If you’re the kind of person who starts thinking about dessert before the entrees arrive, listen up, because this one’s for you.
Dessert is the end goal of a meal and you cannot change our minds. The best restaurants and finest dining institutions in Brisbane have taken full advantage of this fact and cooked up some absolute bangers of calorific glory. You have six other days each week to eat clean, tonight’s for treating yo' self. Best of all, with an Urban Feast card, you'll basically get dessert for free at any of the participating venues—do you really need another excuse?
Here is where to find the best and most epic desserts in Brisbane.
Twix Tacos | Ze Pickle
Ze Pickle are renowned for their extreme burgers, but don’t let anyone shame you into skimping on dessert. Everyone needs a sweet lil' morsel that doesn’t take itself seriously and guarantees you some big happies. For that, Ze Pickle proudly presents their Twix Tacos: Deep fried Twix bars in a red velvet pancake taco with ice cream, brownie salsa and shaved milky bar.
Paying homage to Australia’s answer to the Crunchie, Vaquero’s Violet Crumble is a glorious plating of childhood nostalgia. Like the chocolate bar, this dessert features a predominant honeycomb and chocolate flavour profile, with chunks of handmade honeycomb and chocolate pastry cream, as well as some Jerusalem artichoke to keep your palate guessing. Intriguing and delightful, and popping off the 'gram with a violet-coloured wafers.
Undoubtedly, the hardest part about dessert is figuring out which one you want to commit to. Even after you’ve made your choice, you’ll be forever haunted by the road you didn’t take. Canvas isn’t here for any of that grief, which is why they have engineered the Three Amigos tasting plate to give you a three-strong snapshot of their dessert menu which features a decadent take on lemon meringue pie, a chocolate fudge caramel brownie, classic apple pie and a fancy affogato.
An Eagle Street favourite, Pony Dining is the winner everyone is always trying to get onto. Their blueberry doughnuts are the ultimate way to wrap up a Pony feast, and come with blueberry jam, honeycomb chunks, and burnt vanilla ice cream. Giddy up.
Making James Street cool since before The Calile was even a blueprint, Harveys is that reliable stalwart that always hits the spot. In honour of this very special public service, we’d like to shine a light on their similarly reliable Valrhona chocolate tart, served with macadamia praline, caramel ice cream and mascarpone to take the edge off.
A visually stunning plate, Bacchus’s toadstool is a dioramic love letter to strawberry season, served with a decent helping of whimsy. Moving from top to bottom, the cap of the toadstool is made from a dome of strawberry and Valrhona white chocolate mousse coated in strawberry gel, which sits atop a crunchy meringue filled with strawberry salsa to form the leg. Chocolate soil around the base plus a quenelle of strawberry sorbet finishes the whole fantasy off.
Naked Pop | Cowch
Cowch straight up changed the game when they hit us with the naked pop. Here’s the thing: the pop starts out naked and it’s all very avant garde and groundbreaking BUT THEN you get to dress it up exactly how you want like a bespoke magnum. Interactive dinner theatre! Start with your ice cream base (choice of vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, bubble gum, strawberry or peppermint), then choose your chocolate coating (milk, dark, white, or caramel) and then finish it off with a smattering of toppings from the bar HOW GOOD.
Castiglione Gelato | La Macellaria
Teneriffe, Bowen Hills, West End and Coorparoo
Famed for their super traditional flavours and mixing methods, La Macelleria prides itself on churning the most authentic gelato in Brisbane. Besides their bank of classic flavours, they like to dial things up with some particularly jaunty combos. Case in point: castiglione, a light and jammy mess of ricotta and caramelised figs that will water your crops and clear your acne.
Doughnut Fries | The Doughnut Bar
Man do we owe Doughnut Bar a debt of gratitude. The architecture of their doughnut fries maximises surface area, meaning maximum crunch and cinnamon sugar coating, while keeping the proportion of puffy insides to a comfortable minimum so there’s no risk of blowing valuable stomach real estate on plain dough. Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, put it in a blender, dip it in whipped cream, name your first child after it…
Can we talk about beignets real quick? They’re literally balls of deep-fried choux pastry that taste like heaven and have been defining the culinary landscape in New Orleans since the 18th century. Chasing one down in Brisbane is a bit of a task but mercifully there’s Libertine. Their French Vietnamese beignets are made with banana and come with roasted coconut ice cream, mandarin syrup and chocolate soil.
Loukoumades | Zeus Streek Greek
Setting the score straight on the proper name for honey puffs, Zeus Street Greek’s loukoumades mean serious business. This traditional Greek dessert is somewhere between a doughnut and a poffertje, and come drizzled with honey, cinnamon and walnuts.
Chocolate Nemesis Cake | Bucci
Bucci’s chocolate nemesis cake talks a big game. This decadent slab of purest chocolate uses a recipe from London’s iconic River Cafe, and is often touted as ‘the best flourless chocolate cake ever’. A nemesis is the inescapable agent of your downfall. Whose downfall? Bad vibes and self control. Tuck in.
We now enter the Institutional Classics portion of this round-up. During their tenure as one of Brisbane’s finest dining institutions, e’cco Bistro has perfected their choc chip cookies to a fine art. Perfectly short and crisp, each serving is made fresh to order so they come with that fresh-out-of-the-oven toastiness. Maybe the best way to finish a meal since the invention of the after-dinner mints.
You know it’s got to be good if they put their own name on it. Also made to order, Malt’s idea of a brownie is absolutely indecent. Based on a torta caprese, this almost molten chocolately mass is a den of sin, complete with a globe of vanilla malt ice cream (very on brand), quince and chocolate crackle.
The Bombe | Stokehouse Q
And rounding out Brisbane’s greatest dessert hits, it’s Stokehouse Q and their notorious ‘Bombe’. The constituent parts of a traditional Bombe Alaska are already glorious on their own, but it’s the combined forces of white chocolate parfait, fresh strawberries, and toasted meringue that sends the Bombe into the upper stratum of desserting. You can’t even think of stopping your hunt for Brisbane’s most iconic dessert until you get a piece of this.
Find out more about Urban Feast here.
Image credit: Grace Elizabeth Images (Ze Pickle), Bacchus, Zeus Street Greek