SOMETHING rare happened after I ate dessert at the Measure Bar – I didn’t hate myself and feel like a bloated Baron Harkonnen.
That’s because the dishes at this specialist dessert bar are perfectly balanced by chef Karmen Lu, making you feel decadent but not gluttonous.
The atmosphere at this Beaufort Street haunt is very “date night” – tasteful bare-wood, abstract motifs and flattering lighting.
But the real attraction is the dessert menu, a selection of nine painstakingly curated dishes, with a couple of “rotating” sweets to keep things fresh.
The Choc Mint ($20) is a dark chocolate cremeux — think rich, dense mousse — sitting on a crunchy base, scattered with mint flavoured chocolate crumbles and popping candy.
It’s accompanied by a side of minty gelato with delicate milky wafers.
The cremeux could easily be overwhelming, but the sharp mint cuts perfectly through the rich chocolate flavours and there’s a nice interplay between the smooth and crunchy textures.
I think this is the dessert that’ll actually make me say “yep, that’s a $20 dessert”.
Critics agree and last year Measure won best new venue at the Australian Hotels Association awards
My date went for the Violet Passion ($21). Even if you weren’t going to eat it, the presentation is amazing: it could pass for a Valentine’s day flower arrangement.
The base is a firm passionfruit semifreddo topped with strips of dehydrated passionfruit curd.
Amongst those coils are nested blueberries and tiny meringues, finished with chunks of violet jelly.
The well-balanced dish is sweet, fruity and refreshing, and never cloying.
The cocktails fit the dessert theme: There’s a pavlova-flavoured vodka cocktail, a peach bellini, and a liquid “lemon meringue” with Limoncello, vodka, Contreau, Drambuie and lemon.
I tried their take on the old fashioned ($20), which adds salted caramel to the bourbon, Grand Marnier and bitters mix. Again, they were very restrained: Nothing here felt too sweet, and this still tasted like a strong, grown-up drink.
The main game here is the evening desserts, but this year Measure started running high teas on the weekends and a brunch through the week, Tuesday to Sunday.
Nothing’s boring or vanilla: The avocado on toast is enhanced with goat’s cheese and roasted cherry tomatoes. The scrambled eggs are miso-flavoured and include the sharp Japanese spice shichimi. Even the porridge sounds like it’s served up for royalty, accompanied by chai poached pear, quinoa granola and chai syrup.
I’ll be back for brunch soon.
By David Bell
642 Beaufort Street, Mt Lawley
0457 552 245