After the rumours, the photos and the reputed waiting times, I finally made it Patissez. I did a walkby the day before around 1pm and was told the table wait was 2.5 hours. On a Thursday 10am, it was luckily 25mins. Upon leaving at 1130, it had stretched out to 1.5hours. They take your number so you can wander around and come back (an excellent system), which means you can actually go elsewhere for a coffee first (eg. ONA), do you grocery shopping at Coles, banking or shop browsing, or laze on the lawn outside. They also do takeaway freakshakes (the wait time being approximately 25mins) if you want to sit outside and work out how to eat them cleanly.
The food menu is actually quite impressive, with promoted sandwiches (I saw one with a huge amount of pulled pork) and brunchy options, making Patissez more than just a dessert/sugar-high cafe.
- Cheeky (slow cooked beef cheeks, black eyed beans, baked egg centre, crusty bread, kale pesto, parmigiano reggiano) $19 - an excellent rendition of a baked egg/cazuela/shakshuka dish, replacing the usual smoky chorizo with soft cheeks and thus a milder tomato and bean sauce. The cheese, minimally runny egg and touch of greens added texture and flavour. I wondered why the pesto was so mild and now I see - kale, not basil. I'd prefer a traditional basil but it might overpower the dish;
- Salmon Dance $21 - the menu has changed and Sea Pea has been replaced. This dish had a reasonable grilled piece of salmon, sitting on roast potatoes, runny poached eggs, spicy chorizo, tomato, green beans and topped with tangy Hollandaise sauce.
Toward the end of the food, the freakshakes came out ($11.50 each). They are indeed a sight to behold. Interestingly the two shakes ordered on this occasion are actually served with the liquid very hot so the tops melt down and everything overflows like a cascading volcano threatening to spill onto the table.
- Muddy Pat (warm fudgy choc shake, chewy fudge brownie, more chocolate fudge, whipped cream, toasted housemade marshie) - from the top, the marshmallow is outstanding, the brownie is moist and slightly thick, the choc shake itself is remarkably mild. I don't think that's a bad thing and perhaps mixing the brownie and marshmallow into the drink will balance it out. As my usual preference, perhaps a twist of dark chocolate or coffee in the shake would make it more my taste? But each to their own;
- Salty Nutz (warm salted caramel & pecan pie shake, slathers of salted butter caramel, chewy wedge of pecan pie, vanilla bean whipped cream) - the immaculate pecan pie topped a (too me overly) sweet, buttery caramel drink.
As they do takeaway shakes, it was easy to get a cup to carry the remaining butter caramel drink home for a later time. The insides have a variety of decadent cakes of which I'd certainly like to try someday.
Overall I think the shake parts of the drinks could be thicker at the expense of serving less of it. I couldn't finish either of them and neither did any table in the area I was. Sharing one between two is probably the best way of countering this, but at the same time I think the liquid part didn't match the outstanding toppings for quality. Nonetheless the food is actually very good which makes coming to Patissez ideal for meals, photogenic drinks and overloading your day with calories. Just be prepared to wait or have some things to do around Manuka.
Next time I would order any of the food items (particularly the Cheeky again, Get Pig'd or The Field) and probably to suit my taste the French Vanilla freakshake (let's be honest, partially for the shake, partially for the photo opportunity). Otherwise one of the 'standard' shakes with banana, matcha, dates, Greek yoghurt, honey and granola sounds like something I'd order at any other place.