Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gourmet Ice-Cream Company and The Dessert Room, Dunedin

When we were visiting Sister Cake in Dunedin we did squeeze in a couple of foodie activities - just after we arrived there I was reading Becs' post on Lovely Wee Days about her trip to Melbourne, and how she has a spreadsheet of foodie destinations, and had to giggle because when we go on holiday (and indeed for Wellington on a Plate) I do exactly the same. I didn't have a spreadsheet for Dunedin because food wasn't intended to be the focus - it was more about relaxing completely and spending time with family - but that is my usual modus operandi.

Even without a spreadsheet I had a mental list of must-visit places - you've already seen the Cookie Time Factory, Denheath and the chocolate shops we went to on the way, but these are some of the other eating highlights.

Near my sister's place is a lovely cake shop called The Dessert Room. I had done my Dunedin research and already had it on my list when a voucher for their cupcakes popped up on GrabOne, so I snapped one up and we paid them a visit the day after we arrived. The shop is well presented, if a bit sparse, but the cakes look amaaaaaazing (sadly I didn't get any photos in the store, but check out the website if you want to drool).

Our voucher secured us six cupcakes, which were presented very well (I love the window in the box!) and also pretty tasty - nice and moist, not at all dry as cupcakes can sometimes be, and the icing wasn't overpoweringly sweet. The flavours weren't too distinctive (the two chocolate-oriented ones were pretty similar) but they were a nice treat all the same. 

I had emailed Mark from the Gourmet Ice-Cream Company before we embarked on our trip, and he kindly agreed to meet me (he spotted my brandy snap ice-cream recipe write-up last year and wrote to me about it, which was cool, and while I think my recipe is pretty good so is their original - and buying some is definitely a quicker way to get your hands on it!). I had asked if we could see behind the scenes but he said he'd have to erase my memory if he was to allow that, and I like my memory. ;-) He did come and chat to us about their ice-cream, though, and told us all about a new product they're putting out, which I reckon is quite cool - Blis. It contains a probiotic ingredient, and the idea is that it helps balance the bacteria in the mouth and throat, which can help with various things, including helping with winter colds and the like. They're promoting it for rest homes and hospitals and I'm not sure if it's available generally but if you like the idea of medicinal ice-cream and you're in Dunedin you can get it from their store there. ;-)

The store is well worth a visit if you are in the area - the ice-cream is cheaper than in supermarkets and is available in bigger (and smaller) containers - so you can try lots of different flavours, or stock up on your favourites. 

Mark very generously gave us some of their ice-cream to try, including the Blis, which is a nice vanilla - not as rich as the other products but more of an everyday treat - it would be ideal with say, chocolate self-saucing pudding or apple crumble, where their other products are pretty much standalone desserts. I completely fell in love with the fig and honey, which I hadn't tried before - and re-met old friends in the brandy snap and Whittakers peanut slab flavours.

We also had takeaways from Paascha, a Turkish restaurant in central Dunedin, and thought they were excellent. I didn't take any photos, but the store hosted the most palatable looking doner kebab I've ever seen and our pita pockets were packed full of salad and well seasoned meat. I'd love to go back and dine there to try their full menu, but probably won't be back in Dunedin for a while so that might have to wait. Highly recommended, though!

Do you know Dunedin? Any foodie secrets I missed that I should make a priority for my next visit? How do you plan your foodie holidays? ;-)

The Dessert Room is located at 594 Hillside Road, Caversham, Dunedin, ph 03 456 3537, www.thedessertroom.co.nz

The Gourmet Ice-Cream Company is located at 10 Birch Street, Dunedin, ph 03 474 0773, www.gourmeticecream.co.nz
Paascha is located at 31 St Andrew Street, Dunedin, ph 04 477 7181, paascha.co.nz


  1. Ahh Dunedin ! I've lived here for the past five years. I'm so glad you discovered Paasha. It's hands down the best Turkish I've had in New Zealand. The family who owns it own another one in Pukekohe.. Also, next time you must visit 'eat' - they make delicious art out of food .. their croissants are to die for and their breakfasts are magnificent. -- http://www.menumania.co.nz/restaurants/eat-dunedin -- i can't believe someone on there called their coffee hit and miss! reading this post is almost like an email from a family member, it's all so familiar to me. thank you!

  2. Yay, Dunedin! It's where I grew up and went to university. Still miss it lots. I love the Dessert Room too. And I thought Paasha was a Dunedin-ites secret, their kebabs are so good.
    Not sure 'foodie' is the right word for this but next time you're down you should try Willowbank chips, which are an institution. Or some nice cafes - Nova, Rhubarb, No 7. And the Total Food Equipment shop is worth a visit. Sigh.

  3. Friday Bakery almond croissants!

    I live by this bakery (also known as The Friday Shop, or the Hightgate Bridge Shop)and that's both a blessing and a curse- the pastries are to die for. It only opens on Friday mornings, and you have to get in early, but it's worth it. They also do pies, pain au chocolat, and savoury meals that are pre-prepared


  4. Have you been to the cadbury chocolate factory in dunedin?? If you haven't it's a must do! I loved it and you get lots of free chocolate!

  5. Georgi, eat sounds marvellous, I'll put that on my list. Glad I could bring you the warm fuzzies. :-)

    Jemma, I am all for great chips - love my carbs! And my sister has talked about the wonder of the Total Food Equipment shop, sounds a dangerous place to go lest I come away with more than intended!

    Steph, I desperately wanted to go to the Friday Bakery (and adore almond croissants) but we couldn't make our trip cover a Friday, sadly. We'll be planning around that next time!

    Kimberley, I have, a few years back. It was kind of funny because it was mostly families with kids, Mr Cake and I were the only non-kiddie encumbered, and somehow found ourselves cleaning up on the pop-quiz questions that were asked as we wandered around. Eventually we had to stop answering altogether! Certainly did come away with plenty of chocolate...

  6. hi rosa, thanks for posting this. I will be travelling to Dunedin in 2 weeks time.

  7. Hi Alice, glad I could help. :-)


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