Sunday, 2 June 2013

Rochelle Adonis Cakes & Confections (Perth WA)

193 Brisbane St
Northbridge Western Australia 6003
(08) 9227 0007

    Wed-Sun 10 am - 4 pm

         Cake + Coffee Wed to Fri
         High Tea Wed to Sun
         Take-away Wed to Sun

Rochelle Adonis Cakes + Confections on Urbanspoon  
Rochelle Adonis - Just the name and the branding of the business conjure up images of exquisite delectability and gorgeous high-end manor tea afternoons, floral crockery and laced-up dresses. 

Rochelle Adonis is many things at once: a cake shop, a patisserie and a degustation studio that produces its own cakes and sweet and savoury morsels under the culinary direction of Rochelle Adonis, Sandro Puca, Alexa Hughes & Sarah Stone. They define themselves as "dessert-inspired pastry chefs with a passion for all things gorgeous, delicious and innovative". Beyond the High Tea experience, Rochelle Adonis offers cooking classes, prepares special-occasion cakes, caters for functions by arrangement, and has cooking lessons. 

Rochelle Adonis offers High-Tea sessions at 49 Dollars per head from Wednesday to Saturday at 12pm and 2pm, with an extra session at 10am on Saturdays. I decided to make the High Tea my lunch and visited at 12pm with great expectations.  

The place has two communal tables and a little decked table by the shop window, with several food cabinets, the left wall being shelved with administrative material and the crockery. 

The tables are set with gorgeous fine vintage china cups and saucers, fine glass water decanters, rose floral arrangements, and vintage silverware. The right wall is wonderfully decorated with a selection of food photos and drawings, in different sizes an shapes, all aesthetically arranged. The sort of classy wonderful settings you see photographed in gourmet and interior magazines. The big let down were the cheap thin paper serviettes provided, the type that flights from your lap moved by the air movement created by any person passing by you. It doesn't make any sense bothering to set the table so wonderfully to then have a paper serviette.

The tables being communal, are especially suited for groups, and not as much for solo eaters or couples. I was placed in a table that was taken for a group of ladies, who were a bit surprised at me being placed in the only spot left in their table, when the other communal table had plenty of free seats. They were very friendly, but still, the awkwardness, mostly on their behalf, lasted the whole time I was there.

The toilets are clean, but they are separated from the dinning room area, at the back of the building, they are tiny, basic and a bit run down. 

Everything you eat at Rochelle is prepared in situ in their kitchen, and your fee entitles you to two trays with four food morsels -canapé sized- one savoury and another sweet, plus a pot of the drink of your selection (French pressed coffee and/or loose tea). A palate cleanser is offered as an intermezzo between the two servings.

All the food was delicious, creative, well presented, with a great mix of textures, colours, and flavours, and I cannot choose just one morsel as the highlight. I enjoyed every single one of them. My only problem was with the size of the morsels, which are great for a degustation, but not for a lunch if you eat like a normal person and get to the place hungry.

The teas on offer are French Earl Gray, English Breakfast, Indian Spice Chai, Jasmine Green Tea, Parisian Rose, plus a variety of tisanes like Vanilla Berry, Lemon-grass and ginger, apple and cinnamon, rose and hibiscus, and Moroccan tea.

The Chai Tea and the coffee I chose were excellent. The pots are well-sized, so you will have plenty to drink throughout the whole experience.

The girls attending to you at Rochelle are lovely and attentive, chatty and very friendly. On arrival, they will explain how the event is going to be ran, take your drink order, and, once the food trays are out, they will describe to you each piece in detail.

Despite he high tea consisting of just two trays and the drinks, the event took about one hour and a half. There is no problem for that, to me. The problem is the spacing between the two servings. Wouldn't it be better asking customers if they are ready for the second serving instead of Rochelle deciding that for them? The morsels are minuscule; therefore, if you are at lunch time, it is a torture having to wait for the food you are craving for, no matter how much water or tea you drink, or how lovely the conversation with your friends is.

No menu description was provided on arrival, except for the teas. I asked one of the waitresses about it, and she told me that the chef decides the menu on the day, and that is why a printed menu was not provided. Being so, I couldn't remember what I had eaten like half an hour after finishing. After finishing, and before leaving, I talked to the same waitress about the menu and she told me that their menu is seasonal and changes every few weeks... Therefore, it is not decided on the day. T-h-e-r-e-f-o-r-e, they do not provide a printed menu because they do not want to, whatever the reason might be. There is no need to lie, as anybody can easily connect two different statements on the same subject e-a-s-i-l-y. 

+ They should find a place that has an ampler space for dinning, so they can offer customers a more personalised and comfortable settings and service, tables for solo and coupled eaters, and toilets directly linked to the dinning room. 
+ They should Improve the sizing of their portions. I do not think they are going to get bankrupt if they do so.
+ They would make themselves a favour if they got fabric serviettes. If that is a burden on their budget, thick good-quality paper ones with their brand logo printed on them would make a great difference.  
+ Providing a printed menu is a gesture of courtesy towards customers, who pay almost 50 dollars for the visit. A loose sheet of paper with the logo of the business and the menu written on it can be easily printed. 

+ They should make an effort to cater for vegans. A vegan session once a week would attract more customers, and would be an awesome thing to have. 
+ Why not making the place a bit more male friendly?

> BYO bubble wine, Cava or Champagne.
> Additional pots of tea/coffee will cost you 4.50 Dollars. You will pay the same if you want hot chocolate instead of tea or coffee. 
> They do cater for celiacs and vegetarians.

High Tea, to be high in my list of highness, should mix great food, decent portions, great service, great settings, and an attention to the detail.  

Rochelle Adonis is a great experience regarding the quality and creativity of the food, but far behind regarding attention to the detail and thought put to treat customers in a personalised way. I absolutely loved the table settings, but the presence of paper serviettes and the administration books, printer, cables and other business-related material on display rested a bit of charm to the whole experience. Still, this is a lovely experience, if you are woman and/or if you are a group of women. Rochelle is also a lovely place to buy cakes and slices to enjoy at home.  

Avoid the Noon session if your stomach is empty and you want to appease your hunger. A morning or afternoon degustation will certainly leave you more satisfied, and your stomach won't feel the pressure of the food not coming when you want it.

Location: 7/10
Layout: 6/10
Ambience: 6/10
Staff: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Table settings: 9/10

Food: 8.5/10
Coffee/Tea: 8.5/10
Pricing: 6.5/10 

Rochelle Adonis has finally left their ugly mini-mini location and has moved to a more charming location in the ever-blooming Beaufort St. The new place has three different seating areas, plus an alfresco area, looks like a proper cafe, it is classy, beautiful and charming.

The new location Corner between Beaufort and 2 St Albans Street.


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