Cheap sweets. Local finds. That’s what this post is all about.
This is the final instalment of my series on 5 Top Places for Dessert in the City. I’ve saved the best bargains for last.
#1. Mizuya’s $1 green tea ice cream (top VFM)
If this ice-cream was any better value for money (VFM), you’d get it for free.
One $1 price, three options:
- green tea cone
- vanilla cone
- green tea & vanilla cone
Restrictions apply, but they aren’t too onerous:
Get the soft serve cone from the bar area down the stairs.
Yes, that means taking innocent children for ice-cream at a place where beer is dispensed. Don’t worry, it’s pretty tame during the daylight hours of the $1 offer.
Then take the kids around the corner (near the restrooms) to gawk at the kitsch life-sized black stallion lamp that looks like this.
#2. Haigh’s Chocolates’ $1.25 Dark Choc Mint Frog
Quality doesn’t have to come at a price. Have a smaller quantity. Savour every bit.
When I worked in the city, clad in my high heels, I used to totter down 5 blocks to the Strand Arcade for my (then) $1 Haigh’s chocolate fix – this small dark choc-mint frog.
This is the only frog prince that matters to me.
~ Chocolate: Snappy, dark, smooth and just sweet enough.
~ Mint essence: Clean. Pure. None of the too-peppy toothpaste taste that lurks in mint-flavoured confections that try too hard.
Local secret bonus alert. The best thing is, no matter how big or small your purchase, after you’ve paid the nice cashier, s/he will offer you a free sample (eg Haigh’s chocolate buttons). This has been going on for years, but at last visit, I spied an official sign in the shop publicising the tastings.
If you want to supersize it and leave bargain territory, there exists a massive $23 Super Frog (sadly no dark-mint; comes only in milk, dark or milk-mint) which makes really fun gift. Just ask my brother – he got it for Christmas once.
But you’ll have to make like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction and get at the animal with a knife or ice pick (do it after the kids’ bedtime). Don’t try to bite off a piece; this fine chocolate is tooth-shatteringly hard.
You can tell Haigh’s is old (98 years old, to be exact) because it still has an apostrophe in its name.
In today’s abbreviated world of emoticons, even street names in Sydney have had apostrophes phased out of them. The powers-that-be must have concluded that the population can’t cope with all that punctuation.
Technically, this late entry means I’ve listed 6 (not 5) dessert places in the city. But you’re not one to keep count or complain, right?
While my children were making the Korean beef dish bulgogi under the expert eye of Chef Heather Jeong at the Korean Cultural Office, I scoured the city for interesting new eats by my lonesome ownsome…without being pestered to splash out on another $1 ice cream.
Which is how I chanced upon Sedap, the city’s newest Malaysian eatery serving Penang-style food at Regent Place near the George Street cinemas. (“Sedap” is Malay for “delicious”.)
Sedap has a nostalgic, 1960s-traditional-coffee-shop feel to it. They even serve food and drinks in green-rimmed beige enamel mugs and tiffin containers – the stuff of my childhood.
Below: An uplifting mural in Sedap.
You’ll find the $1 bargains at the hot food display counter. The $1 pisang goreng (banana fritter – pictured below, top left) looked invitingly brown and crisp. Pity about the unripe, unsweet banana inside.
That way, you don’t get greasy fingers through the bag, despite scoffing deep-fried goodness. Don’t tell your cardiologist.
These are uncommissioned, independent reviews. FITK visited the above businesses – multiple times! – at own expense; at least they’re cheap, so the kids’ education fund remains intact.
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Related posts from the Desserts Series
PS: Like the look of the Malaysian offerings? Come feasting in the know with me at one-off Good Food Month event Beyond Laksa: Hardcore Malaysian Safari. Hurry – early bird offer expires on 11 Oct 2013.