guylian cafe

guylian cafe sydney entranceI'll be upfront with you. I'm not a big chocolate person. *pauses, waits for an inbox full of "you're mad!" "what do you mean?!" and other assorteds* I guess I'll go on. *ducks shoe* It's not that I don't like chocolate. It's just that I prefer other things. Other, non chocolate things. And I don't dislike all chocolate. Give me one square of Green&Black's Dark Orange chocolate and I'll be thrilled. But only one square. Please.

I am, however, partial to new dessert haunts. I mean, this is the girl who once drove all round St Leonards & Crows Nest on a hunt for a semi-molten, nutty chocolate cake. At 10:30pm. On a Tuesday night. (No, I didn't find one. Yes, I have since learnt to make my own.) So when I wandered past the Guylian cafe on my way home from dinner with the parents (at the Lowenbrau), I made a mental note to head back one day to try out its wares. And then, when I wandered past it again on my way to meet people (at the Lowenbrau), I stopped to take a photo, knowing that I'd end up there later that night. And, no miracles here, I did.


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(clockwise from top left)
handmade chocolates, light fixtures at the
counter, praline spread $16, cakes on display

We entered, expecting chocolatey dreams to come true. And then someone squealed. "I want that!" said Suze, pointing at a bottle labelled only with the words "Praline Spread". We looked at it. "I'm going to add it to my birthday list" she continued, still pointing at the jar "because I'm not carrying that home on the train tonight". I looked at it. Praline. In a jar. Hrm. "How about" I started cautiously "you get a jar of nutella, and add toffee and put that on your toast instead?" I don't remember the rest of the conversation, but I do know one thing now. When a food blogger gets it in their head that they are going to eat something, alternatives will not do. Will. Not. Do.

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cool tea strainer

We ordered, and the drinks arrived first. No uber chocolate shakes and salads for this bunch. Oh no. We'd just lowenbrau'd it up and were ready for dessert. Proper dessert. Solid dessert. Oh, and a pot of tea. Which came with a nifty tea strainer that doubled as a drip catcher. The pot came packed with loose leaf tea, but left only a vague colour in the water, and wasn't particularly fragrant. Confusing, as the Guylian Cafe hasn't been open for long enough for its tea to lose odour. Hrm.

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coconut & raspberry creme brulee with lemon biscotti

I am working off memory here (I took one times clever photo of the menu to use as a point of reference and left said ingenuity in an undisclosed and unaccessible location. Fail.) but remember thinking to myself, as the top of the creme brulee was cracked, nay, merely pierced, that I was hoping it would live up to the coconutty creme brulee I once had in Hardware Lane, Melbourne. That one had gorgeous strips of fresh coconut floating in amongst a beautifully smooth and satiny custard.

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custardy insides

This one was not so coconutty. And apart from the five or so berries that were scattered throughout, not so raspberry-ey either. The brulee topping had been pre-done and so absorbed the moisture from the custard, voiding any chances of a satisfying crack. I didn't try the biscotti, but there was no negativity re that piece of biscuit. Or maybe there just wasn't anything said.

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100% pure passion

The 100% pure passion arrived impressively. Red shards of chocolate came adhered to a cylinder of shiny, ganachey chocolate, all of which was topped with a sole macaron. I'm told that it had pannacotta hidden in under its skin.

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80% pure pleasure (20% eaten)

fter the initial comments of "nice biscuit" and "oooh! redness!", we saw its middles. Chocolate mousse (surprisingly, considering Guylian, not too sweet) surrounded a white creamy heart. We assume that this heart was the aformentioned pannacotta. Mainly because it was nowhere else to be found, and not because it had that delicate, gelatinous wobble that pannacotta is known to possess. Its owners were quite content with it though, and that is enough.

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belgian waffle with "aztec" chocolate, praline ice cream & fresh fruit $18

We, and by we I mean me, had to have the waffle. I'd been crowing about waffle since we'd entered the restaurant and saw it on the menu. "Waffle waffle waffle" I'd muttered to Suze. "Hmm? Oh." she had responded. "Wanna share?" asked she. "Good plan." I replied "I want the fruit one though. Guylian is sweet. I'm assuming the fruit will be sour. It will balance things out." At this point she looked at me and laughed at my assumptions re fruit at chocolate cafes. And then we ordered it anyway.

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gratuitous chocolate pouring shot

There had been a previous attempt at taking a pouring shot of the other plate of waffles that arrived at the table. Except that the steady, molten stream that was expected was, in reality, more of a clump, lump, blump of semi molten (semi crystallised!) chocolate that lurched onto the icrecream, and then, after clinging on valiantly, slid down the side into blobs at the bottom. Ours was more successful, if only slightly. And, truth be told, I was a little let down by said waffle plate - perhaps as a result of my undeserved enthusiams prior. It was, in a word, biscuitty. Crunch! went the fork as I stabbed it. Crunch! went the knife as I went to cut it. Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! it screamed in protest as I tried to eat it. And it wasn't. Even. Warm. (note to self - for waffles, go to Lindt, where they are freshly made and beautifully light and cakey).

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chocolate & berry something (will letcha know its real name later)

This little morsel (and I say little, because it was) came on a big, white, square plate, contained a two-hued centre and was adorned with letter printed chocolate and a sprinkling of red. I took half a forkful, nay, a sliver, when it ventured down my way. And we were friends, albeit briefly. The type of friend who you sit and share a warm, conversational hot chocolate with and give a kiss on the cheek goodbye to. You are sure, mostly sure at least, that you will not see them again, not by distance, but more by choice. A little too tiring, a little too OTT. They are, however, thought of fondly nonetheless.

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dual-hued interior

The cake itself was lovely and dark and bitter. But, not being a chocolate fiend (or even, perhaps, a chocolate lover - definitely closer to a serial chocolate dater) I could only have that little sliver. More was offered, but then declined, for fear of over consumption. But that's just me. You will probably love it, you crazy chocolate hoarder, you :)

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individually wrapped chocolates

And so concluded our edible adventures. Eight people holding cameras. A chocolate twist was found in a sugar bowl. "I saved it for you!" she declared. ("I don't like orange chocolate", she confided). And not-so-hungry bodies tumbled out into the street. Wandering along, poking our heads into shopfront windows and chatting up a storm. On past Wynyard we traipsed, all the way to Town Hall. Not because we had to, but because the conversation wasn't over yet, and because the night was young and the trains would wait for us.

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Guylian Chocolate Cafe
91 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
ph 02 8274 7500


ps: thanks to my wonderful dining companions for such fun, food & frivolity

10 bites more:

Anonymous said...

mm... lindt cafe :D

betty

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Funnily enough, I didn't like chocolate at all when I was a kid. This is gross but it used to make me throw up. If only I had that problem now!

I've had the 100% Pure Pleasure, the Pure Passion looks very similar but more striking with the red!

chocolatesuze said...

and after walking past wynyard to town hall when i took a train and was informed all trains to milsons pt had been cancelled and had to take a train back to wynyard... cityrail=fail! but the night was lovely and lets go eat waffles at lindt!

Karen said...

Ugh! What a travesty of a brulee! I'm with Suze on this one. We should all catch up over waffles yummm :)

FFichiban said...

Hee hee you got reflexs of a G.W. Bush :P Everyone wants to go Lindt cafe wahhh, I crave their waffle right now mmmm

shez said...

Betty: i know right? and such lovely high ceilings (the martin place one anyway)!

Lorraine: really? how odd! i've grown out of it as i've gotten older. good for the waistline and the budget :)

chocolatesuze: ohno! booo trains. i guess that means you worked off your pork knuckle... and yes! let's do!

Karen: it isn't a brulee if it doesn't go crunch. and yes! (again!) let's do!

FFichiban: oi! i'm not so bad :) i wanna eat chocolate sauce. right now. (my not-quite-love of chocolate does not extend to chocolate sauce. that's a whole different thing).

Y said...

Nothing worse than a cold waffle! You should've asked them to reheat it for you! :)

shez said...

Y: oh i would have, but the ice cream was already on top of it and it was biscuitty. microwaving doesn't help biscuitty :(

Anita said...

they all look so lovely, although sounds a little disappointing from your review. (I have been wanting to go for a while now, maybe I should stick to the Lindt cafe)

shez said...

Anita: it was a little, but maybe because i had hyped it up so much. (big, BIG fan of lindt. heading there saturday. wheeee!)

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