By Divya Balakumar
As a lover of dessert (and by dessert I mean anything sweet), I hold the firm belief that we are all equipped with two stomachs—one for food, and one reserved especially for anything that falls under the godly category that is ‘dessert’.
The surge in dessert bars has been great for Adelaide—we’re now famous for something other than the Clipsal 500. ‘But what could be more exciting than a new dessert bar?’ you ask.
A pop-up dessert bar.
Room for Dessert is a venture by student Nisha Pereira, an enthusiastic young entrepreneur with a head full of ideas. She is ably assisted by Eloise Richards, a recent alumnus of UniSA, who handles the marketing and advertising. Operating out of the function room at The Spice Kitchen, this pop-up fuses Moroccan and Indian themes, which are reflected in the décor as well as the menu. Despite the small area they are operating within, the décor was pretty magical—the ceiling and walls (which, we discovered, housed a couple of windows) were heavily draped, and large Moroccan lanterns adorned the tables, adding to the mystique of this pop-up.
Its real charm, however, lies in its triumph in bringing to life some very traditional desserts with unexpected twists. My date and I restrained ourselves from having one of everything—it was a struggle. We ended up with ‘Guilty Gulab Jamuns’ and ‘A Trio of Phirni’; admittedly, I ordered these because I thought I might have an expert critique, being Indian myself.
Let me just say this the only way I see fit.
(I’m sorry Mum, but…)
Those were the best gulab jamuns I have ever put in my mouth.
They were buttery and soft; like biting into a tasty pillow-cloud of sugar syrup-dipped scrumptiousness. And in the centre, a pleasant surprise lay in the form of chocolate. This was served with cappuccino ice cream—unheard of, traditionally, but a welcome modification.
The phirnis were topped with mango coulis, berry coulis and a dark chocolate sauce, respectively. In my humble, self-professed food nerd (tutored by endless episodes and seasons of Masterchef) opinion, the phirni was best paired with chocolate; the density of the chocolate allowed it to complement, not overpower, the smooth texture of the phirni, which was what the coulises did not achieve. Chocolate wins, again.
Despite the lack of lighting—which Nisha attributed to power limitations—and teething problems (the drinks needed a bit of work), Room for Dessert certainly fulfils its purpose of bringing exotic and delectable desserts to Adelaide’s growing foodie community.
*Room for Dessert is located upstairs at The Spice Kitchen: 252 Kensington Road, Leabrook. For more information, visit www.roomfordessert.com.au.
** Photo by Harry Allwood