All Canberra sweet-lovers were aflutter when it was announced that Dessert Castle was opening up at the University Lodge in Acton. I have a massive sweet-tooth and could easily swap an entree out for another dessert, or just have dessert for dinner.
I was lucky enough to head to Dessert Castle’s launch on Friday night. Stepping inside, the first thing I notice is the colourful glow coming from the two massive beams that stand up in the middle of the cafe and run up along the ceiling creating archways of colour. The changing colours provide a bright and fun ambience throughout the place.
There are a few features in the cafe that provide a castle-like feel such as the large wooden archway near the front that allows diners to enter the seating area.
The dozen or so tables inside are framed by stone ‘castle’ walls, vines covering the ceiling and bright flowers in a long garden bed running the length of the seating area.
One section is dedicated to self-serve frozen yoghurt with LED lighting coming through from the pattern of rings on the wall.
There are 10 flavours to choose from such as cherry, chocolate, coffee, peanut butter and green tea. Flavours are changed regularly so you can expect a good selection each time you go.
Next to the froyo wall is a long counter with multiple toppings like choc chip cookies, sour worms and mango pearls. Price is dependent on weight and is paid for at the counter.
More deliciousness lies at the back of the cafe where a large glass display cabinet holds over 20 different cakes, slices and chocolates.
All cakes are $6.50 and there are a few gluten-free options. Those rum balls are huge! Slices range from $4-6.
There are more cakes on the other end of the cabinet such as a salted caramel tart, oreo cheesecake, tiramisu and chocolate souffle.
Chocolates are $2 each and come in a range of flavours such as lime and cointreau, passionfruit, salted caramel, chocolate crispy and a range of truffles.
I like the cute musical note chocolates and picked a few items to try.
Cakes are purchased at a separate counter where you can order a coffee, tea, Belgian chocolate or other drink.
I chose the ‘Anzac’ chocolate decorated with red poppies on top which was filled with milk chocolate and nuts. The ‘mushroom duo’ was cutely shaped like a mushroom, filled with milk chocolate and covered in white chocolate. I think the ‘duo’ comes from the two halves of the mushroom that could easily be split apart. The cute ‘musical note’ was filled with white chocolate and peach. Yum!
The hazelnut mousse dome was decadent with a delicious thick mousse covered in chocolate ganache and chopped up hazelnuts around the sides. I really enjoyed this and liked how smooth everything was which contrasted nicely with the crunchy hazelnuts.
I couldn’t resist the sticky date pudding topped with a huge blob of butterscotch icing. I didn’t think it had enough dates in it and there was something else lacking in the pudding. But that didn’t stop it from being demolished. The other chocolates were the almond truffle filled with milk chocolate and the passionfruit chocolate filled with passonfruit cream and covered in dark chocolate.
In addition to dessert, the cafe will also be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Traditional breakfast dishes include French toast, Eggs Benedict and a Big Breakfast. Lunch and dinner includes sandwiches, burgers and pastas. Nothing seems to be over $20 which is great value. I got a taste of the beef burger on the night which came with a yummy onion marmalade.
The deep fried prawns covered in crispy noodles and aioli were crunchy and I could easily have a few more of them. The aioli tasted fantastic with it.
A grazing menu is available for those that just want a few nibblies such as salt and pepper squid, wedges, prawn twisters and more. Cold drinks are around the $6 mark and include frappes, milkshakes, smoothies and fresh juices. What is a Dessert Castle without more dessert? A separate dessert menu offers over 10 flavours of macarons ($2.50 each), crepes, pancakes, Belgian waffles and a chocolate fondue for two served with strawberries, bananas and cookies. Wow. There’s also fruit salad, but really, why would you go to Dessert Castle for fruit salad?
Dessert Castle opens to the public tomorrow Monday 16 June and is running a special promotion for its opening week. 50% off froyo and $2 regular coffees until Saturday 21 June. It’s located in the UniLodge on Childers Street in Acton.
Check out its Facebook page for more updates.
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