16th on Park review
Watch out Freestyle
There comes a moment in life that makes you realise why you’re with your significant other. Mine occurred last night, and it involved index fingers, saliva, and a large white plate.
We were at 16th on Park, a restaurant that has recently been touting itself as a ‘Dessert Cafe’. Along with a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu, 16th also offers an extensive dessert and hot chocolate selection. I’m starting to really like the concept of being able to go into a nice restaurant and just order dessert with no judgments. And yes, as the title suggests, I thought it was better than Freestyle Tout (although, to be fair, I’ve only had a few things off their menu).
So what happened there that made me remember why I am with D? I’ll get to that later. Let’s start with the service. It was consistently good the whole time. There were no problems with us just having dessert even though it was the prime dining hour of 7pm (I swear we ate a proper dinner first. If I had it my way, 16th would have just been the entree). Our initial waiter suggested a table that was more private, and our main waitress was genuinely friendly.
16th on Park has lots of indoor and outdoor seating, and the ambiance is agreeable, albeit nothing overly special. The menu offers good dessert staples, but with a twist-the pannacotta comes with Greek doughnuts, and the flourless chocolate cake comes with peanut brittle. That’s not to say that the menu is boring by any means-there’s also Red Wine Poached Pear with vanilla bean gelato, and a Rhubarb & Lychee Rice Pudding (all $14.00).
If you have a hard time deciding on the solid food, wait until you see the drink menu. The hot chocolate list is amazing-chili hot chocolate! Tim Tam hot chocolate! Wait for it-M’n’M hot chocolate! We settled on the Death by Hot Chocolate ($5.50). ‘Not for the faint hearted’ said the menu. You’re talking to two people who had to put a self-imposed two week ban on going to their favourite candy store. Trust me, I think we can handle it.
Our waitress gauged that we were sharing both and brought the hot chocolate out first. I was a little thrown-the thing came in a tall milkshake glass. Huh? She told us to make sure we stirred it often. Why? Because there was a kilo of shaved chocolate in the bottom of the glass. Ohh.
Once I got over the glass, I really enjoyed the drink. It wasn’t hugely rich, and tasted quite milky. This is how a hot chocolate should be, in my opinion-if you want liquid chocolate, grab a block of Cadbury’s and a microwave and go nuts. I thought the price was very reasonable too, considering most food court cafes charge nearly the same. It would be much better in more of a mug, but it tasted so good I didn’t really care.
Our Violet Crumble cheesecake with macadamia and white chocolate gelato ($14) came out shortly after. The presentation was beautiful, and the portion size was perfect. The cheesecake was of a really good quality-I especially loved the crust, which had a great cookie texture and flavour. While the cheese mixture didn’t taste overwhelmingly of Violet Crumbles, there were huge chunks of the said chocolate throughout.
16th have really put some thought into their accompaniments. The macadamia and white chocolate gelato paired really well with the cheesecake-I’ve seen similar dishes that come with caramel ice cream and are just too matchy-matchy. The gelato itself was creamy but not too rich, but unfortunately started to melt (funny that). Soon there was a mess of melted gelato, melted chocolate, and some cheesecake base crumbs on the plate. I was really tempted to tip the dish into my mouth to get to the delicious soup, but D had a better suggestion.
If you’re not vomiting yet from that piece of sickly sweetness, head to 16th and sample some of their treats.
16th on Park
Restaurant and Bar
16 Park Road
07 3367 0144
Open seven days