour combinations along with standard favourites – hence the tagline PIZZA IS SEXY! A25 provides a menu that is not only affordable but versatile – there is a pizza here for everyone – even if you are Gluten Free.
The picture here showcases two of the their desserts which are presented with perfection – the Pannacotta with Rose Fairy Floss was scrumptious – with the pannacotta being smooth like silk and had a great vanilla bean and rose flavour to it – the addition of the fairy floss completed the dessert experience. Their take on Tiramasu was unique and definitely something to try!
Desserts at Union Food & Wine – Coconut Tapioca with Ginger and Passionfruit – Soft Chocolate with Crème Fraiche, Chocolate
Union Food & wine is located in Melbourne’s inner-northwest at Ascot Vale and is top chef Stuary McVeigh (London’s Fitzrovia, The Botanical, Fenix, No. 35) first solo venture. The idea was to create a great neighbourhood bistro and he has achieved that to a tee. Union is a relaxed, spacious, light-filled spaced with a bright aqua green feature wall which I loved, serving a seasonally driven menu with roots in classic cooking and an emphasis on Australian produce which creates a balanced menu which has a mix of fancy and familiar. Union Food & Wine serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. The desserts pictured above were a stark contrast to each other – yet both tasted delicious. The Coconut Tapioca was my favourite – the tapioca was cooked to perfection and the combination of ginger and passionfruit worked seamlessly together. I cannot wait to go back to Union and try out their breakfast menu!
Jinda Thai – Layer Crepe with Mlik Tea Sauce
Jinda Thai is located in a laneway off Victoria Street in Richmond and is run by the Tanapat family (who also own Krua Thai in Richmond and St Kilda). Jinda Thai serves deliciously authentic Thai food of high quality and a reasonable price. The location is housed in an industrial-esque warehouse complemetned with exposed brick walls and a random mix of coloured tables. The night that we went – mind you it was a Sunday at 6pm – they were fully booked and we were told that there wouldn’t be a table until 8pm! So I highly advise that you book a table for whenever and whatever time you want to eat! Whilst we waited for our table we ordered drinks which I loved – think Traditional Thai Iced Milk Tea served in a jar – yum!
The food was spicy and delicious and just what I was craving but dessert was my all time favourite and what has started my obsession with the later crepe cakes. The layer crepes come in 5 different flavours (Green Tea, Milk Tea, Coconut, Vanilla just to name a few) and as you can see from the picture is simply spectacular. The layers are soft and the cream between them delicious – your fork literally glides across all the layers. The taste is heaven in a spoonful and I would defiintely recommend this to anyone! This will forever be on my all time favourites list!
Lucky Penny – Waffles with Waffles, Salted Soft Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream
Lucky Penny is located in the heart of Chapel Street (near Jam Factory) in South Yarra and is the brain child of successful entrepeneurs Justin Re and Matt ‘Lanis’ Lanigan who have partnered up with Vanessa Nitsos and Jason Chan owners of the award winning Lady Bower, Reservoir (One of the many breakfast places on my list to try out!). Lucky Penny have an all day breakfast / brunch menu and ensure that they seasonal fresh and locally sourced produce to provide us with good food and great tasting coffee. This has to be one of my favourite design and style cafes – the interior is influenced with a Scandinavian vibe combined together with vintage modernism – think white wood and funky accents in the form of jars, flowers etc.
The Waffles with Waffles – such an intriguing name is just that – waffles served with waffle cones complemented with ice cream and a dollop of salted soft chocolate. The dish is mighty impressive when it is placed in front of you – which entirely matches the flavours that you experience in every mouthful. The chocolate is silky smooth and full of chocolatey richness, the vanilla ice cream helps to tame the richness down with the sweetness of the waffle and the crunch of the waffle cone. Get down to Lucky Penny and try it out for yourself.
Sardi Cafe – Berry Bliss Smoothie – Mixed Berries, Coconut Milk, & Lychees
Sardi Cafe is located on Church Street in Hawthorn and has such a welcoming and funky fit-out with super friendly service to match! The cafe makes the most of its small space with seating both inside, outside and along the window. The brightly coloured cushions and modern furniture finish off this cafe nicely. As you approach the cafe you will find some equally awesome graffiti artwork that displays the name SARDI along with a cute coffee cup person. Sardi has an all day breakfast menu – think Breakky Board, Wild Mushroom Ragout as well as a Superfood Superbowl – as well as a lunch menu and the most delicious smoothies available as well. I have a soft spot for Lychees – so when I saw that the Berry Bliss contained lychees I had to try it – and boy am I glad that I did. It was not only refreshing but the flavours worked perfectly together! I would definitely recommend Sardi to anyone – both for the food and the smoothies! The owners have most recently opened up a sister cafe called Muharam Cafe as well which has a lovely courtyard out the back so you can enjoy the sunshine – and if you have pets this place is for you!
Providence – Breakfast Berry Clafoutis – Kind of like a baked pancake – Spring Berries, Toasted Almonds and Rhubarb Ice Cream
Providence Cafe is an unique cafe establishment as it is set on the ground floor of an aged care facility in Carlton – which has a great vibe for the grandparents to bring their grand children to. Opened by Michael and Eleena Tan who run a hospitality consulting business, Brand/Works, and part-own Hero Subs and The Grain Store – Providence brings about a bright cheer and delicious food to match. Ingredients are sourced organic where it can be, with a menu created by Chef Cate Hardman (ex-Sarti) and breakfast served till 3pm. Coffee here is from Code Black with green smoothies and freshly brewed Kombucha also available.
The Breakfast Berry Clafoutis was absolutely divine! The consistency was a cross between a pancake and a half cooked tart – the addition of the berries added a tang which worked well with the sweetness that was exuded. The almonds added a texture of crunch and the rhubarb ice cream completed the dish. A must try!
Mama’s Buoi – Coconut and Lime Panna Cotta – Dressed with Seasonal Tropical Fruits with a Ginger Syrup
Mama’s Buoi comes to you from the people that brought you Roll’d – Tin Ly together with Ray Esquieres, Bao and Angela Hoang ( his partners from Roll’d) – and fourth partner and General Manager Quintin Mansell – where they showcase their take on home-cooked Vietnamese cuisine. The aim of Mama’s Buoi is to bring you foods that you don’t normally find at just any Vietnamese restaurant but more at your best mates house.
This Coconut and Lime Panna Cotta was perfectly made with the flavours working sublimely together. The addition of seasonal fresh fruits together with the ginger syrup nicely rounded up the flavour palate. All the ingredients work seamlessly together to create a refreshing dessert that want to keep eating long after its over.
Townhouse – Brioche French Toast with Caramelised Banana, Coffee Mousse and Walnut Crumble
Keeping with the French Toast trend – French toast is one of my favourite dishes to order for breakfast! – I would highly recommend this French Toast from Townhouse. Townhouse is located on Toorak Road in Toorak and is set within the confines of an old townhouse with a feature wall that replicates the Tudor theme of the area. Townhouse is the second venture of Prospect Espresso’s Matt Ward and Mitchell Haworth, who are together in partnership with head chef Will Manning (Prospect Espresso, The Botanical and Verge). Breakfast is served until 3pm and there is great changing blend and single-origins from boutique roasters such as Proud Mary, Mailing Room, Seven Seeds and Code Black. Townhouse also offers cold drip and Vietnamese-style iced coffee.
I love that this dish is served on a board and that each of the elements are placed seperately around the main attraction – the French Toast itself. THis allows you to decide how much of each component you want in each mouthful – down to the maple syrup. The Coffee Mousse is the highlight of the dish and works superbly with the walnut crumble and the sweetness of the banana. A must try!
The Hardware Societe – Brioche French Toast with Strawberries and Meringue
The Hardware Societe is one of those Melbourne laneway cafes where you can expect to find a line no matter how early or what day you go – it is that popular and rightly so. Their menu is not only extensive and covers a range of breakfast / brunch options but is uniquely Melbourne. On this Saturday we had to wait for around 30 minutes for a table of 6 (at Hardware Societe you cannot make a booking for a table, but you can put your name down and wait in line to be called – but note that everyone from your party must be present before you are seated – if not you won’t be allowed to your table! – this I thought was quite a pain!) However, once you are seated inside and see the arrival of your food – your wait time is long forgotten. Dishes are cleanly and well presented and taste delicious. This Brioche French Toast with Strawberries and Meringue was a special for the day and was absolutely divine! Head chef, Jean Paul Dargan, is devoted to using seasonal produce, which is yet another reason to visit and try out their spectacular menu.
Supernormal is Chef Andrew McConnell’s new restaurant in Flinders Lane, Melbourne which serves Asian inspired food. The Peanut Butter Parfait dessert is the most talked about dessert when visiting Supernormal – it has come across from the Golden Fields menu and therefore was a must try for us. I have said this before – I am not a huge fan of peanut butter and wasn’t quite sure whether I would quite enjoy this dessert. However I was quite taken by this dessert – the parfait was creamy paired with the gooey salted caramel and together with the scoop of soft chocolate worked really well together, and the peanutty taste wasn’t quite strong ( I avoided the sprinkling of crushed peanuts around the parfait). It was quite an indulgent dish that would definitely be one for the peanut lovers.
The Soft Meringue, Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt, Apple & Shiso was quite a light and refreshing dessert and was a stark contrast to the Peanut Butter Parfait dessert. The meringues were like soft sweet pillows that melted in your mouth and worked well together with the sharp tang and element of coldness of the apple and shiso granita. Both desserts were different to each other and would be worth trying out when you do visit Supernormal. You can check out my previous post of Supernomal Canteen Pop up that was opened previously at https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/supernormal-canteen-another-mcconnell-gem/
Sezar – Vanilla Parfait – Strawberries, Pistachio and Rose Water Syrup
Sezar is fast becoming one of my favourite restaurant and one that I recommend to most people when they ask me for a dinner place in the Melbourne CBD. You can refer to my full review at https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/sezar-armenian-hit/. On this night – some of my work colleagues had organized to have dinner – however due to my long work hours I only managed to make it in time for dessert – but tasting this dessert definitely made my day. The combination of strawberries, rose water syrup and pistachios were heavenly. The coolness of the parfait together with the crunch of the nuts and rose flavouring were delicious. Definitely something that I would recommend – especially if you have had a long day at the office!
Pomodoro Sardo – Tiramasu
I am a HUGGEEEE fan of Tiramasu – especially when it is made in house and minus the marsala wine that most places usually use. Here at Pomodoro Sardo this is exactly what they have and they are quite generous with their serving portions as well. Sorry no sharing for me – and trust me when you take one mouthful you wouldn’t want to share either. Each layer has been lovingly prepared and the taste overall is perfection. Eat now – feel guilty later I say!
Pomodoro Sardo recreates the ambiance of traditional Sardinia – “Taste of Sardinia” by using only fresh ingredients and old family recipes combined together with an atmosphere of relaxation, sharing and enjoying each others company. They are located in the heart of the city at 118 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.
Movenpick – Blackcurrant & Cream
Who doesn’t love a good ice cream? Movenpick has been around since the 1960s where it began in the kitchen of fine Swiss restaurants that built their reputation on a revolutionary concept of culinary excellence across the menu. In the manner of great chefs, their passion drove them in a constant search for new possibilities of taste and texture. And so they were naturally passionate innovators too. Movenpick was one of the first ice cream makers to offer a recipe with inclusions – such as ripples, sauces and pieces.
This Blackcurrant & Cream flavour is absolutely divine. You don’t find the true flaovuring of blackcurrant in many places, it at all. The combination of the tangy yet sweet blackcurrant together with the cream is perfection. A friend raved about this flavour which is what piqued my interest to try it out and I am glad she did. Try it for yourself!
There are a number of Movenpick locations around Melbourne, or Australia for that matter so have a look at their website for your nearest location – http://www.moevenpick-icecream.com/au/en/gourmet/places/Pages/map.aspx
I am a hugggee fan of Roti Road (see my blog post here – https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/roti-road-roti-show-and-a-whole-lot-more/) This lovely dessert is called Roti Tisu and is a thinner version of the traditional Roti Chanai. The finishing touches to the making of Roti Tissue require skill, and they depend on the creativity of the maker. Roti Tisu is generally covered with something sweet such as sugar or Kaya (a type of Jam) and is generally served with Ice Cream. The Roti Road version is perfection – the Roti Tisu is crispy with accents of sweetness laced throughout and finished with ice cream and chocolate sauce! And despite its thinness – it is really filling! Really good!
A Selection of Cake Treats from Little Bertha – Little Bertha sells their wonderful looking and great tasting cakes, slices, cupcakes and biscuits to a large number of cafes in and around Melbourne. Visit their website at http://www.littlebertha.com.au/stockists in order to find your nearest café that stocks Little Bertha products. Little Bertha bakes fresh daily for cafe’s, corporate catering or directly to your home, party or function. There is a huge variety to choose from, as well as Gluten-Free options. My favourites are the Raspberry & Pistachio Teacake, Mandarin & Polenta Cake, Fig & Ginger Cake, Mexican Chocolate Chilli Cookie, Louise Cake, Monte Carlo Cookie and the Little Bear-tha Gingerbreads.
Banana Butterscotch Doughboy Doughnut – Refer to the Doughboy Doughnuts website at http://www.doughboysdoughnuts.com.au/ in order to find out which cafes they will be stocked daily. Doughnuts are baked and dipped (in a variety of delicious flavours) daily. Flavours include: Nuttin Better, Pistachio, Salted Caramel, PBJ (Peanut Butter & Jelly), Earl Grey Infused with Mandarin and Raspberry, Double D, Lemon Poppy, Passionfruit, Milk Jam, Crumble, Lime Tart, Choc Nut, Lime Coconut, Maple Bacon, Peachy, Charlie Brown, Pumpkin Pecan Popcorn.
The doughnuts are soft, fresh and they literally melt in your mouth. The flavours really do pack a punch and just by looking at the variety of flavours available you know that your tastebuds are in for a treat. They are a tad bit on the pricey side – going for $4.80 to $5 per donut. They are also located at The Mercat Cross Hotel (near Victoria Market) from Thursday to Sunday – where they will dip on demand!
Salted Caramel Donuts with Rose Petals and Pistachio @ Feast of Merit. These were balls of yumness and gooeyness all rolled into one – complete with fragrance and texture – thanks to the Rose Petals and Pistachios. I loved that they were all differently shaped and the saltiness of the caramel worked well with the soft sweet centre of the donut. I only came to Feast of Merit for coffee and Dessert but definitely want to come back and check out their food!
Coconut Sago with Passionfruit and Pineapple Trifle and Apple together with the Walnut Tart with Miso Butterscotch and Japanese Whisky Ice Cream @ KONG BBQ
Look out for a review coming soon to GRAZING PANDA!
Vanilla Choux with Pistachio Cream, Mille Feuille Vanilla, Salted Caramel Eclair @ Noisette Bakery
I myself have not been to Noisette Bakery – but was lucky enough to try some of their lovely dessert treats thanks to a friend who bought me some for my birthday (Thanks L!) My favourite was the Vanilla Choux with the Pistachio Cream – it was sublime! The pasty was perfectly crunchy and sweetened and the pistachio cream was smooth and melt in your mouth. My other favourite was the Salted Caramel Eclair – the mix of the Chocolate and the Salty Caramel inside was delicious! Can’t wait to visit Noisette myself and try out some of their other petite treats!
An interesting take on the usual Kulfi dessert – this is the Housemade All Natural Cardamom, Honey & Pistachio Kulfi @ Babu Ji. Kulfi is described as a traditional subcontinent Indian Ice-Cream and comes in a variety of flavours with the most popular flavours being Pistachio, Mango, Rose, Cardamom and Saffron. Kulfi is quite dense compared to Western Ice-Creams and hence takes longer to melt. I have never had it served to me in this shape or form. The difference in the way you eat it somewhat makes the product tastier. Check it out.
There are a variety of cakes and sweet treats to try out at Vanilla – located in Oakleigh. I tried the Chocolate Hazelnut Pastes and it was divine! It resembled a Ferrero Rocher – complete with the chocolate, nutty crumb at the base and filled with hazelnut cream in the middle. The other two desserts I got to sample as well – and they too were delicious – but hands down the Hazelnut Pastes was the best. You can also find many Greek desserts here. They have a great selection of drinks as well – their Strawberry and Cream tea is delicious!
Broken Ice Cream Sandwich @Northern Light
Refer to my blog post at https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/northern-lights-bar-eatery-fusion-food-with-fanciful-lights/ for more information
This is seriously one fantastic dessert!! For starters just look at the presentation!! The corn is not actually corn but a cross between a custard and ice cream mix with beautiful flavours. The crispy curls are polenta chips. The whole dish as a whole was delicious and each element added another layer to the flavouring and texture. Check it out at Bar Nacional.
Tiramasu @Non Solo Pasta (NSP)
There aren’t many places that serve Tiramasu sans alcohol, so when I discovered that NSP did a Tiramasu in this exact way – I had to try it out. The Tiramasu was coffee filled and had a great vibrant taste, the mascarpone had just the right amount of sweetness, and together with the tanginess of the strawberry was the perfect combo. Overall it was a great tasting Tiramasu – if you are a fan of this dish check them out! NSP also does brilliant, freshly in house made pasta’s that are authentically Italian. The staff are friendly, welcoming and very helpful!
VALRHONA CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ,
Malt Ice Cream, Chocolate Sauce, Hazelnut Praline @ Grossi Florentino Upstairs
How could you not try out a Chocolate Souffle – at Guy Grossi’s place especially. A great tasting souffle with a delicious and rich gooey centre. The Malt Ice Cream really complimented the souffle and helped with richness of the chocolate.
TONKA BEAN PANNACOTTA,
Peach and Elderflower Confit, Marshmallow
Amaretto Cream, Raspberry Sorbet @ Grossi Florentino Upstairs
For followers of my blog you all know I love my Pannacotta – and this one from Guy Grossi’s Grossi Florentino Upstairs was really tantalizing. The surprise of the Marshmallow whilst eating the pannacotta was a brilliant addition. The sorbet was made to perfection and the tanginess offset the sweetness of the whole dish. The two components really did work well together.
Coconut Rice Pudding, Mango, Macadamia Praline, Coconut Ice-Cream
@ Henry and the Fox
Check out the awesome cakes from my friends business – Ent’icing Designs (https://www.facebook.com/EnticingDesigns). You can get a quote online via the FB page. As you can see from the montage of pics – you can design whatever cake you want and they look amazing! There are also a selection of flavors of cakes to choose from and trust me they are as delicious as they look!
The Manolo Blahnik shoe cake was made for my Birthday in a White Chocolate cake and the shoe was soo realistic and looked like the real thing – love the attention to detail! Defintely check out the FB page for even more pictures of the many other cakes that have been made, as well as a closer look at the cakes above.
These are another set of cakes made from a friend – Linh (if you want to get in touch with her please email me and I will get you in contact with her). I ordered the Jordan Sneaker Cake and it came with Rich Moist Chocolate Cake. I was very impressed with how the cake turned out and the cake itself was soo sooo tasty! Even after a few days (there was so much cake left over!) – the cake was still moist and yum! There are many other flavours to choose from as well.
Choc fudge brownie with pistachio ice cream, Traditional vanilla bean crème brulee with Irish shortbread, Italian blood orange tartlette with torched meringue peaks, Warm banana pudding with caramel sauce and double cream, Chocolate mousse tower with honey comb ice cream
MINI PEAR TART TARTIN with butter caramel sauce, whipped crème fraiche, rhubarb and FEIJOA CHEESE CAKE & HONEY CHOCOLATE MOUSSE with Pistachio and honey comb @ The Grain Store
Peach Melba’ish Pancakes – Caramelized Peach and Strawberry Pancakes, Macerated Peaches, Strawberry, Mint, Almond Praline, Vanilla Mascapone and Canadian Maple Syrup @ Lolo and Wren