The Bestie is ready to drop her bundle now. Her OB may have told her otherwise but the body has reached that point in late pregnancy where you wonder what the point is in the last three weeks of gestation. Heck, my own second-born saw no point in hanging around in utero any longer. With the Bestie needing a boost, I crossed my fingers that our high tea experience at Rochelle Adonis would be nothing short of amazing, especially as we felt a bit let down after last week’s high tea.
If you haven’t heard of Rochelle Adonis as yet then you’re forgiven, particularly if you’re not a foodie. It’s not a household name as such but given time, I’m fairly certain you’ll have interstate friends begging you to send over some of her amazing Rocky Road and nougats, in the same way I demand my husband bring back goodies from Koko Black in Melbourne or Cocolat in Adelaide. What this lady and her team produce in her kitchen is unique and made with passion. We’re also talking about someone who does profiteroles with a metallic chocolate sauce. Her approach isn’t Adriano Zumbo wacky (it’s a good wacky but the man uses cauliflower in desserts!) but it sure isn’t ordinary either.
So the Bestie and I rocked up at noon for our high tea and immediately took great joy in entering the shop. It had been bucketing down with rain so Rochelle Adonis’ cosy and warm little parlour was a most welcoming haven. The decor is light and bright with one wall dedicated to stunning photos of Rochelle’s creations. For people who prefer ogling things in 3D, a display case boasts some of the finest cakes and treats I’ve seen in Perth in a long time.
We were cheerfully greeted by staff and guided over to our section of the massive marble table that takes centre stage in the shop. Some people may be put off by the idea of being seated en masse but there’s ample room to move and you still feel like you have your own little space. If anything there’s something wonderfully uniting about the table. It’s not like you have to strike up a conversation with your neighbour but in a society that seems to be getting more and more aloof, it’s nice to have these such communal moments.
We were offered tea or coffee (both by Fiori) which took me by surprise for a moment (high tea is the one time I’m not lured by the mighty bean) but chose to side with tea. Traditionalists may scoff at the idea of coffee being on offer but I don’t think Rochelle is one to worry about shoulds and shouldn’ts (metallic profiteroles people!). In fact, if you’re a lost soul without a serve of scones with your high tea then you’ll be in for a shock. However, once that shock subsides, you’ll be a convert. This is modern high tea baby!
The Bestie and I got a chance to relax over our lovely pots of tea which were served with adorable mini milk bottles. It was nice not to be rushed into food but just as we started to feel the pangs of hunger, a lovely young man emerged from the kitchen with a glass stand full of very savoury looking savouries. Was it merely plonked down in front of us? Nay. Lovely Young Man took time to let us know exactly what we were going to feast on which was fabulous. He proudly let us know that he had just made the pesto (an emerald hued mousse) which sat on top of a tasty looking roasted vegetable frittata. He was just as pleased to say that the cucumber sandwiches were made with hand-churned butter. The savoury round was completed with Rochelle’s parmesan crisps topped with marinated capsicum and parmesan panna cotta. Delicious!
It didn’t take long for us to polish off the savoury food. The amount was perfect and every morsel was flavoursome. If I wasn’t the woman of impeccable grace and manners that I am (*tongue firmly in cheek*) I probably would have licked the left over pesto on the Bestie’s plate. It was that good!. After a short break and more cups of tea, Lovely Young Man reappeared with a larger glass stand and a small silver tray carrying cute little bowls. Perfect little scoops of ice cream were peering over the rim and for a moment, I wasn’t too worried about what was on the stand. Ice cream… (my Homer Simpson moment).
When I finally managed to avert my attention away from the ice cream, I was instantly delighted by the other things on offer. The visual rush you get from well presented food is quite often worth the price tag attached to it. It’s hard to explain but that rush is exactly what I want when I go out to eat. I tried my best to concentrate on what was coming out of LYM’s mouth but my brain was too focussed on how gorgeous everything looked. From memory, we were served a bowl of apple and cinnamon crumble with vanilla ice cream (homemade), a sampler of Rochelle’s upcoming Christmas pudding with maple syrup and walnut ice cream (it’s no nanna pudding!), gluten free Valrhona chocolate brownie (dressed to the nines), a piece of Rochelle’s nougat and tropical trifle. May I say that every bite was just absolute joy.
Overall, the amount of food provided in the high tea was of elegant sufficiency (hubby’s favourite retort whenever I ponder the wisdom of a second dessert) but the experience is so deliriously good that you are left wanting for more. Fortunately if you do want more then there’s a display case full of goodies waiting for you to take them away. I exercised great restraint however and walked away from the case. I was pretty sure I’d be back again anyway.
Some people are going to balk at the higher than average price of Rochelle Adonis’ high tea ($45 per head) but the Bestie and I got immense satisfaction out of it. The quality of food is exceptional and that is reflected in the price. Some may argue that the portion of food seems small against the cost but how much do you really want to eat at high tea? To be sure, $90 can easily get two people a decent sized mid-week lunch with wine at an above average restaurant (if I recall, Bistro Felix in Subiaco has a pretty mean mid-week lunch deal) but that’s lunch. If you need extreme sustenance then $90 will probably get you a truckload of Big Macs as well. High tea is about getting lost in a beautifully refined moment, preferably shared with people you like.
Rochelle’s high tea is all that and more. It’s a highly personalised experience and as those who follow her on Facebook will know, the menu changes frequently. If someone in her team has an amazing idea one morning, it could very well appear on the high tea menu later that day. You just never know what to expect which is precisely why I’d like to go again some time :)
193 Brisbane Street
Northbridge WA 6003
ph +618 9227 0007
Hours -Wednesday to Saturday (Booking required as food is prepared according to booking numbers – get in quick for Saturdays! Deposit – $45)
10am to 4pm