Autolyse is such a lovely spot for cake, especially when the sun is out. A friend of mine was down from Sydney and we stopped by for a late afternoon catch up, snagging a table outside. I grabbed a small ‘Happy’ juice ($5) from the fridge and (for once) chose the decadent option of salted caramel tart ($6.50) instead of the fruit tart. I have no regrets. The juice, with apple, pineapple, ginger and mint, was lovely and refreshing. The small jar was a good size, although I do love the pretty large jars with their Autolyse labels (next time). The salted caramel tart was beautifully presented, with tempered chocolate curls on top and a dash of edible silver glitter on the diagonal. The tart shell was a chocolate pastry, which was just the right consistency – not too firm, not too crumbly, just perfect. Within was the silkiest, smoothest layer of caramel and chocolate ganache. Seriously, each mouthful was pure luxury texture-wise. Thankfully, Autolyse has found the right balance with the salt, so it doesn’t punch you in the mouth, but does enhance the caramel flavour. The chocolate curls melted on the tongue, and the whole chocolate flavour was complex and rich without being sickly sweet. Yum, yum, yum!
Autolyse, 21 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, http://autolyse.com.au/
Some Cafe is quite possibly the cutest place I’ve ever been to, and was definitely the best place to start a girls’ weekend away. Sprawled throughout a beautiful old home, retaining the gorgeous wood fires and big windows, it’s the kind of space you want to spend time in. When I saw the dessert cabinet, my heart was lost. I ordered the Dingo (free range bacon and backyard egg roll with house ketchup and mayo, $10) for brunch and a caramel slice ($4) for the road. The Dingo came out looking fabulous, and it tasted just as good. With in-between soft and crisp texture, the bacon had nice charring and a god amount of salt – hello flavour heaven. This was nicely matched by the giant egg (laid by the cafe’s hens) and don’t be fooled by the phrase ‘ketchup’. This is more like the nicest tomato relish you’ve ever tried. I understand their menu highlights seasonal foods, soI’m making a note to come back for all things pumpkin in May. We also decided unanimously that the caramel slice was the best we’ve ever tasted. With food this good plus friendly service, cozy atmosphere and incredible value, Some Cafe is a must-visit.
Some Cafe, 5-7 Murray Street, Collector NSW, http://www.somecafe.com.au/
Whilst I knew exactly where to get icecream in Santiago, it took me a while to realise that there was an heladeria across the road from my hotel in Buenos Aires. But I did realise, and in doing so ended up having one of the best icecreams of my trip. The icecream menu at Chungo is extensive, to the point where I had to ask for the staff’s recommendation to try and whittle the choice down. I finally went for the strawberry and mango (the recommendation) and a pear sorbet, served in a waffle cone. I was delighted to get a choice of toppings, and ended up choosing the candied almonds (why not? I was on holidays). The strawberry and mango sorbet was light and sweet, the mango flavour less prominent than I expected but still noticeable, but the magic flavour was undoubtedly the pear. I can’t describe this any other way – it was like biting into a sweet, ripe pear, except it was icecream. There was nothing artificial, nothing to distract you from the 100% pear-ness of it. I have no idea how they managed to get such an authentic flavour, but it was beautiful and I could have eaten a bucket of it. Luckily I was pretty full from the almonds on top, or else I might have… Definitely worth seeking out if you find yourself in BA.
Chungo, Humboldt 1906, Esquina Costa Rica, Palermo Hollywood, Buenos Aires, Argentina, http://www.chungo.com.ar/
Generally eclairs aren’t the first sweet I’ll go for in a French patisserie – not when there are pain au chocolate or macarons – but on this occasion I set out to buy eclairs, so buy eclairs I did. The selection here is impressive to say the least – it took the cashier a serious couple of minutes to rattle off all of the flavours – but eventually I settled on panut butter, crunchy hazelnut, mixed berry and fruits of the forest (in descending order from the top of the photo). The peanut butter was the least impressive, tasting far more of peanuts than the rich peanut butter flavour, but the texture of both the choux pastry and the cream inside were delightful. The hazelnut flavour fared better, with a great amount of crunch from the nuts on top and a perfectly smooth, rich cream inside. The mixed berry brought the cream into its own – such flavour! The fresh berries were plentiful and well-matched to the simple cream. But the star of the show was the fuits of the forest, which had a flavoured cream inside and shone; both literally, as it was sprinkled with glitter, and flavour-wise. If you haven’t already, definitely make a stop here. I’m an eclair convert now.
Croquembouche Patisserie, 1635 Botany Road, Banksmeadow NSW, http://croquembouche.com.au/
One of my childhood friends was visiting Canberra recently, and we had time for brunch on a Saturday during her visit. It was a tough call deciding where to go, but A Baker won the day. We sat outside in the (patchy) sunshine, and I was particularly excited to see a noodle soup on the menu! I ordered the ginger chicken broth, with soba noodles, egg ribbons, spanner crab and coriander oil ($18.9) and was utterly delighted with the meal. Firstly, the flavours were perfectly balanced, with a perfect kick from the shredded ginger and a subtle tang from the coriander oil. Fried onion crisps and spring onion added great flavour and texture, and there was a fair amount of tender, super-tasty crab floating around. The soba noodles were perfectly cooked (looooveee soba!) and I enjoyed the ribbons of cooked egg as a filler. The dish was also nicely seasoned, enhancing the elegant ingredients and making the broth very moreish to drink. I also grabbed a fresh apple juice ($6.50), which had a nice amount of pulp, and needed regular stirring to stop it separating. As the weather warms up even more, this will be an irresistable combination of location and quality food!
A Baker, Unit 2, 15 Edinburgh Avenue, Acton ACT, http://abaker.com.au/
I really think that Bread & Bone make the best burgers in Adelaide. There’s something magical about the way they take familiar flavours and boost them into the stratosphere. The burgers aren’t huge, but they’re filling and delicious and I can’t get enough. On this visit, I went back to the B&B burger ($18) – I’m not too sure I’ll ever want to order anything else from the menu, as this classic has kept up the hype and all of the magnificent flavour I adored last time. With a nicely toasted bun, oozy melted cheese and the killer combination of a high-quality beef patty and bacon (although not as much bacon as last time), the balance of flavours and textures is any burger-lover’s dream. Sure, there’s some lettuce and tomato in there to balance things out, but they play second fiddle to the rest of the ingredients. The fries remain impeccable, and were dished up in a generous serving that I couldn’t quite finish. They were perfectly seasoned and were just crisp enough for my preference. As usual, the staff were very friendly, and we were able to linger happily resting our feet after a long morning of walking. I’ll be back for round three ASAP.
Bread & Bone Wood Grill, 15 Peel Street, Adelaide SA, no website
You guys, can you believe #icecreamthurs only has a few more weeks to go? We’ve managed to pretend it isn’t winter for so long! Summer is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare than to indulge in some incredible sorbet from That Gelato Place? The range of flavours here is always impressive, but I was particularly excited to discover their more exotic Mojito flavour on this visit. I paired it with Mango (approx $6.50 for two scoops, can’t remember exactly, sorry!) and away we went. The Mojito flavour is the perfect combination of sweet sorbet and mint – it is refreshment in a cup, minus the alcohol, of course. I could definitely see myself sitting on the balcony with a tub of this in summer. The Mango was equally delicious – rich, sweet and creamy, the ripe fruit was conjured in my head as I took each mouthful. Together, these tropical flavours transported me to a balmy beach somewhere. Sigh. The serve was massive too – scooped up high and in a really large cup, it took me ages to eat the whole thing. That Gelato Place never lets me down!
That Gelato Place, Shop 10, Cooleman Court, Weston ACT http://www.coolemancourt.com.au/stores/that-gelato-place/