Saturday, 12 January 2013

Freestyle Tout - an after dinner treat

Thursday night and its hot.  SC had a real hankering for Beer and Dumplings so a trip to Harajuku Gyoza was in order.  I won't go into too much detail about this apart to say that the beer was cold and the dumplings plentiful (in fact, we ordered way too many).  I have blogged about Harajuku Gyoza before and its pretty awesome, you can read the post here.

Not really feeling like going home just yet we found ourselves heading towards Emporium and before you knew it, one of us had suggested Freestyle Tout and we had new plans.

Freestyle is a bit of a Brisbane institution that at its peak had a number of establishments all over the inner city.  First appearing in 1996 over at Rosalie, Freestyle was the dream of Martin Duncan and was a gallery and florist, with coffee and dessert.  Over time it transformed into a really well known dessert bar, but still true to its original concept as a gallery displaying ever changing local art.

Sitting down looking at the menu we noticed that it had evolved quite a bit from our last visit (which was admittedly a long time ago at West End) with a greater focus on "savouries" such as dinner as well as dessert.  We were only interested in something sweet, so flipped a few pages back to the long list of desserts that Freestyle Tout is most famous for.

SC was very surprised when I ordered the Spanish Churros with caramel dipping sauce and vanilla bean ice cream, as opposed to my favourite item, the creme brûlée.  I was kind of surprised too, but I have had a real Spanish fetish of late, so churros it was.   As you expect from Freestyle, when the dessert was presented it looked lovely and inviting, with six large churro pieces and some intricate chocolate lattice on top of the vanilla bean ice cream.  However, for me on this night, the look of the dessert did not live up to the dessert itself.  Instead of a light dusting of cinnamon on top of the churros, they were smothered.   Even after trying to remove the bulk of the cinnamon, the flavour was so overpowering, it killed everything, even the taste of the caramel dipping sauce.  After two of the churro pieces, I gave up.  I did really enjoy the ice cream, but it was not really a complete dessert

The dessert that SC chose was what one would normally expect from Freestyle Tout.  The Passionfruit Curd Tart with white chocolate mousse-filled cannoli, blood-orange ice cream and double cream was delicious.  The tart itself was baked to perfection, with crisp, short pastry and a sweet yet tart passionfruit curd filling.  The white chocolate filled cannoli had a nice crisp casing and silky smooth mousse inside and a swift crack of a fork split it open for us to attack the insides.  The blood orange ice cream was a really interesting flavour, still a little tart but an unusual orange like flavour.  I liked it.  Probably the only real problem with the dessert was that there was nothing to really bring it together, it looked like three different desserts on a plate.  But it sure did taste nice, and since I left most of my churros, I 'helped' SC finish this one off.

I had mixed feelings about out trip to Freestyle Tout.  One one hand I was happy that we were out and about and just chilling after dinner.  Freestyle in the Valley is a great spot to just hang out and take it easy in a cool and relaxed environment.  Yet on the other hand, I was pretty disappointed with the churros, which were just very ordinary.  If it were not for the passionfruit tart it would have been a complete 'bust' but thankfully the tart redeemed the evening.

In it's halcyon days, Freestyle Tout was almost impossible to get into for a post dinner treat without some serious queue time.  It also had outlets in Rosalie and West End.  On this night it was pretty quiet with many of the tables free.  While Freestyle still is a pretty cool place to hang out, and with the introduction of so many other dessert places (Max Brenner anyone?) it seems as if its best days are behind.

So much cinnamon on the churros,

The passionfruit tart was lovely and short

The Blood Orange - tasty

Freestyle Tout on Urbanspoon


  1. Yum! This looks so delicious! I love desserts :)

  2. There is always an extra stomach for desserts :)

  3. I love this place. I remember the very first time I visited I was so horrible I went to the table next to me on the pretense of admiring her newborn baby but really I just wanted to check out what she got that looked even better than mine.

  4. LOL, yeah, they do a brilliant job with desserts, and they are massive!


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