Next door to Ona on the Lawns in Manuka, is the recently opened Patissez (replacing what was a sushi shop). It’s owned by former My Kitchen Rules mother/daughter contestants Gina and Anna Petridis and has been open for 2 weeks. The first thing I noticed when walking inside the cafe is the large cake display cabinet. The below photo is just one third of what was available. Gluten intolerant folks are catered for with a section in the cabinet filled with gluten free cakes. Prices for cakes range from $4 to $9.
These amazing looking tarts caught my eye with vanilla bean bavarois, blueberries, pistachio, citrus syrup and a massive poached pear that Gina poaches herself ($9). It looked so lush! Big enough to share between two. My plan was to eat brunch while ogling the cakes to narrow down what I was going to take away. Another cake delivery was made during my ogling time. Enough so that the entire cabinet was filled.
The one page all-day menu looks great with the Fat Pat (a massive hotcake) and Get Pig’d as some of the interesting sounding items. The drinks menu is equally tempting with various smoothies listed under Smooth Criminal where you can choose your own milk, and delectable sounding shakes such as the Nutella and salty pretzel, and the Nutty Pat (a warm salted caramel shake) listed under the Freakshow menu. I knew I had to have the Muddy Pat ($9) with warm fudgy hot chocolate, fudge brownie, chocolate fudge, whipped cream and toasted house made marshmallow. Since I was having a solo brunch, Anna suggested I choose the smaller version ($6) as the larger version is usually shared between two. The muddy pat was everything I wanted and more. First of all, a large square piece of toasted marshmallow on top of an even bigger super moist chocolate fudge brownie. All of this on top of a cloud of whipped cream which sits on a thick chocolate ganache that is smeared around the mason jar. Then you get to the hot chocolate with chocolate fudge. How to eat/drink it? Carefully. I ended up eating the brownie first which let the marshmallow sink and melt into the jar (while everything else kind of slid down the side). The best bit is at the very bottom where bits of fudge cake are mixed in with thick chocolate fudge sauce. So chocolatey, sweet and extremely indulgent. Major chocogasm! Sharing between two is probably a good idea to look after your waistline.
For breakfast, I chose The Cheeky ($19) consisting of slow cooked beef cheeks, black eyed beans, poached eggs, crusty bread and kale pesto. This was about a half hour wait as it’s finished off in the oven. The wait was worth it. Served in a small ceramic pot, it is filled to the brim with a wonderful tomato stew filled with beans and tender beef cheek. Shavings of parmigiano reggiano are sprinkled on top and melts into the stew, meaning every spoonful you take has cheese strings attached. Good luck trying to eat it gracefully. The kale pesto and fresh alfalfa sprouts provide freshness to balance out the otherwise rich stew. Great winter comfort food that’s hearty and inexpensive. Happy to report that there are two pieces of crusty bread provided topped with more pesto to dunk into the stew.
A close up shot of the beef cheek below. Appropriate bite-sized pieces that melt in your mouth. There isn’t that much beef given the size of the small pot, but there’s plenty of yummy stew (and it was exactly what I needed that cold winter day).
Let’s talk cakeage. Anna had no problems rattling off the ingredients for every single cake in the cabinet. She knows her stuff! Ogling completed, I selected four desserts to take away and share later that day. I couldn’t resist the triple chocolate pop slide covered in white chocolate, and the raspberry and lychee pop slide with a raspberry gel centre (both $4.50 each). Both were complete opposites of each other. The triple chocolate mousse had a harder chocolate shell that you crack, similar to a magnum. Chocolate lovers will enjoy the thick triple chocolate mousse inside. I liked the thin layer of what I think is a citrus and coconut marmalade to help cut through the richness of the chocolate. The raspberry and lychee popsicle was very soft from the raspberry glaze to the soft lychee mousse and raspberry gel. The lychee flavour is prominent and works brilliantly with the raspberry. This is the lighter dessert of the two, but I think it still warrants sharing as it’s very sweet (and it means you can try other things).
My next choice was the hazelnut dome with hazelnut mousse, mandarin gel centre on a hazelnut praline base ($9). I liked the mandarin gel centre which tasted so much like the real thing. And I always love a thick pastry base. The hazelnut mousse is rich and I found this to be quite a dense little cake. Lastly, I chose the peanut butter and chocolate eclair with caramel popcorn ($4). This is filled with a good balance of both peanut butter and chocolate French cream. A delicious soft creamy texture. The dark brown stripes on top are also made of peanut butter and chocolate. This was my favourite of the four. Not too peanut buttery, and not too chocolately, but a great balance of both.
I was really excited about Patissez. So much so, that I organised to go back the very next day with a friend to try more on the menu. This time I was seated outdoors enclosed within plastic blinds and two heaters. I wanted to try another one of the indulgent Freakshakes and this time I had someone to share it with. I decided on a cold shake (since I was right underneath a heater) and ordered the Nutella and salty pretzel shake ($8). This is a cold Nutella shake with lashings of Nutella, whipped cream, vanilla ice cream and crushed salty pretzel. OMG it tasted just as good as it looked. I loved scraping off and licking the smooth thick Nutella on the outside of the jar and was equally happy to find more inside the jar with lots of vanilla ice cream and cream. I knew this was so bad for me, but it tasted SO GOOD. I absolutely loved the crushed salty pretzels on top. It works magically with chocolate – providing a bit of salty/savoury to the sweet chocolate. Foodgasm, yes!
Food-wise, I ordered the Pouty Pea ($21) consisting of house smoked rainbow trout, pea pancake, caramelised rhubarb, baby kale and rocket. The pea pancake is soft, moist and still hot. Warning – the trout has small bones in it so you’ll need to chew carefully and pick them out. It’s not too bad in that the bones aren’t sharp enough to prick the inside of your mouth, but do be careful. I thought the rhubarb was a really good addition to the dish, providing the necessary sweetness and juiciness for a well-balanced meal. I was proud of myself for ordering a healthy dish to offset the naughty shake.
My friend ordered the Get Pig’d ($19) with pulled pork, poached eggs, hollandaise, wilted baby spinach, bacon jam and crusty bread. Apart from the fact that the poached eggs were overdone, he was impressed with everything else. The best part of the dish was the bacon jam which tied everything together. Bacon jam is made in house and the cafe has gone through 40kg of bacon since they opened!
More take away dessert. This time I restrained myself and only bought one cake – the red velvet slice ($8). This had several layers to it – a layer of red velvet sponge, a layer of chocolate ganache, another layer of sponge, what I presume to be a layer of white chocolate, raspberry coulis, and cream cheese icing on top. The small squeezy tube stuck on top contains extra raspberry coulis if you need that extra sweet berry hit. This looked gorgeous. I was a little disappointed that it had gone dry around the edges, but the middle bit was moist. All the flavours of a red velvet cake were there and I’m sure it will please most people.
Although Patissez has only been open for 2 weeks, I’m very impressed with what it has to offer. Prices are reasonable with the most expensive food item priced at $21. I LOVE the Freakshakes on offer which not only look enticing but taste just as good. I will attempt to try the rest soon. Presentation is important to the owners and Anna loves it when people take photos of their food. Items are sourced locally – meat from Jordo’s Chop Shop, milk from Tilba Real Dairy in NSW, and bread from Autolyse to name a few. Staff are super friendly and seem very passionate about what they do (i.e. working nights to refill the cakes that sell out every day!). There is another renovation planned in the next week or so to add a new feature wall (replacing the old sushi shop’s wall print).
Spacially, Patissez in Manuka is small. There is very limited seating indoors and outdoors. Once this place becomes popular, I can foresee that it will be very hard to get in to with some long waiting times. I’m glad that Anna told us they were opening a second much larger store in the city (near Harvest Coffee) with an open plan layout and plenty of seating. Dessert nights are expected to be held which got me excited. The kitchen in Manuka is very small and staff cannot wait to work in bigger kitchen facilities to make all their desserts and bacon jam. The new city cafe is expected to open around September.
Patissez is located on Bougainville Street, Manuka, next door to Ona on the Lawns. Open seven days a week from 7am. Check out their Facebook page for updates.
Value for money 9/10
FPJ score 28/30
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