Travel bites: This is the best dessert I’ve ever eaten

Travel News from Stuff - 11-09-2023

I always head straight to the dessert menu. And this time, one thing caught my eye: a carrot cake sundae.

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My mum makes the best carrot cake in the world (according to her very biased son), so I was intrigued by how this would compare.

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As the waiter approached, I started a detective-level line of enquiry about the sundae. She explained it was like a deconstructed cake, describing the process of eating it as a “biblical experience”. It turns out she wasn’t wrong.

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I’m at the Lodge Bar & Dining in Brisbane. It’s actually a Kiwi restaurant by fashion brand Rodd and Gunn, which has restaurants in Queenstown, Auckland and Melbourne. But you’ll want to check out their Brisbane outlet – which serves some of the best dishes in Queensland.

It’s found in the heart of James Street, the trendiest stretch of road in the city. Here, shops are draped in vines and hanging gardens, with lots of leafy trees. Amongst this is a mix of high-end boutiques, specialty stores and exceptional eateries. The Lodge Bar & Dining is top of them.

The culinary mastermind behind it all is Kiwi chef Matt Lambert, who came to fame at The Musket Room in New York. He’s joined by master sommelier Cameron Douglas - with fewer than 300 worldwide holding that title. The pair look after the menus at all four restaurants.

Heading up the Brisbane eatery is James Evangelinos, who produced some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. The highlights included marbled wagyu, Bundaberg red potato agnolotti and delicious duck fat potatoes.

But the dish I’ll remember for the rest of my life is the carrot cake sundae.

It was a blissful mix of spiced carrot granita, white chocolate flakes, candied hazelnuts, freeze-dried mandarin and a cream cheese-like ice cream. These flavours and textures could go horribly wrong if it wasn’t in the hands of a world-class chef. But it clearly was.

Sorry, mum, you’ve been outdone. Your carrot cake is now the second-best in the world.

Find the Lodge Bar & Dining at 49 James Street, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. See:

Brisbane is connected with direct flights from Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. See: ; ; , (Queenstown to Brisbane only) and (Auckland to Brisbane only).

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