Australia is doing pretty bloody well when it comes to fine dining. We’ve got hatted restaurants and critically acclaimed joints coming out of our ears, practically – hell, not one but two fine dining spots in Oz made it into the 50 Best Restaurants of 2017 countdown (Brae and Attica, hello and welcome), and a whole gang of acclaimed chefs who end up as protégées of international superstars like Heston Blumenthal, so there’s clearly something in the water that creates amazing kitchen talent. While there’s loads of hype around restaurants for their overall cuisine and dining experience, and sure – if you’re a foodie you probably have a hit-list of places you absolutely must eat at in your lifetime, we wanted to get down to the most important element. The meal of the divine. Yeah – dessert.
Aussie restaurants are killing it with their dessert offerings. You don’t even need to be a sweet tooth to appreciate this list, because even someone who usually forgo’s the office birthday cake will be drooling when they cast their eyes over some of these babies. Start saving your dollars and booking flights, coz we’re about to take you on a national tour of the best desserts (IMHO) across our land.
SNOW EGG – QUAY, SYDNEY
If you’re into fine dining, you’re well across the famous Snow Egg. In fact, most non-foodies recognise this iconic dish – after all, it’s featured on Masterchef and been covered by food blogs and websites for years. The flavours change over the years, but the premise remains the same – a fruit-based granita, with an ice cream filled meringue ‘egg’ on top. crack into the egg and the gooey, half-melted ice cream oozes out.
STRAWBERRY WATERMELON CAKE – BLACK STAR PASTRY, SYDNEY
Image: Black Star Pastry.
You wouldn’t think watermelon would work in a cake, but one bite of this weird/wonderful dessert from Black Star Pastry will have you converted. Something about the rose-scented cream just works when combined with juicy watermelon slices and sweet strawbs. You can buy it by the slice at their three Sydney stores, and they just opened in Carlton down in Melbs too, so if you’re VIC-based you don’t have to road trip into NSW. Want more? Lately they’ve been turning this guy into a three-tiered cake monstrosity for big events like weddings or birthdays. Or, you know, just personal eating if you’re me.
CHERRY JAM LAMINGTON – BENNELONG, SYDNEY
Bennelong are all about taking quintessentially Aussie meals and giving them a luxury spin – it was hard to pick between this take on your Nan’s lamington, or their visual masterpiece of a Pavlova (it’s styled to actually look like the Opera House), but the lamington won out because it involves coconut parfait that’s been put under liquid nitrogen to create flakes that literally melt in your mouth. It’s also got cherry jam, coconut cream icecream and sponge making up the cake side of things, with a rich choc ganache over the top. Sign us up.
WHIPPED EMU EGG WITH SUGAR BAG – ATTICA, MELBOURNE
They landed 32nd place in this years Best Restaurants global countdown, so of course Attica has a dessert on their menu that you absolutely must add to your foodie bucket list. Their vibe is small dishes with big flavours, and near the end of their Extended Tasting Menu is this beauty – a whipped emu egg, with a chocolate mousse beneath. Think whipped egg sounds revolting? It’s more like a custard/cream type of flavour – after all, egg whites whipped with sugar are the foundation for meringue.
PEANUT BUTTER PARFAIT – SUPERNORMAL, MELBOURNE
Image: Instagram / Supernormal.
This dessert has a cult following – Melbournians who’ve tried it are straight up obsessed. It’s easy to see why – peanut butter is the best, so making a parfait out of it, then dumping crushed peanuts, salted caramel sauce and a scoop of exceptionally soft chocolate on top? That’s inspired.
TIPSY CAKE – DINNER BY HESTON BLUMENTHAL, MELBOURNE
This is a signature Heston dessert, and it’s the best news ever that it made it across the pond and Down Under onto his Melbs restaurant menu. It’s a boozy, brandy soaked pudding of brioche paired with spit-roasted pineapple – yep, it’s everyone’s winter comfort dessert dream come true.
WHIPPED BAHEN & CO CHOCOLATE – WILDFLOWER, PERTH
Image: The Engineer Eats.
This decadent dessert involves wattleseed cream, which sounds insane but reports from food blogs nationally praise it for it’s complex textures and amazing flavours. It’s definitely for chocolate lovers, who can expect creamy choc mousse alongside crunchy chocolate crumbs to go with their wattleseed cream – let us know what that tastes like, yeah?
RED VELVET PANCAKES – 50SIXONE, ADELAIDE
There’s a lot to love at Adelaide dessert bar 50sixone – they claim their ice-cream pops are one of the most expensive in Australia, and feature 24 carat gold leaf and fresh vanilla beans. They’re also doing plenty of those OTT mega shakes Instagrammers love – but it’d be a damn shame to visit and not try their red velvet pancakes. Each is layered with thick marscapone, and topped off with berry compote, ice cream and chocolate crumble. It’s a lot for one… who’re we kidding, we could smash this in a second.
ROAST PUMPKIN TARTE TARTIN – ALCHEMY, BRISBANE
Alchemy has a range of amazing desserts – one of their key kitchen signatures is the use of liquid nitrogen, so you can imagine some of the masterpieces they come up with. Our pick is the roast pumpkin tarte tartin, simply because it’s like a fine dining spin on the classic American Thanksgiving staple of pumpkin pie. Alchemy’s version involves graham crackers, white chocolate and almond cream – peak decadence achieved.
Wish you had the kind of spare $$ to hit up all of these amazing restaurants and order their entire dessert menu? If you win our current competition thanks to our pals at Set for Life, you could pocket a sweet $20k – that’s enough to jet outta your hometown weekly for Aussie culinary adventures.
Image: Black Star Pastry.