Okay, so let's pretend. Let's pretend that we haven't just eaten dinner, and we did in fact walk further than half-a-dozen steps to dessert. Let's pretend that there are more than five of us about to attack a sundae containing more than 24 scoops of ice cream. Let's pretend this concoction isn't covered in chocolate sauce, nuts and generous splodges of cream in a can. Let's... ok, ok, I give up. We ate this with big fat happy grins plastered all over our faces!
Super Gastronomic Surprise $35
(for 4-5 people)
I remember those days in high school when French Riviera used to be at Double Bay. It was the place to head to for dessert after a night at the movies. Their extensive sundae menu was legendary. Maybe it was just the way you could casually say "We dropped by the French Riviera on Saturday night".
These days it's tacked onto the City/Chinatown fringe, the fairly quiet western end of Liverpool Street, used mainly by tourists coming off the footbridge from Darling Harbour.
The eat-in menu is a huge A3 sheet, printed on blue and laminated, presumably for protection against sticky ice cream fingers. One scoop of ice cream costs $5, three scoops for $10, sundaes are $15, or $24 for two. The Gastronomic Surprise is the only one that catches our eye. We have no idea what we're in for, but the collective intake of breath at its arrival is followed only by delirious smiles and eager grabbing of spoons.
I wish I could say we finished it. Actually I wish I could say we were far from finishing it. As it turned out, we weren't too far off being total gluttons, particularly as I peruse their website and note that the Super Gastronomic Surprise was originally designed for 6-8 people, not the currently listed 4-5. Have ice cream appetites really expanded, or is this just a clever up-sizing portioning ploy?
No matter. We do well regardless. Half the fun is trying to guess each flavour. We find yoghurt, lemon, mango, strawberry, rum raisin, kiwi, pineapple, vanilla, hazelnut and coffee. Chocolate is the one that everyone's after, and there's plenty of finger pointing when a secret chocolate tunnel is discovered (guilty, your honour, albeit only briefly).
The ice cream itself is smooth, mild and creamy. There are some basic demolition laws that must be followed - eat your way down, and rotate the bowl every few minutes.
For the most part, it seems as though the couples stick to sundaes, the larger groups head straight for the tower challenge. I don't recall the French eating ice cream quite like this but then perhaps that's why French women don't get fat!
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68 Liverpool Street, Sydney
(near the top end of Dixon Street)
Tel: (02) 9264 2932
Open 7 days 10.00am - 2.00am
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1/29/2008 10:50:00 p.m.