Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio, South Yarra

Those who know me would know that I love desserts, but don’t really have a sweet tooth. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach when it comes to desserts which is a shame.

A few months ago, I visited Burch & Purchese in South Yarra which is famous for their beautiful dessert creations by talented pastry chef, Darren Purchese. Darren has worked with some of the greatest chefs in some of the greatest restaurants around and it’s no surprise that his joint ‘sweet studio’ with Ian Burch has been so well received since its opening in early 2011. Darren was also on Season 3 of Masterchef Australia and I absolutely loved that episode and his masterclass.

Darren Purchese, pastry chef and owner at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio

When I walked into Burch & Purchese I felt like I had entered a fairytale land where meringues and chocolate lollypops were used as lampshades and ingredient jars lined an entire wall as if it was wallpaper.

That wasn’t even the best thing about the shop. The most fascinating part was at the back of the shop where the ‘science lab’ or kitchen is. That’s where all the wonderful pieces of art are born and the open nature of the kitchen means curious people like myself can sneak peaks at what goes on in there.

The little cakes in the counter were glistening and colourful, beckoning me for a taste. It was a hard choice which ones to buy, it really was.

After agonising thought, I settled for the ‘coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint’. It’s great that Darren has put the ingredients of the dessert all on a piece of paper because with so many layers and dimensions, it was very difficult for one to distinguish what is what.

Darren is known for his quirky and interesting blend of flavours. Yuye and I both found the dessert to be quite delicious, although a tad too sweet for our not-so-sweet-teeth. I loved the coconut mousse layer as well as the curd but my favourite part has to be the salted oat and ginger crumble. Yes, yes I know you’re meant to eat the layers together, but separating each layer and identifying the ingredients was half the fun. I do admit though, the macaron was a bit soggy perhaps due to condensation or the moisture from the bottom layers so I didn’t quite like that.

We were lucky enough to have come across a reasonably new addition to the dessert family at the time – ‘wild strawberry, pistachio, peach’ which really looked like a sprouting plant (perhaps a strawberry) from the ground. It wasn’t as peachy as I’d have liked and was again a bit too sweet for us but I loved how clean the layers were and really how beautiful the dessert was.

The macaron was again a little soggy, but I still liked this one more than the coconut.

Although I must say that the desserts were a bit too sweet and rich for Yuye and I, they were still no doubt created with love, passion and a lot of good skills. I really admire Darren’s creativity and hope to see more of his art in the future. Maybe another masterclass on Masterchef perhaps? πŸ™‚ The desserts at B&P are forever changing so head over for a taste before some of them disappear from the menu!

For other great dessert restaurants around Melbourne, try Chez Dre and LuxBite.

A note, I took the photos of the purchased desserts on the white tables in the food court just across the road as B&P doesn’t have any tables for patrons to sit down. The photos turned out a lot better than I thought.

Apparently while I was overseas, B&P had teamed up with Langham Hotel for a special afternoon tea menu offering. There’s only one session left and that is June 1, 2012 from 10:30am to 4:30pm. Visit http://melbourne.langhamhotels.com.au/restaurants/burch-and-purchese.htm for more information, although I’m doubtful that there’s any space left.

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
Phone: (03) 9827 7060
647 Chapel Street, South Yarra VIC 3141

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27 comments… add one
  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 16, 2012, 2:06 am

    I’ve wanted to go here for the longest time! It looks fantastic! πŸ˜€

  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet May 16, 2012, 11:17 am

    I love Burch and Purchese and was really lucky to go to the High tea they had with the Langham ~ woo hoo! But my pictures were noway as nice as yours! Maybe I should go to the foodcourt there next time hehe did you ask to take a Photo of Darren Purchese? I met him last time I was there and he’s SO SO SO nice πŸ˜€ WOO HOO!

    SO happy to see you blogging again!

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 16, 2012, 3:19 pm

      Haha thanks Daisy πŸ˜› Aww you went to the high tea? I couldn’t find it on your blog! Guessing you haven’t written about it yet, you should because I want to see what you had. πŸ™‚

      And yes, I asked him if I could take a photo of him, he was so nice!

  • Hotly Spiced May 16, 2012, 1:01 pm

    That is a wonderful looking shop. I think I could spend a lot of time there, wandering around and spending big. The desserts are so colourful too xx

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 16, 2012, 3:21 pm

      I know! I did walk around for a long time admiring all the desserts and ingredients. It’s not the cheapest place ever, but for all the effort they put in, it’s worth it. πŸ™‚

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook May 16, 2012, 1:21 pm

    From outside of the store I can’t tell how wonderful place it is inside. There are so many stores like this in Australia that I want to visit. Before blogging I really didn’t know much about what Australians are eating, but now Aus is my top 3 destination that I want to visit for eating!!

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 16, 2012, 3:23 pm

      Yes, that’s what I thought. When I first saw the outside of the shop I was a bit skeptical, but the inside turned out to be fairytale like! Australia’s kind of like a fusion between all different types of cuisines, that’s what makes us so unique I suppose. πŸ˜› You should come for a visit! I can show you around Melbourne. πŸ™‚

  • Miss Kimbers @ Fruit Salad and Mixed Veg May 16, 2012, 8:11 pm

    I am speechless…or type-less. I’t’s all so beautiful!!!

  • Ames May 16, 2012, 8:38 pm

    Oh WOW!!! B&P has been on my go-to-list for soooo long but I’ve never found the time to make the trip down there… hopefully after exams :). Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and yay for your boldness in asking Darren to be in a photo! πŸ˜€

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 17, 2012, 4:58 pm

      Thanks Ames! Yes I wanted to go there for the longest time too before I finally made my way there. It’s quite a fascinating place, you should definitely pay them a visit when you get a chance.
      Good luck for exams too!

  • Winston May 16, 2012, 9:30 pm

    Oh man… I can’t believe I still haven’t been! And yes, I don’t have a sweet tooth too but I love admiring desserts as well. Hey, it’s so cool that Darren was there when you went and posed for a photo. What a memorable trip. Everything sounds amazing, nice post!

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 16, 2012, 11:36 pm

      Thanks Winston, you should go! Although let me warn you that it’s pretty sweet. πŸ˜› I still loved the trip though, just looking at gorgeous desserts make me happy. πŸ™‚

  • bakingaddict May 17, 2012, 8:43 am

    Wow this place looks amazing!! I have a very sweet tooth and would be in absolute heaven here. There’s a Langham Hotel in London which does excellent afternoon tea – I wonder if it’s the same chain?

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 17, 2012, 4:59 pm

      I’m quite certain Langham is a chain hotel, not sure whether the afternoon tea’s the same though. πŸ™‚

  • Libby May 17, 2012, 5:32 pm

    It’s been a while since I’ve been back – the coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint is my personal favourite!

    I’ve yet to try Chez Dre but sigh, soon, soon.

  • love2dine May 17, 2012, 7:39 pm

    omg i want to be there.. i love this type of shop..

  • JasmyneTea May 18, 2012, 9:26 am

    These are so attractive, I really have to go back to Melbourne!

  • Chapel Street precinct May 18, 2012, 2:23 pm

    The ingredients wall is my favourite; I wish I had it in my house. Great photos.

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 18, 2012, 6:09 pm

      It’s my favourite too! I think just collecting that many ingredients will take a very long time..

  • Lucy (Beyond Bourke Street) May 27, 2012, 8:08 pm

    Your photos are all so beautiful! πŸ˜€ I love desserts, and do have a sweet tooth, but sometimes I wish my sweet tooth was bigger because sugar fatigue often sets in before I’m mentally done with eating a dessert, lol.

    Heard a lot of good things about Burch & Purchese. Definitely on my list of places to visit when I FINALLY get myself to Melbourne πŸ™‚

    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake May 27, 2012, 9:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment Lucy! I love desserts too…and yes, sugar fatigue, always happens. πŸ˜›


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