Words by Vanessa De Lisio
On the eve of the last month of Summer, we were made to feel part of the St. Louis family at the dessert bar’s flagship Glenelg store, for an intimate dinner launching their 2018 Summer Collection Menu. With just a handful of 40+ days under our belt for this year, it’s hard to believe that we’re more than halfway through the Summer months – Summer, just like ice cream, can slip away quickly without you even noticing.
Although there was no danger of the new release St. Louis menu going un-savoured, with Instagram-worthy moments everywhere you turned, from the magnums of Mumm Champagne that greeted us, to the elegant black and gold décor theming the night, complete with mini Eiffel Tower, gilded cutlery and beret-wearing singer. Owners George and Mesha Karamalis welcomed us personally, and while George promised us (tongue in cheek, unfortunately) that he had removed the calories from everything that night, no one minded suspending their healthy resolutions to be spoilt by the beautiful Parisian-inspired dessert creations.
The single long sleek table nestled perfectly amongst the American Oak walls and inviting bookshelves of the Glenelg Dessert House, where we started our journey through the new menu with a Churros Feast sharing plate for entrée. The staff had been gracefully spinning the wheel of the churros machine since we arrived, to churn out generous golden indulgences with fluffy centres and satisfyingly crunchy edges. A choice of not one but three couverture chocolate dipping sauces (dark, milk and white) were perfectly partnered with the churros, or the glossy fresh strawberries. A little more crunch from the chocolate cigars, and both chocolate and vanilla ice cream just to remind you of what has made (and kept) St. Louis so popular all these years.
Our entertainment for the evening was the petite powerhouse Tiana Riemel who created an immersive Parisian experience through her songs. St. Louis’ bi-fold doors had been opened while we were eating, and the familiar sounds of Glenelg and its unique ability to turn an ordinary day into a balmy night were not to be outdone by the sunset putting on a show as it dipped behind the palm trees.
The parade of mains arrived as breakfast waffles with fresh fruit and natural yoghurt, which truly transported you to a lazy brunch vibe, as something indulgent, but not too sweet to start your day. The St. Louis version of an Eton Mess classed-up this English classic, serving it in a martini glass layered with raspberry coulis, French Vanilla ice cream and the traditional cream, then dotted with viscous lemon curd to cut through the sweetness and sprinkled with freeze-dried raspberries and shards of meringue, with the generous display of strawberries on top for looks, taste and that first enticing smell.
The strawberries and cream shake took the pink drink to another level, served in a mason jar and decorated with strawberries and cream, a Nutella macaron, Persian fairy floss and freeze-dried raspberries, unsurprisingly this one was most popular with the female guests. Finally, delicately thin crepes were the perfect white chocolate and lemon curd delivery system, served warm, expertly folded and popping with a tumble of bright fresh strawberries, and again accompanied by a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream.
To finish, you guessed it, more ice cream! Embodying all the best things about Summer at The Bay, the final course was a single serve cup of white chocolate ice cream with caramel and honeycomb, topped with a smattering of popcorn.
Every guest was left with the feeling of being spoilt that night, but not in a way to make us regret even a single mouthful. If Paris is the city of love, then strawberries are the fruit of love, running through the new St. Louis menu like a bright aromatic thread. Discovering a beautiful ice cream parlour on a trip to the Isle of St. Louis in Paris, George and Mesha were inspired by that feeling of indulgence, romance and being the only two people in the world, and they have expertly channelled all of that into the menu, décor and atmosphere of their dessert houses. It’s something you should experience with your sweetheart, perhaps soon, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner…?