Hello hungry peoples,
Today we are visiting two venues, Ricardos and Space Kitchen. Sure I could deal with them separately but frankly I couldn’t resist the title, plus many items are available on both menus. I have watched Ricardos move from being a local shopping centre cafe that Grandma and Grandpa would enjoy to a super trendy locale, full of fusion and gels and a cake display that leaves you agog. The cafe is still popular with young and old but you have to book ahead now because this place is crazy! Space Kitchen is an extension of Ricardo’s empire south, located a short walk outside the Woden Town centre.
Ricardo actually runs the show and it is a family affair with his Mum sometimes helping out. Ricardo is a self-taught pastry chef and you can see the evolution of his cake display as he has refined and honed his skills. He has come a long way from the 19 year old who first opened the place. The cakes have always been delicious but they are now over the top complicated, with layers of textures and flavours and a million different elements. In that way it reminds me of a French Patisserie but Ricardos is also super modern.
Sure he has macarons but they have amazing flavours such as popcorn. There are doughnuts, but they have been injected with salted caramel. Even the melting moments are elevated, combining the classic flavours of peanut butter and chocolate chip. The cakes are flavour explosions. In fact a lot of them look like bombs, ready to go off. Giant ferrero rochers, panacotta mushrooms, salted caramel golden gaytimes…..I could go on and on. One of my favourites is a chocolate green ball filled with white chocolate mousse and apple jelly.
The complexity is not limited to dessert, the mains also hold their own. In the past I have used the venue for a baby shower and the associated high tea was truly amazing. Not a cucumber sandwich in site! On my recent visits I have been introduced to new concepts such as polenta waffles and smoked salmon roses. If I have any criticism it would be that sometimes the dishes wander into being too complicated. For example the polenta waffles is in itself an amazing concept, perfectly paired with poached eggs. However, I don’t think it requires a pesto, an aioli AND a hummus sauce. The popcorn on top also seemed bit redundant. This is pretty nit picky though and you can always ignore the extra elements that don’t quite work. Even if these things are extraneous, they still get props for being perfectly prepared.
Space Kitchen has the same amazing cake display and interesting menu but in much more modern and industrial surrounds. It is also located in the office precinct, providing a great venue for lunch during the week. Luckily they also made a huge space, so it is a bit easier to get into compared to Ricardos. Either way, no matter which one you manage to get into you are in for a good feed followed by some truly ridiculous and wonderful dessert.