We stumbled on Twisted Dessert Bar when on the hunt for something more post-dinner in Fitzroy. It was just a short distance down the street from where we had our main meal, and we headed there, not necessarily with any great expectations, but just looking to decamp to somewhere with hopefully at least some potential options.
We thought it was empty as we approached it, but once through the door we realised that most of the seating was actually further back, hidden beyond the service counter.
The low light made everything a muted hue, so the atmosphere had a very toned down feel. The dusty pink coffee machine and table legs, and the powder blue walls added hints of colour, but without clamouring for attention. It was quite different from the shouty neon decor that many dessert places now theme themselves with.
We approached the service counter, and were pleased that staff asked to see that we had checked in, and to see our proof of vaccination. We were given a couple of copies of the menu, and instructed to return to the counter to order when we had decided what we would like.
We sat ourselves at one of the empty bar-height long tables in the front seating section, as most of the other tables in the area further back seemed to be occupied. We turned our attention to the menu, which was an A3-sized sheet of paper, printed on both sides, with drinks on one side, and dessert options on the other.
Twisted Dessert Bar is indeed appropriately named, as there was a good range of desserts, and they went beyond the standard options. While there were classics as the foundation for some of the desserts, there was creative levelling up. For instance, the Donut pudding, and the Ginger and date tiramisu (which we tried to order, but sadly they had already run out of). Befitting the season, they also had some Christmas themed desserts, like the Christmas pav and the Festive cherry tart.
After some deliberation (and having to fall back to alternative choices because some options had sold out), we settled on the Saint Clementine pudding, Japanese pancakes, Tiramisu cheesecake, and Strawberry cheesecake.
The Saint Clementine pudding was listed as a warm citrus pudding served with lavender cream. The presentation surprised us. It sat in a champagne glass with an improbably thin stem. You could see the pudding on the bottom, and the layers of cream over that, then the berry topping. The pudding was indeed warm and had had definite citrus flavour, without having either too much tang or overcompensated sweetness. The pudding was well soaked, so it was soft, rather than being a dry cake that relied on the cream to provide moisture. While we couldn’t really detect lavender flavour in the cream, the other citrus and berry flavours were enough. Photos did have to be taken quickly, as the warmth from the pudding didn’t take long to melt the cream.
The Strawberry cheesecake was next to be brought out. It was listed under the Dessert To Go section, so they can likely pack it for takeaways. It was described as a baked fresh strawberry cheesecake served with lavender cream and fresh strawberries. This drew some wows as it was brought to the table. It was beautifully presented, with the cheesecake sphere topped with bright pink flowers, and the cheesecake incorporated in to the centre of a flower shape drawn with berry coulis, with more petals scattered across the plate. Importantly, it was just as good in the eating. The cheesecake had a rich texture that was just the right density, and tasted of strawberries rather than just being a plain cheesecake topped with strawberries as we feared. It also had a buttery cookie base that crumbled well.
The Japanese pancakes had the option of being served with berries, nutella, or baked caramel apples. Given our other dessert choices, we opted for the nutella. We had been meaning to try japanese souffle pancakes for some time, but couldn’t be bothered to join the line outside the famous Gram pancakes in Harajuku years ago, and hadn’t made it to anywhere else that offered them since. When we saw these on the menu, we decided that this was the time. The pancakes were served as impressively tall rounds, generously drizzled with nutella, and accompanied by two scoops of ice cream. They were certainly loftier and airier than your typical pancake. They probably had a bit more resistive spring than the fluffy give of the famous souffle pancakes, but they were still good. They were also plenty of the nutella and ice cream, so you didn’t run out of accompaniments before you ran out of pancake.
The Tiramisu cheesecake was listed as a baked coffee cheesecake with finger biscuits and sweetened cream. Again, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect from this, but were pleased with what was brought out. The cheesecake was cylindrical this time, and surrounded by half finger biscuits. A mound of piped cream hid the top, and this was dusted with cocoa and striped with chocolate sauce. The cheesecake was, again, just the right texture, with good coffee flavour balanced with light sweetness. We discovered that the finger biscuits had been dipped in coffee, as you would do when making a tiramisu. When had all together, it was a clever rendition of a reinvented tiramisu. We decided that it was certainly leagues better than both the tiramisu and the cheesecake we had recently had at the inexplicably still popular Brunetti.
Twisted Dessert Bar is a place we would readily recommend if you are looking for a dessert destination. Their desserts are fresh, creative, and delicious. The prices are also good for what you get, especially considering what other places charge for less. Wait staff were friendly and helpful (brought us a full set of cutlery for everyone when we said that we were sharing, not just a dessert spoon each). Just be aware that they are not open quite as late as some of us would like to still have dessert options for though (closing times of 10 to 11pm).
Price point: $6 to $12 for desserts.
Address: 329 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9191 1687
Website: Twisted Dessert Bar