Il Fornaio – the famous Snickers!
2 Acland St
St Kilda, 3182
After some ramen, we headed down to St Kilda for some post-dinner dessert at Philippa Sibley’s Il Fornaio – how can anyone say no. Good traffic, easy to find location, but terrible parking – though what does one expect in St Kilda on a Saturday night. Housed in what looks like a warehouse transformed structure interiorly, it offers a raw sensibility to it but is softened by the ambient overhead lighting, splashes of colour and sleek decorations. The staff were very kind and enthusiastic explaining the desserts on offer. Every option looked & sounded oh so appetising…
The all famous Philipa Sibley’s recreation of a snickers bar – Snickers – as featured on Masterchef, was certainly something I could NOT pass on for my first visit here. Three out of nine of us ended up ordering the snickers. Beautifully layered artwork arrived on an agreeably chilled plate. A glimmering layer of thin chocolate formed the roof, which was perfectly tempered cracking so effortlessly with the spoon. Sandwiched between layers of tempered chocolate lay adorable scoops of milk chocolate mousse, interspersed with salted peanut caramel which almost oozed out of the sides – sweet, savoury and no doubt decadently luxurious! The underlying parfait was creamy and light, though a little heavy from caramel – a little thinner would’ve been perfect for me. Finally a layer of light shortbread lay hidden away at the bottom. After tasting each layer separately, one must then try it all TOGETHER. End result: you get a burst of sweet syrupy flavours, soft-creamy textures with crunchy hits of salt and crumbled buttery biscuit – food coma! In theory a deconstructed snickers bar, but it is thoroughly amazing and very satisfying.
Snow white and rose red – was a delicate composition of crystallized violet petals, juicy strawberries, a refreshing raspberry sorbet, rich Heilala vanilla icecream and chewy meringue wings. I tried a bit of my friend’s one, and it was so delightful. It received raving reviews from all three customers on the table, each bite offering an awesome burst of flavours.
“Poire belle helene” my way – I didn’t get to try this, but again received brilliant reviews. Funny story though, my mate ordered this dish knowing it also had icecream, and was subsequently highly disappointed plus/minus confused when the plate turned up without icecream. I reassured him that “it’s there”. After another couple of minutes looking left, right and centre, I had to instruct him to just put his spoon into it… you’ll find it. Result: amazement and awe! Don’t think he has ever been this astounded by a dessert before – icecream hidden within a pear! This was second on my list of to-tries, only second to the snickers – next time!!!
Tarte Tatin of pineapple with gingerbread ice cream – was warm sweet and just slightly tart, complementing the rich buttery pastry beneath.
When we finally received our water … we noticed the giant ginger-ale-like water bottles were labelled quite rightly …
Yummy +1 mouth-watering like rain (EDIT: i think i may upgrade this rating up to yummy+2 for my snickers… cravings!). Divine execution which catapulted everyone into a state of jovial sugar delirium, followed by a phase of food coma moaning: “I’m so full, but I still want more”. I (and all that came with me today) will certainly be back to try everything else!!!
See also: Petit-Miamx