Cafe Rosamond

March 22, 2013

Rear 191 Smith Street, Fitzroy

Any dessert aficionado worth their weight in chocolate knows about Pierre Roelofs’ dessert nights at the quaint Cafe Rosamond. An undeniably adventurous pastry chef, Roelofs takes control of the kitchen every Thursday evening from 7-11pm, offering an ever-changing degustation of desserts. Guests can choose between 1-3 courses plus the ubiquitous ‘dessert tubes’ that everyone raves about, with the full gamut costing $50 (kinda pricy methinks).

Three of us headed down early one evening and got a seat easily without any wait. The cafe is small and dimly lit, providing for a quiet and romantic atmosphere. Overall, I enjoyed the experience but felt that the dishes generally failed to live up to my expectations.

The evening kicked off with an undeniable highlight; the dessert tubes. Our night’s version had an Asian twist, with layers of black sticky rice pudding, coconut gel and palm sugar gel. These were thoroughly enjoyed by all, great flavours and not overwhelmingly sweet, although beware of a slight chocking hazard when sucking the dessert out of the tube!

Next up was my favourite from the evening, a buckwheat cake with crumble, quark ice-cream (quark is a cheese very similar to ricotta), mango puree and mousse. We all loved this dish, in particular the nutty, savoury buckwheat cake punctuated by sweet dollops of mango puree. Made me think of the love child between a Weis Mango Bar and a Golden Gaytime.

Next up, a formidable glass of salted caramel, white and dark chocolate mousse and hazelnut crumble. This had a fantastic contrast in temperature between the cool mousse and warm caramel sauce, although I’m inclined to think the salted caramel had a tad too much salt. What should be an accent flavour was overwhelming and had us all reaching for our water glasses.

I am sad to say we ended on a low point with a dish of dehydrated pineapple, date puree and orange jelly and mousse. I’m being picky here, but really $50 for three tiny (and I mean ridiculously-tiny-for-the-plate) dishes invites close attention, because this didn’t really do it for me for several reasons. Firstly I found the date puree overpowering (and I love dates). Secondly, though I loved the super wobbly orange jelly, it had the unappealing taste of flat fanta, not proper orange. Finally, tasting all the elements together I wasn’t convinced at the combination, especially after such a heavy chocolate number.

So, what’s the beef? Well, it was a fun experience, and I think the desserts were very interesting and showed brilliant technique. However, not all of the dishes really wowed me, and certainly not for that price tag. The waitress did mentioned that in December each year they do a “favourites” night, with Roelofs recreating all the best dishes from the year, which might be worth hitting up. I think its worth a try, just don’t raise your expectations too high, and don’t feel guilty if you ended up downing a Denise at Huxtaburger afterwards like I did!

Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon

Filed under: Dessert, Fitzroy