I hadn’t really noticed the lack of Greek food in Canberra until my friend and I were perusing the menu at Zeus. Newly opened, Zeus offers classic pita and souvla, plus a selection of sweets. I ordered the Spartan Box with lamb ($16.5 + $2 for lamb), which is essentially 140g of lamb served on top of a delicate mixed rice pilaf, with sides of tzatziki and coleslaw. We also ordered a side of fetta & oregano chips to share ($9.5) – these weren’t strictly necessary, but they were tasty! The fetta fell off easily, so we learned to skewer them with our forks, and I thought the chips could have used a tad longer in the frier, but I’d happily chow on these again. The lamb in the Spartan Box was tender and tasty, with a reasonable amount of fat and a fairly magical rub on the outer pieces (give me more of those bits please, especially drizzled with fresh lemon!). The ‘slaw had beautifully fresh walnuts inside, and the tzatziki matched the lamb well. We were also offered a complimentary plate of loukoumades (usually $8) for dessert. I’d eaten way too much already, but these Greek doughnuts are drizzled in a super tasty cinnamon-dusted honey and walnuts, so I forced myself to have one. Yum, yum, yum. Can’t wait to come back and try the pitas!
Zeus Street Greek, Shop 7/21 Genge Street, Canberra City, ACT, http://zeusstreetgreek.com.au/
Eggless is another one of Adelaide’s awesome dessert cafes (Canberra, please take note), and they shake things up with a new menu every month! I can’t even imagine the creativity that the team has to keep this happening year after year. So I dived right in and picked one of the January specials – the Banana, Passionfruit and Anzac Tart ($12). The tart was beautifully presented, with fresh banana piled on top, abig scoop of soy icecream (yes, that’s right, this dessert is vegan so lactose free!), drizzles of passionfruit syrup and a healthy dusting of icing sugar over the lot. Mmm. The tart shell was made of anzac biscuit-flavoured pastry, with that lovely sweetness of golden syrup and oats, and the luscious passionfruit curd inside the shell was blissfully good. The flavours all worked so well together, and of course the textures were balanced too – dense, not-too-crumbly pastry plus creamy curd and soft banana. My friends waxed lyrical about the Mango Float, and the Rose Sago looked beautiful too. The service here was fabulous, with friendly staff and table service. I’d recommend arriving early – by 9pm people were putting their names down on the door!
Eggless, 162 Goodwood Rd, Goodwood SA, no website
Thanks so much for following along this year, I really appreciate each of your comments and likes – stay tuned for more adventures in 2017! Kinokuniya is an awesome bookshop, made even more awesome by the presence of Black Star Pastry’s little dine-in cafe. We waited a while for a table to become free, then ordered a serve of the raspberry and lychee cake, which I hadn’t seen before, to eat-in. The glazed fresh raspberries and lychee on top looked so good dusted in edible rose petals – it was calling to me, what can I say? I had no regrets – this baby is as tasty as it looks. The cake is made up of layers of raspberry marshmellow and vanilla cream, and – surprise! – there’s a rich chocolate biscuit base that anchors the cake literally, and pulls the light, sweet flavours together too. It’s quite a sweet cake, although the raspberries give a nice tartness, and the light, fluffy cream layers are particularly lovely. Mum got the lemon and pistachio zen cake, with lemon curd and pistachio dacquoise, which was also refreshing and scrumptious. You basically can’t go wrong here.
Black Star Pastry, Books Kinokuniya, The Galeries Level 2, 500 George St Sydney, NSW, http://www.blackstarpastry.com.au/
Family friends of mine have recently moved to Canberra, and invited Dad and I over for dinner in their new digs. When we were asked to bring dessert, there was really only one option. Stopping in at Space Kitchen, we picked up The Magical Mushroom giant cake!!! It had the desired ‘wow’ effect, and we got stuck in after dinner, finding it a bit tricky to cut (but really, who cares when it tastes so good?). With a vanilla panacotta stem, a rhubarb mousse and chocolate hazelnut cap, this cake follows the Space/Ricardo’s tradition of ‘soft’ cakes made without traditional batter at all. The rhubarb flavour in the creamy, rich chocolate cap is subtle, and the cake coated in a thin mousse layer of red and dotted with white chocolate disks as the toadstool spots. The pannacotta was also beautifully textured and flavoured, with the vanilla well-balanced so as not to be overpowering. But the highlight was definitely the pistachio grass – beautifully crunchy, it brought together the mix of flavours from the rest of the cake for that perfect mouthful with a bit of everything. A perfect ‘welcome to Canberra’ celebration!
Space Kitchen, Skypark, corner of Furzer and Worgan Streets, Phillip ACT, http://space-kitchen.com.au/
Well friends, we’ve done it once again. Another year of #icecreamthurs summer denial comes to an end – bring on the heat! On my first day on Easter Island, I wandered through Hanga Roa, getting my bearings and exploring Tahai for my first sighting of the impressive moai. But it was a long walk, and on the way back I stopped in at Pea’s little icecream stall, hidden around the side of the building. With a fun range of flavours (and locally made), I couldn’t go past the frutos rojos flavour, which literally translates as red fruit. I presumed it was a fruits of the forest type mix, but the flavour didn’t have the heaviness of dark berries, instead being a sweeter, tarter mix of what must have been strawberrry, raspberry and blueberry. The portion was smaller than others I’d have on the island, but the quality was excellent. The icecream was beautifully rich and had such a creamy texture – I could have happily enjoyed this all day. Even better was the view – I grabbed a seat out on the pavillion which overlooks the ocean – life doesn’t really get much better than this! #icecreamthurs will return in autumn 2017.
Pea Restobar, Av. Policarpo Toro, Hanga Roa, Easter Island, Chile, no website
When your friends visit from overseas and your gang catches up, there’s no better way to top the night off than with icecream. After drinks at Suke Suke, we wandered up to Bunda Street for icecream, and made it to Via Dolce just before they closed for the night. I opted for two scoops, picking (surprise surprise) two fruity sorbets, to celebrate the pleasant spring evening. First was the passionfruit sorbet, which had plenty of seeds scattered throughout and had a nice balance of sweetness-to-tartness. I felt that the texture of this sorbet was a little lacking – it was a bit icy and could have been creamier – but the flavour was solid and basically screamed “PASSIONFRUIT!”. My second pick was pomegranate sorbet, which is a new flavour for me. Having fallen in love with the flavour in Turkey, I absolutely loved its sorbet reincarnation, with a beautiful freshness and just the right amount of sorbet-sweetness. Again, the texture let it down a bit, but on the plus side the serve was massive – 2 scoops were a little pricey at $8, but you certainly get plenty for it. I’m always impressed by the range of sorbets here too – plenty of choice for the lactose intolerant!
Via Dolce, 108 Bunda Street, Civic ACT, viadolce.com.au
I’d heard that Caramelo was one of the best places on Easter Island for dessert, so after a pre-dawn wake up to watch the sunrise, I treated myself to afternoon tea back in Hanga Roa. I wasn’t disappointed. With cute wallpaper, signage and menus, Caramelo could easily fit in on the streets of Santiago. I opted for a decadent treat – the Volcan de Chocolate (CLP 3500), which came out quite different to the lava cake I was expecting. For one thing, it was served with a scoop of manjar icecream (yes! #icecreamthurs bonus!) and for another, it was a completely different texture to your usual lava cake. The chocolate cake was surprisingly dense, almost like it had been sculpted into shape, and had a heavy, rich chocolate flavour. The perfectly oozy melted chocolate was a delight, although I did struggle to finish the dish. The icecream was utterly luxurious, buttery and sweet without being sickly – although I think a sharp berry sorbet, perhaps raspberry, would have cut through the chocolate a bit better. Worth at least one visit, especially for sweet tooths!
Caramelo, Atamu Tekena, Hanga Roa, Easter Island, no website