103 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane CBD
I was looking through some of my favorite Brisbane food blogs this week, thinking about what I could cram into my last weekend here before the big Eurotrip. My heart jumped into my mouth when I saw DolceBunnie's post for Passion Tree in Brisbane CBD. I've been there twice now over the past weekend so this post will cover the items I've tried.
I had taken note of Passion Tree when it was still under construction with naught but a sign to advise us of its impending arrival. I filed that information away as 'important' because dessert is always important to me but then forgot to check it out when it actually opened. Dessert is one thing but Asian-style honey bread is another thing entirely.
I first tried this stuff in Shanghai. It was like nothing I had tasted before, a sweet bread loaf with an incredibly crunchy, honey-glazed exterior and melting ice-cream inside. There's never been anything like that in Australia, to my knowledge so I was really excited to see it on DolceBunnie's blog. Needless to say, I developed a severe honey bread craving and needed to get a taste of it straight away.
Passion Tree is a much bigger venue than I thought. In fact, it's huge. There's a narrow entrance that's already lined with tables and the room opens up at the back to even more tables. Along the wall, there's an interesting seating design of alternating lounges and side tables.
I knew that I wanted a honey bread because that's what I went there for in the first place. There are heaps of other delicious-looking treats on offer, least of all macarons, different flavored frozen yogurt, sweet buns and pastries. I spotted some buns that looked remarkably identical to the Pappa Roti ones that I used to be obsessed with.
The honey bread on display looked huge and I'm pretty sure it's meant to serve 2. I asked if they come in smaller servings but she said there was only one size so I went the whole hog and ordered that. To round it off, I picked up a green tea macaron and latte.
I got a buzzer with my order so I'm speculating that you normally order and pick up your feed when the buzzer goes off. In my case, because I was there when the shop just opened, they brought my food out to me.
The toast was even bigger than I feared and I mentally promised myself before starting that I wouldn't finish it. I started off at an edge and started working my way in. It wasn't quite as crunchy as what I remembered from Shanghai but it was still pretty good.
Cut shot of honey toast
The inside was wonderfully cloud-like in softness. The honey sauce and honey flavored bread together was very sweet so the large dollop of whipped cream on top was necessary to mellow it out. I thought this was quite a good rendition of the dish in Australia.
Green tea macaron
I chose the green tea macaron because I didn't want anything too sweet after the honey bread. Green tea turned out to be a good choice because it had a slight bitterness. The icing in the middle was still quite sweet.
I was really glad I had the coffee there to wash everything down. It wasn't a bad latte but nothing special. It was absolutely necessary to help me along with the honey bread and macaron though. I think coffee is the most appropriate beverage for a dessert store.
I had to catch the Greyhound back to Toowoomba on Sunday so I popped back into Passion Tree for a drink and snack before my long ride. This time, I had a green tea latte and a choux biscuit. It was about 2pm in the afternoon and contrasting with my weekday morning visit, the place was buzzing.
I took up a little armchair against the side wall and started typing up more blog reviews. I've been rushing to get everything published before I go to Europe because I know I'll forget it all by the time I get back.
Green tea latte
The green tea latte was nice and creamy. It was probably borderline too sweet for me but only just. I still drank it fine and didn't feel gross and sticky afterwards. Like with the macaron, the bitterness of the green tea flavor helped to cut the sweetness.
I had forgotten what a choux bun was. I squeezed mine without thinking and cream oozed out onto my table. I'm lucky it didn't squirt up onto my face. It was really yum. I miss Beard Papa and this was like a Bear Papa bun on a small scale. Also, it may be my imagination but the cream filling tasted boozy to me?
Passion Tree has a lot of potential in Brisbane. It was quiet when I was there at the extremely un-desserty hour of 10am. I hope it does better trade at night because there are lots of tasty sweet treats on offer. The honey bread is something I haven't had in Australia before and it's nearly as good as I remember it from Shanghai. I would love to try the coffee buns too.