Often the best part of a summery meal is the relief of a cold, creamy dessert at the end. So as the season winds ever onward and the long evenings lend themselves to a good meal out, we’ve put together a list of some of the most interesting and delicious cold desserts appearing on summer menus around town – dishes good enough that they may cause you to skip the savouries entirely.
Taking their cue from the rich dessert traditions of Hong Kong and Taiwan, Dessert Story is a treasure trove of Asian sweets. The vast menu can be intimidating for the novice, so here’s our tip for a must-have dish: the milk snow ice with crystal jelly, mango and popping pearls. What comes out is a veritable volcano of shaved milk ice, which has a consistency similar to sorbet, covered in mango cubes, sweet jelly and the intriguing little popping pearls, which take the form of little bright orange spheres that when bitten into burst with mango juice. It’s a massive serving, but you may just want to keep it all for yourself.
While most may flock to Chin Chin to experience their spicy, savoury fare, it would be a real shame to fill up on curries and DIY rice paper rolls so much that you can’t fit in one of their amazing desserts. And the high god king of their dessert list is the layered coconut jelly with young coconut, coconut milk, roselle and sweet, tangy candied ginger. It is sweet refreshment in a glass, cooling you down if you’ve over-indulged on spice and making you feel like you’ve just been on holiday somewhere tropical.
While this Malvern emporium of sweet treat is well known for its wildly flavoured macarons and cupcakes, what you might not know is that they also have a new icy treat on offer: freshly blended frozen yoghurt. What you do is pick the filling you wish your yoghurt to be flavoured with – be it bananas, honeycomb or cheesecake – it’s then blended in front of you, then finally, you get to choose what toppings you’d like, from diced fruit to Oreos to halva.
Sometimes there’s nothing more refreshingly satisfying than a good old bowl of ice cream with fruit. Well, the Newmarket Hotel in St Kilda has taken that simple idea and made it as rich and decadent as they can by making the ice cream chilli chocolate in flavour and pairing it with figs caramelised in sherry. It’s boozy and spicy, and nicely showcases the Newmarket’s Latin American culinary influences.
We’re sure that we’re not the only ones with a soft spot for a cheeky mango Weiss Bar. Well, the good folks at Claremont Tonic have taken the idea of that classic ice cream and given it a fancy twist. Think a block of mango ice cream coated with a covering of crushed nuts, decorated with a char-grilled strip of mango on top. Plus it’s served on a stick, meaning you can avoid half of it melting in the wrapper.
Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall
Everyone loves a proper ice cream sundae, with a mountain of good ice cream lathered in chocolate sauce, a generous sprinkling of chopped peanuts, and crowned with a sweet maraschino cherry. At Joe’s Bar and Dining Hall you get the proper diner sundae experience with the Sundae in St Kilda. And, if you’re feeling really indulgent, you can team it with their frozen peanut butter cup – a little bite of salty, creamy heaven that borders on making you feel the right kind of sweetly sick. Who needs savouries?