Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Aviary Dessert Kitchen: A Tea Place Review

Over the last 12-18 months the popularity of dessert cafes has risen steadily, probably in direct correlation to the supply. These usually cute, quirky places seem to pop up over night and develop cult like followings. Some are better that others though and The Aviary on Norwood Parade, Adelaide is now high on my list of places to go for a sweet treat and a delightful cup of tea.

First, lets talk about the tea. One of the things I love about this place is the fact they use teas by Australian company Tea Tonic. Tea Tonic produce divine herbal, fruit and green teas. Stay tuned for future tea reviews of Tea Tonic teas. These teas are predominantly organic to suit the ever growing demand for organics in this country and are actually blended by a naturopath. They claim to be Australia's healthiest teas.

My dining buddy and I ordered and shared a pot of Apple Tree Tea. This refreshing fruity blend is predominantly apple pieces. So keen to try to deliciously scented brew was my buddy, the tea was poured before it had been given enough time to brew. Fruits and herbal teas need a little longer than black and green teas for the flavours to truly shine. Regardless, this was still such a refreshing treat. I loved that they presented our tea in a green pot with green cups.

In addition to Tea Tonic they also stock a selection of Marriage Fr`eres teas, boutique teas imported from France. This covers you more than well if you are searching for a nice black tea or a premium green tea.

The Aviary, like most dessert cafes has a seasonal menu and they introduce new items on a regular basis. What appealed to me most was the fact that they also clearly indicate which of their items are gluten friendly (GF) or diary free, and there were plenty of choices. Now I know GF means gluten free but like most places as they have gluten containing products in their kitchen they can't guarantee there won't be cross contamination but they try their best. This is why I use the term gluten friendly! They are happy to have gluten intolerant diners and accommodate them! Their current menu can be found on their website.

I ordered the 'a-lychee in wonderland'. The floral lychee, raspberry and vanilla jelly, macaron ‘mushroom’ and turkish delight were served with a tangy but refreshing mangosteen sorbet and tufts of persian fairy floss. It was to die for. No photo I could take of this adorable presentation would do it justice. The flavours all came together so well. This was the first time I had eaten pashmak, persian fairy floss, and it really was nice. It had a soft, melt in your mouth texture, unlike the grainy clumps you get with regular fairy floss. A special touch was the inclusion of a sprinkle of popping candy through the pieces of meringue and turkish delight. Trust me, it tasted even better than it looked, a perfect balance of textures and flavours.

My dessert buddy ordered the Chocolate Pecking Plate which was a tasting plate of flour-less chocolate cake, fresh belgian waffle with chocolate sauce and a chocolate raspberry mousse pot. There is no photo of this one because it was gone before the camera was ready! The signature dessert here is the Macaron Flower Pot and although we didn't try one, they certainly looked delicious.

This is such a popular place and it's easy to see why. Not only is the food to die for, the surroundings are cute and the service is friendly, efficient and attentive - that is something that is unfortunately becoming less common these days. If you want to visit I strongly recommend giving them a call and booking a table, the phone number is on the website.

The Verdict

Tea Place: The Aviary Dessert Kitchen. Norwood Parade, Adelaide, Australia
Rating: 5/5
Comment: A great range of teas to complement every delicious menu item. Great service and a great atmosphere. Check the website for the latest menu and make sure you call to book a table.

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