If sugar is your poison then make tracks to these Melbourne venues that are killing it in the dessert stakes
Melbourne’s queen of tarts Philippa Sibley is offering three desserts from her cookbook, PS Desserts, on the Albert Street menu each day, and if you are lucky it'll be her famed Snickers bar dessert of caramel parfait, salted praline and chocolate. Brunswick.
Have you seen the new Brunetti? It's like a continent made of cake. Here the hot chocolate is so dark it's bordering on black and so thick you could stand a spoon in it. And the macarons? Those brightly coloured puffballs are the perfect balance of crunch, crumble and creamy ganache and they're consistently ace. And did me mention they are open late? Carlton.
This boutique Chapel Street store is floor-to-ceiling with jars of sugar and spices, and wall-to-wall with multi-coloured flavoured meringues, garden beds of chocolate flowers, and rows of cakes, decorated with gravity defying sculptures. Darren Purchese is a mad scientists with phenomenal culinary skills, and his store is a science-lab as much as a sugar emporium. South Yarra.
Melbourne So Andrew McConnell has opened a wine bar, and it’s amazing. You're going to want to go here for the profiteroles as much as the wine list. Fresh baked pastry puffs sandwiching churned-to-order vanilla ice cream with a jug of warm couverture chocolate for a make-it-all-melt-together dousing. Melbourne.
All hail the return of the dessert trolley! The weak-willed should look away. Laid out it’s not about what you want, it’s what you’re willing to have taken away. There may be a boozy Eton mess-cum-trifle of sponge bound with cream and strawberries that gets doused with champagne, or perhaps thick fingers of chocolate-honeycomb mousse-cake, and a super-light orange and cardamom crème brulee. Carlton.
Book ahead for a table at this buzzy new Greek joint under the watchful eye of George Calombaris. Order the loukomades, Greek-style donuts with cocoa nibs and honey, a serve of the rice pudding (risogalo) tart made with banana, condensed milk and cinnamon, or just some good old-fashioned musk sticks washed down with a six-dollar EspressoTini. Melbourne.
Warm cookies fresh out of the oven have the power to turn the tide on even the worst day – and the people at Grain Store know it. The chocolate chip cookies in question come four to a board with a glass of cold milk for dipping and sipping. But do keep in mind that The Grain folk need ten minutes’ notice to bake the crisp-edged, soft-centred comfort-dessert-on-demand. Melbourne.
Head here at lunch to get access to their unique yum cha-bento-dessert system. After your meal they bring out bento boxes filled with little yuzu tarts, sweet soy wrapped in bean curd and little chocolate truffles so you can build your own sweets selection. Melbourne.
Use the fact that you are in need of an iron fix in the form of Argentinean barbecue to get your party to Piqueos, and then coax them into the tasting menu. It’s $60 and just the right amount of everything you want, finishing with Melbourne’s best alfajores: two shortbread cookies sandwiching just-warm dulce de leche. Carlton North.
Chef Rosa Mitchell gained a following for her rustic Sicilian dishes over an eight-year reign at Journal Canteen and had now set up shop in Punch Lane. It’s a small joint. More functional and friendly than flash and the short menu is hastily scrawled on a chalkboard each day. Following your pasta cross your fingers and hope for a rich custard tart with late-season peaches. Mitchell knows how to boss pastry around. Melbourne.