Asian Food Time: Passion Tree’s 계피빵, and the Macaron Taste Test
Have you ever done the whole ‘Oooh new food shop *go in and sample the goodies’ thing? Well I did. This is a new cafe that just opened up, called ‘Passion Tree’ on Elizabeth Street. This particular cafe is pretty snazzy, and is a great place to catch up with friends, take a break from study, or even sit down and watch the people walk by, made even more enticing now that winter’s setting in. There’s plenty of seats available (bench-style, or couple seating, but not after 2pm… then the rush sets in), the musics nice (not Kpop, and personally I’d rather it be like that, you know, to attract people)
Apart from the coffees, teas, iced drinks and hot chocolates, they also do frozen yoghurts, macarons, chocolate fondues, chocolate desserts (truffles and eclairs), pastries, and 팥빙수 (patbingsu, marketed at PT as Bingsoo’s) which come in Red Bean, Green Tea, and Berry flavours. It is owned by Koreans, but it’s a very friendly atmosphere.
BUT… you know what caught my eye? Their 계피빵/honey bread. For you Nasties, this is what Simon and Martina did for their Korean Toast FAPFAP the first time around, and didn’t like it. Well, might as well try it. So, what you get is a piece of sliced loaf, about an inch thick, cut into squares, topped off with cream, and glazed with honey and a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top. For a $7 price tag, it’s not quite value for money, ‘cause face it, it’s basically carbs, fat, glucose, and lactose. However, taste wise, it’s not a thick as piece of supermarket bread, y.ou see and taste that it isn’t. It’s more a baker’s bread… <.< >.> how can I put it… it’s not as fluffy as white bread, it had that kind of sourdoughey texture. Taste wise, it’s like eating a cinnamon roll from Cinnabon, all sweet and sticky.
I can understand why Simon and Martina don’t get why there’s such a thing as Cream/Ice cream on bread. To some people, it doesn’t make sense putting ice cream on bread. For convenience’s sake, if you can’t source waffle cones, you use bread. For me growing up, bread with ice cream was normal. It saved in washing up mugs or glasses, and the bread wasn’t going to crumb like wafers did.
Verdict on the 계피빵:
- Taste: 4/5 omnomnoms
- Value: 2/5
Drop by Passion Tree sometime, some of you might spot me there watching Kpop MVs, or learning Korean from ‘Korean for Dummies’.
Now, the Macaron Taste Test. I picked out 2 macarons each from Passion Tree, Noggi Myer Centre, and Starbucks Myer Centre.
There are an assortment of macarons at Passion Tree, all freshly made, ranging from Yuja to Caramel to Green Tea. The ones that I got to test today were the Strawberry/딸기, and Orange Caramel/오렌지 캬라멜 (like the After School sub-unit).
- Strawberry: Strawberry-flavoured macarons sandwiched by strawberry buttercream and a little strawberry jam in the middle.
- Orange Caramel: An orange and salted caramel-flavoured macaron halves sandwiched by an orange buttercream.
Over at Noggi there’s Watermelon, Coffee, and Pina Colada (no doubt it’s non-alcoholic). I bought the Raspberry and Bubble Gum ones to try.
- Raspberry: Raspberry flavoured macaron halves filled with a raspberry frozen yoghurt.
- Bubble Gum: Gum-coloured Macarons with a bubblegum-flavoured frozen yoghurt.
Lastly, at Starbucks, they had the stock standard Raspberry, Green Tea, and Chocolate. I tried the Raspberry and Green Tea.
- Raspberry: Raspberry flavoured macaron shells filled with a chocolate ganache.
- Green Tea: Green tea flavoured macaron shells filled with a simple buttercream.
I was really disappointed with the Starbucks ones… I was expecting a raspberry jam inside, but then I thought it was a red bean paste, which would be something interesting in a macaron. Alas, upon further tasting, it was a chocolate ganache. The Green Tea macaron shells were a little too fragile, so they began to crack before I even picked it up. Again, I was expecting a green tea buttercream/filling, but no. At $3.25 a pop, they were the most expensive (and had the thickest shells) of the 3, and sadly, the worst performing ones.
Noggi’s offerings were good, The frozen yoghurt was something I expected, given it was a frozen yoghurt shop. Flavour wise, they were both a touch sweet for me, probably due to the frozen yoghurt. These were the smallest of the 3, and at $3 each (or 4 for $11), are pretty good, I’ll have to sample the Pina Colada ones… for science purposes.
The Passion Tree ones were, in my opinion, the best of the 3. The strawberry macaron shells did taste of strawberry, and the overall flavour was tart, but once you got to the jam, it was delicious. The orange caramel macaron was also delicious. The buttercream contains orange zest, and combined with the macaron shells, presented itself well. I would’ve liked a touch of salted caramel in the middle. These were the largest of the 3 (in terms of diameter), and the cheapest of the lot at $2.50 per macaron (or 5 for $12 from recollection). Definitely go and look at what they’ve got.
Passion Tree is located at 103 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane City, where the old Fashion Cafe used to be. Directions wise, if you exit Myer Centre at the Starbucks/Maccas, it’s across the street, then turn right and walk uphill. It’s just before the Elizabeth Arcades.