New to Canberra, I love exploring this city and the secrets that it holds with my family.
Published February 26th 2016
Update November 18th 2017
PLEASE NOTE: Patissez in the Civic has closed down, but it is still open at their original cafe in Manuka.
Now open in the Civic with Vegan FreakShakes™
In Canberra, when you say the name Pâtissez to someone, they instantly think of the famous FreakShake™. The owners of Pâtissez created these trademarked huge milkshakes, oozing with yumminess and topped with chocolate brownies, salted pretzels or other gooey treats, with calorie-laden toppings dripping down the side. Owners, Anna and Gina Petridis (well known for their time on My Restaurant Rules) and husband and wife pâtissiers Ismael and Astrid Toorawa, opened their Manuka café in early 2015 and created these iconic milkshakes. Customers would queue for hours to try one, which attracted TV show Sydney Weekender to do a segment on the FreakShakes which catapulted them to celebrity status.
New FreakShake flavour - Vegan Freak. Finger licking great!
Later in the year, in December 2015, Pâtissez then opened up a second store in the Civic (city centre), close to the Australian National University and government agencies. During the week day every table is full, however if you visit on the weekend there are plenty of empty tables to enjoy your shake or meal in this relaxed cafe .
With free parking nearby in Hobart Place, it is much easier to enjoy this café on the weekend - however I did see on the menu there is a 10% surcharge on Sundays. My daughter and I visited at opening time on a Saturday morning and there were only a few other tables occupied. Currently on a health kick, I wasn't sure about ordering a very tempting FreakShake laden with delicious calories, however there is a new FreakShake Menu with a vegetarian fruit option which sounded almost healthy. The ladies behind the counter said the new menu was so new that we were the first ones to try it out that Saturday morning.
Ironically, this impressive FreakShake above, is the mini size for $11.90 - $2 cheaper than the regular size in a larger glass. My daughter, aged four, was salivating when she saw it with a popsicle also resting on the top and raspberry coulis dripping down the side. Her eyes also widened in surprise when she drank it and I could see why when I took a sip - it was exceptionally fresh and tasty - in a deliciously healthy way. There are different levels of flavour to sip through, with lychee the standout amongst the flavours as you get close to the bottom. The other favourite part, for both of us, was the coconut vanilla bean mousse that looked like cream that was whipped onto the top. My daughter doesn't like the taste of normal dairy cream, however this beautiful coconut creation had her licking it off the straw.
Other FreakShake flavours include a Black Forest flavoured shake, an Expresso and Salted Caramel shake, Nutella and Pretzels and a Lemon Meringue FreakShake - all sure to be laden with Pâtissez's signature decadence.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull getting his freak on at the Manuka location, early February 2015. Source: Patissez Facebook
Pâtissez isn't only renowned for its FreakShakes (and Freak Cakes), but the food as well. With reasonable prices and great tasting meals, the café is popular for its menu items also. On our visit, we also enjoyed the Chia Bircher ($14) from the All Day Breakfast Menu which was:
Chia Bircher - almond milk chia and oat bircher, roast pistachio and cinnamon crumb, orange segments, fresh and freeze dried berries, strawberry reduction.
Equally as tasty as the FreakShake, this Chia Bircher was one of the best that I have tasted, with my daughter enjoying the fresh fruit and honey drizzled over the top also. Other new All Day Breakfast menu items include a Breakfast Burger ($13), Salmon Scramble ($16) and Roasted Wild Mushrooms ($17).
My daughter and I enjoyed our Saturday visit to Pâtissez in the Civic and were happy to be able to try a FreakShake, without the queues. According to Pâtissez's Facebook page, the queues are a thing of the past so they can now be enjoyed without the wait. In such a central location, this Civic café will be just as popular as the Manuka café with its open layout and friendly staff. With families, couples and groups of friends coming to enjoy the FreakShakes and delicious coffee and food on offer, it is a relaxing weekend café to visit for an all day breakfast or lunch. Due to its popularity, Pâtissez is now taking their café and FreakShakes nationwide, so Canberra can be proud to say that we had them here first!