#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Abercrombie Hotel, Chippendale (CLOSED) » | Casa Brasil, Petersham » | Naked for Satan, Fitzroy, Melbourne » | Grasshopper Bar, Sydney » | The Good Kitchen, Hurstville » | Din Tai Fung, Sydney » | Stomachs Eleven: Bone marrow, pig's trotters Pierr... » | Yukis at the Quay, Sydney » | Badde Manors, Glebe » | Tomahawk steak at Chophouse, Sydney »

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Burch & Purchese and LuxBite, South Yarra, Melbourne

Is there a faster way to happiness than dessert? We weren't particularly organised with an eating schedule on our recent trip to Melbourne, but we did have two patisseries on our hit list: Burch & Purchese and LuxBite.

Burch & Purchese

Like bumbling interstate tourists we hopped on the tram towards Toorak, barely realising our poorly timed journey until a tidal wave of school boys engulfed us in a jostle of elbows, machismo and oversized schoolbags.

The journey stretched interminably long. Sugar would make everything better, we consoled ourselves, eventually escaping the testosterone tin can and finding sweet solace in the elegant surrounds of Burch & Purchese.

Passionfruit and strawberry clouds $4.50

Pastry chefs and co-owners Ian Burch and Darren Purchese both hail from the UK. Their Sweet Studio in South Yarra is a space for them to combine sugar and science, creating desserts that are visually arresting, artfully constructed and most importantly, delicious. Melbournites have always known about this boutique dessert house, but a recent appearance on MasterChef Australia has no doubt propelled them to national recognition and adoration.

Our attention is immediately drawn to the display cabinet, filled with elegant treats. Giant meringues look more like fluffy clouds, dusted with freeze dried passionfruit and strawberry powders. I had one of these later, and the meringue is crisp on the outside and slightly gooey and sticky in the middle.

Vanilla, pistachio and lemon green tea $9

White chocolate & vanilla mousse / pistachio cream / crunchy green tea meringue / lemon cream / pistachio cake / green tea macaron / brilliant white chocolate spray

Rhubarb, apple, crumble, cheesecake $9

Caramelised apple / custard cheesecake / malted walnut crumble / rhubarb compote jelly

Deciding what to buy is half the battle, and staff are exceedingly patient as we pace up and down the cabinet, assessing our options. Minh eventually chooses the rhubarb and apple crumble cheesecake, a multi-layered construction that is a balance of tart and sweet.

Banana, caramel and rum $9

Caramelised white chocolate & vanilla mousse / macadamia spiced speculaas / caramelised banana cream / passionfruit jelly / ascorbic dark rum jelly / caramelised milk solids / passionfruit curd / choc velvet spray

Raspberry, white choc, honey and lychee $9

White chocolate & raspberry mousse / raspberry & lychee jelly / muesli & honey nut sponge / raspberry & hibiscus jam / honey lychee syrup / exaggerated raspberry cream / white chocolate velvet spray

Roast pumpkin, milk chocolate, maple syrup and bacon $9

Olive oil and pumpkin seed cake/ spiced choc cream / milk, bacon & pecan crumble / maple syrup jelly / pumpkin mayonnaise / candied pumpkin seeds / milk choc mousse

It's the promise of bacon that wins over Suze to pick the roast pumpkin, milk chocolate, maple syrup and bacon. Actually there's less bacon in it than we expect, with a persistent taste of aniseed over-riding the flavours of the dessert.

Velvet, white chocolate, lemon, toasted pinenut $9

Jueen mothers lemon shortbread / violet pastry cream / toasted pinenut butter / white chocolate & vanilla mousse / lemon curd / chocolate and violet wafer / white chocolate velvet spray / crystallised lemon

Coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint $9

Coconut mousse / passionfruit curd / coconut caviar / passionfruit jelly / salted oat & ginger crumble / white chocolate mint wafer / ginger macaron / brilliant white chocolate spray

I eventually point at the coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint, a refreshing dessert that combines coconut mousse with tropical passionfruit and heartwarming ginger.

The Burch & Purchese ingredient wall, often used as a reference for cake consultations

Burch & Purchese kitchen

Burch & Purchese products

Fruit salad white chocolate $9.50

Salted caramel spread $12

There's a broad selection of Burch & Purchese take-home products, but the salted caramel spread is my pick of the bunch. Flecked visibly with fresh vanilla beans, it's sweet, salty and buttery and impossible to resist. It's a jar filled with the caramel centres from your favourite chocolate box.

What are you going to have yours on? I asked Suze. On a spoon! she replied without hesitation. She's right. A spoon is all you need.

Raspberry and white chocolate clay $6.50
White chocolate, kaolin clay and real raspberries

Burch & Purchese gold bars $9
Flowing salted caramel encased in Spanish dark chocolate finished with gold lustre

The 647 $8
Vanilla ice cream coated in caramelised white chocolate and macadamia nuts

In the freezer are tubs of Burch & Purchese ice cream and sorbets, packed in 155ml ($4) and 500ml tubs ($12). Ice cream flavours including: pear & ginger; spicy roast pumpkin; violet and honeycomb; and mint chocolate Aero. Sorbets range from mandarin to mango & passionfruit and cucumber & lime.

The sight of three lonely mini tubs of butterscotch popcorn ice cream in the freezer is a sign we can't ignore, and we buy all three, retiring to a park bench outside to savour our spoils. There's not a strong sense of popcorn in the ice cream, but we do find generous squares of soft caramel that are buttery and salty, and stick gloriously in-between our teeth.


Down the road and a few blocks around the corner is LuxBite. We're heard much about their macarons, especially their kaya toast macaron.

Peanut butter and jelly macarons

The shop doubles as a cafe, serving cooked breakfasts and light lunches along with Toby's Estate coffee. Down the back is the patisserie section, the macarons illuminated in an impressive display cabinet.

Macaron rainbow: [from left] kaffir lime, passionfruit, choc cherry, Toby's Estate mocha, Heilala vanilla creme brulee and mandarin & saffron 4 for $11

There's a constant queue of people ordering macarons, selecting from an impressive spectrum of flavours. The kaya toast macaron is a clever tribute to the Malaysian breakfast favourite, and although the pandan custard isn't very discernible, the square of butter in the middle is a welcome surprise.

Kaffir lime is zingy, peanut butter and jelly is the perfect after school snack and watermelon yoghurt macaron is intriguingly cool, with memories of watermelons in summer flooding forth.

Pining for passion $7.50 (nut free)
Pineapple curd tart with caramelised pineapple

The glass cabinet at the back of the store holds all the larger desserts.

The ET $8.50 (gluten free, egg free and nut free)
Dark chocolate mousse filled with salted caramel and topped with chocolate covered caramel popcorn

Oriental love $8.50 (gluten free)

After pressing our noses up against the window, I give into the Oriental Love, a giant coconut macaron with passionfruit curd, pandan cream, caramelised banana and peanut brittle. The stumps of banana are a long lost delight.

Supersized Love $8.50 (gluten free)

Suze's heart is won over the Supersized Love and eventually mine is too. It's like a giant Ferrero Rocher, the rich filling of dark chocolate studded generously with whole hazelnuts and sandwiched between two hazelnut macaron shells.

Hotel dessert party

Special mention goes to the cute yellow box and black-ribboned packaging of macarons at LuxBite. And I was also impressed that Burch & Purchese staple a photocopy of your dessert description to each of your goodies so you know exactly what you're eating.

We didn't finish all our desserts in one night, but we definitely got happy on a sugar high!

View Larger Map
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio

647 Chapel Street, South Yarra, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9827 7060
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am-6.30pm (closed Mondays)

View Larger Map
LuxBite on Urbanspoon

38 Toorak Road, South Yarra, Melbourne
Tel: +61 (03) 9867 5888
Opening hours:
Wednesday to Monday 8am-8pm (closed Tuesdays)

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Melbourne - Madame Brussels, Melbourne
Melbourne - MoVida Aqui, Melbourne
Melbourne - Naked for Satan, Fitzroy
Melbourne - Roule Galette, Melbourne
23 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 8/10/2011 12:31:00 am


  • At 8/10/2011 3:15 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    heh damn right ive been eating the salted caramel spread with a spoon! its too awesome to be diluted by something like cake!

  • At 8/10/2011 4:36 am, Blogger easyfoodhacks said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • At 8/10/2011 4:39 am, Anonymous easyfoodhacks said…

    Everything looks amazing! I really want to try the kaya toast macaron now.

  • At 8/10/2011 6:19 am, Anonymous Alison Wood said…

    Burch & Purchese kitchen is cute with pink colors and all that. I can't help but drool over roast pumpkin, milk chocolate, maple syrup and bacon. Suze truly had a wonderful taste! Lux Brite is just full of happy things. One of those macaron rainbows will surely make one's day. So which patisseries do you like better?

  • At 8/10/2011 8:30 am, Blogger Michelle Chin said…

    I love luxbite! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

  • At 8/10/2011 8:46 am, Anonymous Dumpling Girl said…

    Each one of those desserts look like a work of art. However, the sound of Supersized Love has me craving for something sweet now.

  • At 8/10/2011 8:59 am, Anonymous Chris said…

    I'm horribly envious. TT__TT Want...sugar...!

  • At 8/10/2011 9:02 am, Anonymous Katie said…

    So I'll be booking my holiday to Melbourne now... I read on their website that Burch & Purchese does a jar of half chocolate-hazelnut spread and half the salted caramel, and right now all I can think about is eating it by the (dessert)spoonful.

  • At 8/10/2011 9:38 am, Anonymous Tina@foodboozeshoes said…

    So much gorgeous sugary treats!!! It's like a fairyland of sweets!

  • At 8/10/2011 9:41 am, Anonymous ragingyoghurt said…

    man, and i *still* haven't been to burch&purchese. it's the darned double tram ride from brunswick i tells ya. on the other hand, the distance is probably a good thing -- when i was down the road from zumbo i would be in there four times a week. is that a very tiny coconut in the first picture? or a very large cake? ;) that's it. burch&purchese excursion next week!

  • At 8/10/2011 10:28 am, Blogger Phuoc'n Delicious said…

    I'm dying to try out both these places, I could imagine that it would be difficult trying to decide on what to choose since everything looks AMAZING! I'm so tempted to just book a random flight down to Melbourne for the weekend just to have these desserts.

    Now that's one party I'd like to be invited to. So jealous!

  • At 8/10/2011 11:38 am, Anonymous Jacq said…

    omg the ET was amazing! full of chocolate mousse, chocolate popcorn and salted caramel goodness! I'm regretting not getting some of those macarons now but here's hoping there will be a next time soon!

  • At 8/10/2011 12:24 pm, Anonymous Nic@diningwithastud said…

    Dessert party woot!!! I def agree with both of you - only on a spoon. Anything else is merely an unnecessary addition lol

  • At 8/10/2011 1:19 pm, Anonymous Apple @Polkadotsandchopsticks said…

    Looking at a post full of mouth watering dessert so close to lunch time isn't a good idea lol! So jealous of your experience. I bet each and every one of those desserts tasted amazing.

  • At 8/10/2011 2:18 pm, Anonymous Hannah said…

    Love love love seeing this post, because for once I've partaken in the incredible deliciousness! I lvoe seeing how B&P subtly shifts their creations into different formats, or adjusts the flavours slightly. I'm still upset I didn't get the pistachio green tea cake when i visited though!

  • At 8/10/2011 3:40 pm, Anonymous Foodie In Training said…

    These look delicious! I am going to Melbourne soon so I will definitely try to visit these places!

    I'm also wondering if you know of any food blogs of a similar nature to yours which review Melbourne restaurants/cafes etc. I have looked but most which are Melbourne based seem to blog about creating food rather than reviewing places to eat.

  • At 8/10/2011 4:11 pm, Blogger Ashley said…

    I am drooooooling. Best afternoon ever spent between these two places....must do it again soon.... :)

  • At 8/10/2011 7:29 pm, Blogger jack said…

    Wow - yum! Everything looks so good - I think I need to find an excuse to go to Melbourne and eat :) Fantastic photos of everything too!

  • At 8/10/2011 8:10 pm, Anonymous Emily said…

    I am now infinitely more excited about moving to Melbourne.

  • At 8/11/2011 1:02 pm, Anonymous James said…

    Wow, that looks nice!!
    Indonesia also have fantastic restaurants, check it out in JenzCorner.net
    The reviews are brilliant and the shots are also superb.. :)

  • At 8/11/2011 2:44 pm, Anonymous Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi said…

    I would love to try both these spots. B&P for the salted caramel spread alone and Luxbite for the ET (it looks epic!). B&P's kitchen looks way too pretty to be practical surely?

  • At 8/12/2011 9:53 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    So many pretty colours to make it all the more enticing!

  • At 8/15/2011 12:19 am, Anonymous sara (Belly Rumbles) said…

    Ummmm errrrrrr can't type still drooling, OMG!!


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts