Review: Brisbane desserts walking tour reveals South Bank’s sweetest secrets
Every so often an invitation to review a walking tour arrives in the mail that proves inordinately popular with our writers. So it was with this fabulous Brisbane food safari around South Bank, which visits a selection of the precinct's myriad dessert bars.
Please note: Foodi has recently discontinued this tour. You may like to visit the dessert outlets covered in our review yourself, or browse the available Brisbane walking tours here.
In life there are moments, events and experiences that must be endured under duress for the greater good.
Today, as a writer, I am embarking on one such experience in Brisbane, and as much as I don’t want to do it, I feel I must take one for the team. Yep. Today I get to review a Brisbane desserts walking tour of South Bank with Foodi.
We meet our guide Timothy (who is in training and about to lead his very first tour) in the heart of the South Bank riverside entertainment precinct. Foodi’s walking tours feature small group sizes, and by the time the tour begins we’re all relaxed and chatting away — ready to take on what is described by one of our group as the ‘tour with the least walking and the highest calories’. This witty observation is met with raucous laughter. It sounds good to me!
Timothy starts by giving us a brief history of dessert in Australia. Appetites suitably whetted, we head off at a relaxed pace towards our first stop — the Beach House Health Bar, which offers a selection of treats made from raw ingredients. They cater for food intolerances (such as gluten and lactose) and there’s an extensive vegan menu on offer.
We try two of their sorbets — coconut and chocolate — topped off with a raw chocolate heart. Everything is absolutely delicious, and I struggle to comprehend that the sweets I’m feasting on don’t contain processed ingredients and are sweetened with palm sugar. It occurs to me that at this stage of the tour I’m actually a little healthier than when I started! However, that’s all about to change as we reach our next stop — Zeus Street Greek.
The planning and timing are excellent as Timothy has ensured our hosts are ready for our arrival and our tables are waiting. It’s here that thoughts of maintaining my figure disappear completely. We feast on loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) drizzled with hazelnut chocolate and honey, and bougatsa (a velvety smooth vanilla bean custard), wrapped in filo pastry and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.
A comfortably short walk takes us to our third stop — My Sweetopia — where ornately decorated cupcakes await. These are complemented with some exotic teas, including a refreshing star anise (licorice) brew. Surprisingly, there are a few leftover cupcakes, and these are boxed up and sent home with the younger members of our tour group (an indication of just how much we have eaten already and how full we are!).
However, Timothy is not done with us yet. Our final destination is Cowch Dessert Cocktail Bar and I’m sure I can hear angels singing as I walk into what I can only describe as ‘dessert heaven’. The detail in the décor is amazing, right down (or make that up) to the udder-shaped light fittings.
We’re seated at the main table and served two dessert pizzas to share. The first is a crunchy s’mores pizza, topped with milk chocolate, marshmallows, cornflakes and crumble. The second is hands down the favourite — a banoffee pizza with a white chocolate base, topped with banana, crumble, whipped cream, and a generous drizzle of salted caramel.
But wait, there’s more! Finally, we’re dished up a sample of Cowch’s freshly baked ‘Udder Puffs’, with our choice of homemade ice cream and topping. I go for the caramelised condensed milk ice cream, smothered in pure melted white chocolate (with a few nuts on the top for health reasons).
When it comes time to bid our farewells, I haul myself up from the table and head off for a much-needed digestive stroll around the South Bank Parklands — feeling quite proud of the dietary sacrifices I have made for readers across the nation.
Marianne Diaz is a research scientist by day and a freelance travel writer by night! She has travelled to Sri Lanka to explore her children’s part-heritage, and enjoyed research trips to Japan, and Bloomington, Chicago and Boston in the USA. Marianne’s main travel goal is to get to the Italian Aeolian Islands to check out the other half of her children’s background. She also loves exploring history-laden Australian country towns.