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THE PRETORIA EXPLORER DESSERT CHALLENGE 2016

The Pretoria Explorer Dessert Challenge 2016 had us visiting 8 of Pretoria’s best restaurants.

The expectations of the foodie force (as we would like to be called), were definitely exceeded.

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Our 1st stop was Chocolat et Café in the new hipster spot in Waterkloof. The decor is turquoise tables and chairs with hints of pink. The best Belgium waffles in Pretoria !!! Served with chocolate ganache, marmalade and lemon curd, honeycomb and Belgium chocolate brownies, cream cheese mousse, gelato and strawberries. IMG_4346IMG_4237IMG_4236

 

The Black Bamboo welcomed  us with a glass of bubbly and seated us on the patio. Chef Pellie served us a duo chocolate mousse with dark chocolate glaze, raspberry compote swirl ice cream and a hazelnut praline crumble. A dish that is yet to debut on their menu.

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Toni’s Pizza Menlo Park served us their famous nougat with almonds, drizzled in honey and a dollop of cream. A simple yet crowd pleasing dessert. IMG_4265

 

Old Town Italy – Menlyn Maine

What an amazing restaurant, a feast for the eyes and your tastebuds. I was lucky enough to try not one but four desserts at Old Town Italy. Upside down lemon meringue, tiramisu, assorted cronuts, peppermint crisp, Bar-one, cheesecake and peanut butter flavours.  Last up was the deconstructed chocolate mousse cake which was served on our table, with every element placed individually. My favourite hands down was the tiramisu with coffee jelly, tiramisu ice cream and Oreo reduction. Chef Junior is amazing.

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Le’ Kreamery – Situated in the bustling food court of the newly revamped Menlyn Mall. We were served the sizzling brownie, Oreo smores , kinderjoy waffles and kremlets (French toast with a cream cheese filling served in a caramel sauce). We were definitely on a sugar high after this restaurant.

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Harissa Bistro- Served up a South African favourite milk tart flavored panna cotta with honeycomb and stroop/ syrup waffle. Smooth yet beautiful set panna cotta, with bitter honey comb and a sweet waffle to balance all the flavours.

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Priva Gastronomic Lounge – Served us a dish called “a not your typical fruit salad” an amazing vanilla panna cotta with apple purée, apple, pineapple and strawberry compote, blueberry reduction, Mango purée and lemon curd. Sour cherry gel with pistachio, saffron and coconut sorbet on a bed of pistachio crumb. The best panna cotta with the best view in Pretoria.

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Ritrovo Italian Restaurant served some lovely dessert wine to accompany the finale dessert. Roasted fig and chocolate mousse, raspberry gel served on a butter sponge with homemade sour cherry gelato. I really enjoyed the smooth gelato and wish there was more of it served. You can purchase the gelato from BICCCS just across from Ritrovo.

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What a pleasure to have been a judge at the 1st Pretoria Explorer Dessert Challenge. The winner definitely put up a show and didn’t hold back. The judges deliberated and finally we chose the delicious tiramisu from Old Town Italy, it hit all the right notes with the creamy tiramisu and the coffee flavored jelly sprinkled in gold as well as the tiramisu ice cream to top it off. Probably the best tiramisu I have tasted in my life.

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The winners are:

1st place: Old Town Italy – Menlyn Maine

2nd place: Priva Gastrononic Lounge – Waterkloof

3rd place: Chocolat et Café – Waterkloof

 

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