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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Passionflower, Sydney

Final Fantasy $14.00
Black sesame and coconut ice creams
accompanied by cool refreshing pieces of black jelly
drowned in a shot of evaporated milk

I remember when the cinema section of George Street was never-ending scaffolding, wooden board footpaths and giant long-abandoned holes in the ground. Now the area is filled with shiny buildings, trendy apartment complexes, and new restaurants and cafes opening til late.

Looking for dessert after dinner, we find ourselves at the Passionflower Cafe on George Street at the base of the Pavilion Plaza. Passionflower has always been a favourite dessert destination with its range of Asian-inspired ice creams: exotic flavours that include durian, sticky rice, lychee & rose petal, black sesame and wasabi (the last one is not as sinus-clearing as it sounds).

Lychee with raspberry mousse $10.00

These days Passionflower is decidedly hip with redesigned funky modern menus and an extended range of eat-in desserts with cute and/or geeky titles like As Good As It Gets and Final Fantasy.

Japanese green tea mousse $10.00

Service is a little distracted and prices can at times seem high, but for the most part, their ice creams are well-made and well-flavoured.

As Good As It Gets $14.50
Jackfruit, durian, taro and coconut ice creams
served with homemade coconut jelly and glutinous balls
with a shot of warm coconut sauce

I dig into As Good As It Gets with great gusto. The durian ice cream is amazing, with its delicious pungency. The glutinous rice balls should be approached with caution. Thick wads of starchy rice flour seem determined to lodge in my throat and go no further. I can understand now why there are so many deaths in Japan from eating mochi rice balls (mainly children and the elderly). And despite the promise on the menu, the shot of coconut sauce is cold, not warm.

Skinny dipping $8.80
Strawberries with melted chocolate

The G-man finds the green tea mousse incredibly sweet but I quite like it, especially its strong matcha flavour. The black sesame ice cream is a winner with its nutty smoky sweetness whilst still smooth in texture.

And I'm not sure that eating strawberries in melted chocolate will help you skinny dip with confidence in future, but if it's all about abandon and having fun, then pass me a strawberry and let me at that chocolate!

View Larger Map
Passionflower on Urbanspoon

Pavilion Plaza, Shop G1
(opposite George St cinemas)
580 George Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9267 0075

Open Monday to Thursday 8am - midnight
Friday 8am - 1am
Saturday 10am - 1am
Sundays and public holidays 10am - midnight

10% surcharge on weekends and public holidays

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Passionflower, Capitol Square, Sydney

Ice cream -- French Riviera, Sydney (24+ scoops of ice cream)
Ice cream -- Smile Korea Mart, Sydney (32cm high soft serve)
11 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/12/2009 12:11:00 am


  • At 2/12/2009 9:06 am, Blogger shez said…

    I agree - the durian ice-cream there is particularly pungent. More so, sometimes, than durians themselves! (Well the ones we get frozen & imported here anyway).


  • At 2/12/2009 10:29 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To me you're brave ordering Durian but I can't cope with the smell of Durian-it has me running a mile hehe. The ones in the martini glasses look so cute (although I agree they're a little on the pricey side).

  • At 2/12/2009 2:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I must walk past this multiple times a week without ever noticing it. Dessert cafes are just not common enough here.

  • At 2/12/2009 3:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Glad to hear you've tracked Passionflower down. Master Four was mighty disappointed he couldn't try the black sesame ice-cream after we discovered Passionflower was no more at Harbourside, Darling Harbour.

  • At 2/12/2009 4:48 pm, Blogger Y said…

    I didn't realise they did desserts of this sort. I used to love getting scoops of ice-cream in those plastic flower-shaped tubs they had.

  • At 2/12/2009 5:09 pm, Blogger Implosion said…

    Hey Helen
    Was disappointed when Passionflower at Darling Harbour shut down.... didn't want to trek right into the city at Capitol to get some.
    LOL @ "Final Fantasy"..... geeky is right!
    Only an ABC hangout would name a dessert after a manga/anime, right? :))))

  • At 2/12/2009 8:31 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Shez - Oh isn't durian just divine? I've sometimes wanted to buy frozen durian from Chinatown but then I chicken out because I don't want dirty looks on the train home!

    Hi Lorraine - Oh I love durian! It's so funny how it divides people so!

    Hi goth-gourmande - I think dessert cafes are great. There have been so many times we have dinner, go for a walk and then feel like dessert!

    Hi Divemummy - There's still the Passionflower at Capitol Theatre as well. I am sure Master Four would love to do some ice cream research!

    Hi Y - Oh yes those tubs do remind me of Passionflower. They've really extended their range of desserts - so many choices now. A dangerous thing!

    Hi Implosion - Yes I had to laugh at the Final Fantasy name. It's so great that the City is finally coming alive again too.

  • At 2/12/2009 8:44 pm, Blogger Simon said…

    1st Wow!
    Passionflower has really gone upmarket since I've last been there. Do they still have the mega sundaes named after mountains?

    2nd Wow!
    Those are some really nice shots :)

    3rd Wow!

    Isn't durian like the coriander of the fruit world?

  • At 2/13/2009 10:22 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - Passionflower has changed but more choice can only be a good thing!

    I love durian but yes, I do like your comparison to coriander - it's one of those divisive foods - you either love it or hate it!

  • At 2/16/2009 6:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmmm passionflower havent been in agggesssss, I guess I did overdose on it when they first opened haha buuttt your photos are so enticing mmmmm I do miss their spotted dog? the one with the brownie chunks?
    FF yatta ^^!

  • At 2/16/2009 8:35 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi FFichiban - I haven't tried their spotted dog. I don't rmeember seeing it on the menu but it does sound good!


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