Melbourne Foodie Weekend8/07/2009 08:47:00 PM
This heart-stoppingly beautiful piece of cake is, my friends, a piece of Bienenstich. You may remember it from such posts as "Germany 2008: Kaffee und Kuchen". It is my favourite cake in the whole world. Sweet yeasted dough, fluffy custard, and crunchy sugary flaked almonds. It is very hard to find here in Melbourne, and the few times I have seen it at cafes, it has been just crap - stale dough, garishly bright yellow custard and the meanest sprinkling of un-sugared almonds on top. (That's right Hootsen's on Glenferrie and the European bakery in Vic Market, I'm looking at you!)
So you can imagine my total delight and surprise when I saw that gorgeous specimen at Dench Bakers on the weekend.
109 Scotchmer St
North Fitzroy VIC 3065
I suggested Dench for a weekend lunch date with my favourite uni friends because I wanted to try their famous breads. When we got there at about 1:45, it was still quite crowded, but we managed to score a spot inside. I have forgotten the exact prices, but they were all in the mid-to-high range.
From top: Full-sized veggie Soup; Pork chop on mash with apple sauce; Poached egg on rosti with smoked salmon.
My friend An got the pork chop, with a 1/2 & 1/2 soup for $9.50 extra (not photographed). He thought this meant you'd get a half portion of the main meal, with a half portion of the soup. But this was not the case - he did get a half-soup, but the pork chop was normal (massive) size. And yummy. An rocks because he lets me try all his food.
Sandra ordered a full portion of the soup - bizarrely the same price - which was a tomato-based vegetable soup, hearty and full of chunky vegetable pieces. I, being totally ditzy, ordered a dish with no bread! D'oh. However, my poached egg on rosti with smoked salmon and mayo was very nice, so I'm not complaining. The rosti was softer and less crispy than I'm used to, but it was good regardless.
An, being superhuman, had a 2nd latte and a super-dense ganache-covered flourless chocolate cake. I tried a little bit - almondy and delicious.
Adri bought a selection of cakes to take home, including the flourless chocolate.
Clockwise from back-left: Banana cake, crumble, bread and butter pudding, flourless chocolate cake.
I wasn't going to buy any cake, just breads, but then I saw the tray of proper-looking Bienenstich in the fridge. Yelp! Just had to buy 2 to take home.
And below is the bread I got:
From top: ciabatta, light rye, baton (French white with the cute pointy ends).
I actually only bought the rye and the baton, and they gave Adri and I a loaf of ciabatta each for free because it was closing time. Score! And more importantly, thank-you! We tried the bread later that night for supper, and it was amongst the best bread I've found in Melbourne so far. It was crusty, and the light rye had a lovely hint of caraway in it. It wasn't quite like German bread (das beste Brot in der Welt!), but I was still pleased with it, and would return for more!
Following this massive lunch, we were planning on going ice-skating at Docklands (now that the Southern Star Ferris Wheel is out of action, they've got to put some kind of activity there). By the time we found the rink - I always get lost at the Docklands, and get sooo confused by the parking - it was booked out and we couldn't ice-skate. Oops.
So we had a walk around the harbour town shops, which seem to consist mainly of discount shoe shops... and came across a Mövenpick ice-cream parlour! Such delicious Swiss creamy goodness. I didn't even know they had parlours here - when I was younger, my Dad used to buy Mövenpick for us in tiny but expensive tubs from Leo's as a treat. I dragged the group inside and we all ended up buying ice-cream, hehe.
Movenpick Ice Cream
36 Star Crescent
Docklands VIC 3008
Ph: (03) 9670-7994
Top Left: Caramelita (OMG best ice-cream flavour ever!) and cappuccino
Top Right and Bottom Left: Chocolate and Mango
Bottom Right: Raspberry
I personally love the creamy flavours the best. The cappuccino was a coffee-flavoured ice-cream containing a generous amount of fine chocolate flakes, and the caramelita had both caramel-flavoured ice-cream and a decadent ribbon of caramel (with some delightfully grainy pockets of caramel). The mango and raspberry had impressively pure, fresh flavours. Yes, $6.95 for 2 scoops is extremely expensive, but this was a time that I felt it was worth it.