Jess is Brisbane based word-wizard. She lives with one man-shaped companion and a small cat. Jess enjoys writing, travelling and collecting the memories of other people. Engage her services at contentable.com.au/
Published July 18th 2015
Cheat on dinner with dessert and begin your affair this week
I've been cheating on dinner with dessert. Try as I might, I just can't walk away without sampling the sweeter things in life and Brisbane, you've convinced me… your river-bound banks know how to bring it home harder than my once beloved Sydney.
Just a few steps or twenty from Topshop, Bonsai Botanika is my number one café/bar/ ramen restaurant trifecta. The easy ambience and eye-popping organic display of decadent treats leaves a solid first impression, as visitors are invited to peruse the boards and order an energising beverage and the best flourless cake they have ever tasted ($9.00). Indecisive Bonsai goers have a minute of two to choose between four chocolatey options, from the light and lovely Swiss White Chocolate drink to the dark and daring Ecuador Dark Chocolate milk (S: $3.40, M: $4.00, L: $4.80, XL: $5.70). My personal favourite? Go Java, or go home.
Even the most selective coffee connoisseur will have trouble turning their noses up at the Kyoto Cold Drip Brew ($5.80) – I've taken many a friend here and they all agree, the brew is bank and so is the breakfast. Those dining in will find a seat upstairs and it's here I'll attach a warning – if you're not a fan of cosy and close dining (perfect for eavesdropping), give Bonsai a wide berth during high traffic hours.
Shop 30BC, Stanley Street Plaza South Brisbane Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, Indooroopilly
I scream, you scream, we all scream for nitrogen cream… there's nothing like disco lighting, nitrogen and ice cream creations to make you feel like a kid again. Every time an out-of-towner crashes at the Château De Jess, Nitrogenie is dropped into the conversation and an hour or so later, into our grateful little mouths. But what is it? Every day the menu changes, serving up six flavours, pairing a freshly prepared egg and cream anglaise with dessert worthy ingredients. A little bit of mixing, a little bit of nitrogen and bam, creamy, dreamy ice cream on the end of your spoon. My husband is a Pavlova Pash and Chocolate Oreo Cream kind of guy, and while I understand his passion for Pavlova, the Lemon Meringue Pie is still my all-time favourite.
An Australian institution of all things indulgent, the Shingle Inn has been the stage of moving reunions, awkward first dates, relaxing bridal showers and too many high teas to count. While there are over 50 stores across our gorgeous continent, I've become a frequent visitor of the newest member of the Shingle family at Garden City. Tucked away at the end of the sparkling expansions, outside Kmart and across from H&M, this newest Inn of cakey paradise is comfortable, classic and always welcoming.
Coffees, frappes, cold treats and warmed ones too, the Shingle Inn serves up a range of light lunch dishes alongside the finest gateau's, ganache's, cheesecakes and dessert pies a franchise can produce. Me? I can't say no to a simple lashing of cream, a dollop of jam and two scones, serenaded by whomever decides to take up a chair at the public piano.