A cosy high tea in hipsterville.
Southpaw is a quirky little bar number tucked away on Fitzroy’s eccentric Gertrude Street. The Forgotten Fruits Afternoon Tea was a one-off event hosted by Southpaw for the 2011 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, and distinguished itself by its most curious menu.
The venue sat us at high wooden picnic-like tables and long benches. With bowls of potpurri, sprigs of fresh wildflowers and dimmed light from a vintage lamp perched on the end of each table, the ambience was rather prettily cosy and cottage-like, which was in stark contrast to the service.
Served on a collection of mismatched but nevertheless whimsical teacups and porcelain sets, tea was a special house blend – a rather delicate, subtle one with tiny hints of honey, lemon and berry.
As an appetiser, a plate of charcuterie heralding from the Daylesford region was presented, accompanied by soft grainy bread. A plate of white bread ribbon sandwiches was also served.
The second layer were scones. In accordance with our philosophy of sweet appreciation, let the pictures tell the tale. We shall say however, that the “forgotten fruits” preserves accompanying the scones uplifited our spirits, and were rather special. A sampling plate of rosehip, apple and date chutney; cherry laurel, shadberry, vanilla and brandy jam; crab apple, peal and maple chutney; and elderberry and rhubarb jam. Why can we not find these berries in markets and supermarkets anymore??
The third layer was of course, the irresistibles – a gooseberry and toffee tartlette, white chocolate and silvenberry mousse, and a spiced medlar biscuit marketed as the “Southpaw Tim Tam.” The gooeseberry and toffee mix of the tartlett was unset; the mousse was unfortunately vague in flavour; but the sweet irresistibles were saved by that Southpaw Tim Tam. We need one more please!
And the final serving consisted of a lovely “drunken eton” palate cleanser – containing marionberry, meringue and a dash of brandy and grand marnier.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Southpaw, 189 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Vic 3068.
- ☑ Budget: $$ ($35)
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: High Tea.
- ☑ Must-eat: A one-off Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Event, repeated annually.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: A cosy high tea in hipsterville.