A little piece of paradise in Woolloomooloo combines cake shop, café and florist
It's not every day you find yourself spending a delightful afternoon on the edge of a highway. But seated outside new café and flower shop Petal Met Sugar in Woolloomooloo, we find ourselves doing exactly that.
Run by ex-Zumbo pâtissier Elsa Li and florist Angela Wong, most of the shop is dedicated to baking, with a kitchen in a glass-lined side room off to the side, and a small display of beautiful flowers greeting you as you enter. There's a distinctively Japanese feel about it. Maybe it's the clean, white interior, the pale plywood furnishings, perhaps it's the formal, polite service or the glass teapots scattered with tea leaves. Whatever It is, it works.
A warning is required before we start talking about the food: you're going to want to eat every cake in here, they're that pretty. But hold back and take another tip from the Japanese: restraint. This place is all about delicacy and grace, so go with it.
There are lots to choose from but our pick is the Guava Earl Grey cake. Hidden beneath the glossiest white glaze, a delightfully mottled earl grey sponge is topped with alternate layers of light crème fraîche mousse and tart guava jelly. It's crowned with a fine shard of maple and pecan nougatine for crunch. You may as well go the optional maple ice cream side. The waiter says it brings out the flavours of the cake, and although we're not sure about that, it's a bleedin' delicious little quenelle of cold.
The Terrarium is almost too pretty to eat. A white chocolate globe has been cut away so you can see what's inside. Not that that's going to give you any clue as to what you're eating, because, as the name implies, it's been made to look like a young terrarium, replete with chocolate soil and edible flowers. Underneath all that is a just-set panna cotta infused with barely-there jasmine tea. Tiny pieces of dried strawberry hide within, alongside sour nubbles of yuzu gel. There's apparently lemon balm in here too but we can't detect it. It's an incredibly delicate dessert – so delicate in fact that the flavours might be best described as muted, the crumbly chocolate soil and sweet white chocolate shell overwhelming the more subtle elements. That said, it's probably the most Instagrammable thing we've ever set our iPhone on (yes, we took a thousand photos).
The drinks here are almost as elegant as the cakes. Try the refreshing, clean raspberry, mint and muscat iced tea. It's faintly sweet and incredibly pretty in its fine stemless glass with a raspberry juice ice cube and torn up mint decorating the fuchsia-toned liquid.
The hot chocolate is made with couverture chocolate and, like the rest of the menu here, is small, light and pure rather than big, bold and brash. Try it if you like your hot chocolates milky rather than robust.
Having a coffee here will dull your tastebuds too much and stop you being able to taste such delicate flavours, but if you must then you won't leave disappointed on that front either. The beans are by Chatswood roastery Gabriel Coffee and our flat white is made with a deft hand by the young barista. It's smooth and silky, the grind hot, smoky and spicy. All we ask is that you have it after you eat your pretty little cake so that you can properly enjoy both, promise us?
|Venue name:||Petal Met Sugar|
68 Sir John Young Cr
|Opening hours:||Tue-Fri 8am-4.30pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 9am-4pm|