I didn’t have anything special planned today. Until late last night that is; … Ken’s company’s social club had 2 drop-outs that needed to be back-filled, so my morning was to consist of a Foodi Cupcake & Dessert walking tour.
Instead of sleeping in, my holidays were about to start with a 7:30am wake-up.
So, at 8:30am I was swinging through the 7-11, to get my very first Opal card and top-up. “Could I get a $50 balance on that please?” … “No… only $10, $40 or $60” … “?!? … Okay, $60 then.”
I’m not sure what that is about. It’s a stored-value card… it’s all bits and bytes. Surely I can put on whatever amount I damn well please, even if it is $123.45? Nevermind. I’m also mystified why the clerk didn’t do the maths for me and suggested getting a $40 and a $10 top-up to get $50, but also; nevermind.
Now, I too can travel all over Sydney by train without a thought for how much I am spending.
I arrived at the meetup point at about 10am, ready for the intended 10:20 gathering. *ding* Facebook. Oh, guys, it’s 11am. *sulk* So, I found myself a nice spot in the Pie Face overlooking the meeting point and had a coffee and a sausage roll with my book while I waited.
It was a small private group; 9 of us all told.
First stop, not far from the meeting point. Cupcakes on Pitt. We got a brief history of the cupcake along, most of which I have already forgotten, except for something about 1-2-3-4 cakes that sounded very unhealthy.
It’s a small shop you could walk past and never even notice.
And so are the cupcakes in a way; somewhere between a full-size cupcake and a mini-cupcake.
Just the perfect size.
I tried to stay away from the cliché choices throughout the day as much as I could. So, to start, not a Tiramisu or Cookies And Cream, but rather Salted Caramel.
The chocolate cake was moist and delicious. The topping was salty and caramelly, and even deliciouser.
I was tempted to get a selection, but when you’re on a six-stop dessert tour you cannot load up at the very first stop. Besides which, I only had a small messenger bag that was already full of my belongings.
The second stop was at Happy Lab in Westfields. I had been there before, so I knew what I needed. I got myself another 6 test-tubes of jelly beans which come with a complimentary test-tube-rack. I can see a cocktail party in my future…
Third stop was also in Westfields, a few floors down. Laduree. Allegedly this is a very famous shop that I had never heard of before. It is a Swiss chain that makes ungodly quantities of macaroons that get flown all over the world by express air freight.
I sampled a Licorice macaroon which was… interesting (in a good way). Ken initially tried a creamy Sesame macaroon, and managed to snag Pistachio for seconds. Although macaroons are not really my thing, these were very good as far as macaroons go.
For our fourth stop we walked over to The Strand, and Bon Bon. I’ve also been there before, but their wares are worth visiting twice.
I greedily stuck my hand out when samples came around, and promptly caused a spill. My chunk of cherry-pistachio nougat ended up on the floor, and I was clean out of dogs to help me clean.
I had not noticed before that they also have a downstairs. I will remember for next time, because we didn’t have time to stop. I can only imagine what Bon Bon might be hiding on their secret dungeon lunch menu.
Fifth stop was a healthy break.
Covered in chocolate.
I decided to go for the half-peach-onna-stick. A little crunchy, but I think that was necessary to make the chocolate work. I kinda wish I’d tried the fig though. Maybe next time I am in the city.
The next walk was a bit longer, crossing into Darling Harbour.
I was wondering if we might end up at Lindt, but we din’t.
I wasn’t sure I could make my way through anything right and creamy, so I decided a double ristretto would do the job just fine… on a thick layer of Guylian chocolate. I’m glad I spooned the chocolate through the coffee, because I’m not sure I could have finished if I had left it for last.
And that, I thought, would be it.
But clearly, a six-stop dessert tour has to have a seventh stop to round things out.
I had had Nitrogen-cooled dessert before in Melbourne, so I thought I knew what to expect. This shop takes it to the next level though. Same smooth texture due to the extreme quick cooling, but a lot more creative with the flavours.
I had a taste of Champagne-and-Lychee sorbet, and it was deliciously light and fruity.
I know what I want for my kitchen re-model.
I’m just not sure where I can fit the liquid nitrogen cylinders.
And at this point I felt well-and-truly sated.
2pm and 7 desserts in, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to eat another meal all day.
I can heartily recommend the tour, although if chocolate or beer is more your thing, Foodi have tours to cover those specialist topics too. And for $49 per person, it isn’t particularly expensive. And it’s a good workout; I got most of my 10,000 steps for the day along the way.
So it was a healthy day… yes?