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Published September 1st 2012
You Might Get Addicted To This Place
As I step into the light airy interior of Dolce & Co, I was faced with a long L-shaped glass and chrome buffet display of a fine array of sweet delectable cakes, macarons, chocolates and ice cream. If "eating with your eyes first" was true, I was already full. Trying to choose what to order was agonising. There was the anticipated pleasure of placing one of these confectionaries into my mouth and the pain of not being able to try them all.
Unable to make a decision, I allowed the owner, Yazan Akeel to make the difficult choice for me. You can tell Yazan was passionate about his concept dessert bar as he described each of the beautiful cake creations to me. Yazan told me what started as a takeaway venue with no stools and bar bench had to be changed as requests for seating came from his customers.
Macarons - Black Currant, Dark Chocolate & Cointreau, Salted Caramel Roasted Sesame, Raspberry & Rose Petal, Green Tea ($3.50 each)
We ended up with four cakes and three pastries between four adults. It was difficult not to commit this sin of gluttony with the exquisite creations that were presented before us. I had to worry about the expanding waistline tomorrow. The cake choices we ended up with were Pina Colada, Archide, Love that Bombe and Hazelnut Crunch. The pastries ordered were Chocolate Croissant, Sour Cherry Danish and Raisin Scroll.
The Pina Colada reminded me very much of Pina Colada cocktail. It was a rich coconut flavoured mousse cake coated with fine dessicated coconut. Embedded within the centre was a soft mango jelly which was topped with a pineapple confit. A cute plastic pipette filled with rum flavoured syrup stuck out of the cake. The rum syrup could be sprinkled on top of the cake or squeezed into the middle. As I savoured every bite, I imagined myself lying on a hammock tied between two coconut trees over an expanse of white sand with the sound of waves reaching a crescendo in my ears. Such a delight on a balmy afternoon.
The Archide was an extremely rich roasted peanut mousse cake. Within the cake was a lovely white jelly that helped to cut down on the richness. This in turn gave the cake a sweet and sour balance to the palate.
Love That Bombe was a raspberry and milk chocolate mousse cake with a chocolate sponge on the bottom supported by a biscuit base. In the centre was syrupy raspberry fruit pieces. An attractive dome shaped cake, my first taste was of pure pleasure, bordering on sensual.
Hazelnut Crunch was a cake with many layers. It was similar to the traditional Opera Cake of almond sponge, layered with ganache and buttercream. There was no glaze on top as with a traditional Opera Cake. Instead a chocolate plaque was utilised as a topping for the cake. It was a modern rendition of the traditional Opera Cake and made a splendid choice for afternoon tea with coffee.
Just as with the cakes, the pastries were also winners. The croissant was light and flaky, just how a croissant should be. The Sour Cherry Danish was lovely and tart. The Raisin Scroll had the right amount of cinnamon, unlike some at other establishments which can sometimes be overpowering. Doubtless to say there was no disappointment in this category as well.
The cappuchino and latte we ordered were a good accompaniment to all these. Hot chocolate was also available.
The cakes at Dolce & Co. were certainly a feast for the eyes and a joy to the palate. From the very first bite, I was hooked. The cakes and pastries were drool worthy and seriously blew my mind off. I loved every single bite. Simply put, the cakes at Dolce & Co. are not baked, they are handcrafted and were some of the best cakes I have experienced in terms of presentation and taste.
After our little indulgence, I was tempted to sign up with Ecotel Pastry and Chocolate School which was offered at Dolce & Co. There were several different courses available depending on interest such as creating macarons or making pastries. As the saying goes, it was nearly the tip of the iceberg for me to pursue my dreams of becoming a patisserie chef after my sweet rendezvous at Dolce & Co.
The adjacent shop, Ecotel is also owned by Yazan. Dolce & Co. is separated from Ecotel by a transparent glass wall. Whilst I was savouring every moment of my sweet delights, I spied Simon Bryant of ABC's "The Cook and the Chef" in Ecotel next door. If you pop into Ecotel, you will find an interesting shop stocking restaurant and hospitality supplies.
Dolce & Co. are only opened during the daytime and have no plans for opening at night. It is a concept store with plans for three outlets to follow in the near future. The three locations will be on King William Road in Hyde Park, Burnside Village Shopping Centre in Glenside and somewhere along Norwood Parade. Once up and running, I know they will be immensely popular. Everyone needs some of indulgence now and then - a visit to Dolce & Co. is one way of doing it. You will come out smiling as the four of us did.
Think I will have to go and try it out, here; your photos are great and I like the price of the celebration cakes... always handy to have prices for these, with regard to future birthday cakes! I recently priced another outlet for a birthday cake and was quoted $85-$90, I'm sure the cake would've been marvellous from it's description, but for that price I can almost fly to Melbourne and return!!!!!