Little House of Dreams Cafe: Bangin' Sticky Date Pudding

Little House of Dreams Cafe situated in the grassy depths of Dempsey Hill is the newest cafe on the block and the only one to have an unfaltering connection with old-school Ice Cream Parlor, Ben & Jerry's. A part of the Dreams Establishment, which also owns Dreams and Confetti, an online boutique specialising in trendy party supplies, stylish tableware, unique gifts, gourmet sweets and more - basically a one stop shop chock full of party essentials proving to be a haven for those who love to throw a ball of a party. Similarly, Little House of Dreams cafe exudes the same vibes, the display case lit up by cakes in the prettiest shades of pastel are adorned by exotic live blooms and macarons, beckoning out to be pre-ordered as birthday cakes. Fully customised dessert tables are an option here too with the new capabilities of the hot kitchen expanding the potential for savoury selections on the catering menu. 

How does the Little House of Dreams fare when it comes to food though? The menu reads well, perhaps a little too humdrum in most instances, but at the very least, the pricing is friendly - featuring pastas, lasagnas, pizzas and homemade burgers being its perennial star; it became quite evident why my food escapades have caught the attention of the PR. 

Because, burgers...

The patties here are composed of Australian 150-day grain fed beef; The Canadian ($16.90) proved to be a major success, relatively juicy patty topped with maple glazed bacon for good measure. The crux of the matter being those gorgeous brioche buns, all baked in house, coaxing you out of you low-carb ways. 

Another worthy mention is their Aglio Olio with mushrooms ($12.90), a gleefully debilitating arsenal of al-dente pasta, olive oil, chili padi and sauteed mushrooms. This wallet-friendly cafe staple helps you to forget about the necessity of proteins as you slurp your way through the pile, the mushrooms providing just enough textural contrast to keep you interested.

If you're feeling a little guilty from the CNY feasting, then set your sights on the Pearl Cous Cous ($12.90) -  a seemingly fuss-free yet compelling mix of flurry steamed cous cous with cherry tomatoes, mint, basil, sliced cucumbers and nodules of olives coated in a luscious lemon, tomato and extra virgin olive oil emulsion. This dish casts impression of a breezy summers day by the Californian coast, the wannabe beach babe influencing your decisions. Then again, the execution and restrained seasoning is definitely refreshing.

Moving back to the land of fast-food jargon, we've got the much healthier alternative, The Samurai favourite ($13.90), here, the grilled chicken is smothered with teriyaki sauce and between two buns with the mandatory greens to balance out the overwhelming browns on the plate. Since the juicier thigh is employed here, there's no dull and dried protein to squabble with, my only gripe being the loose skin on the chicken that have been rendered a clumsy fatty mess when interacting with the sticky sauce. Perhaps a harder char or a quick trip to the deep fryer would introduce some much-needed contrast.

Of all the dishes devoured, the Classic Beef Lasagne ($14.90) sang a mighty tune of its own. A slightly caramelised yellow cream topping engages the eye, while the underlying fresh homemade pasta and premium beef mix tantalises the tastebuds. While, the compelling layer of bechamel sauce sandwiched alternating between provides a amicable creamy intervention, I'm deeply confounded by the pool of sauce that underlies the very good hunk of lasagne. What is that? That being said, I wiped out the lot and hoped for more.

For desserts, get the Sticky Date Pudding ($10.90). It's extremely magnetic, with the pool of butterscotch sauce, the color of amber caramel pushed just about a minute longer; the pudding, soft and spongy with lingering bits of roughly chopped rehydrated dates. The amalgamation of melted ice cream and smoky butterscotch sauce persuading the best of us to dive in with no reservations. 

Or else, the rest of the cakes in the display case might tickle your fancy. The Carrot Cake for instance, is coated with a healthy dose of tangy cream cheese frosting, binding the three tiers of cake chock full of raisins, walnuts and carrots in obscene amounts. To be honest, not one of the best I've had here since the cake texture bordered a little on the sturdier, stiffer side. Still, great with an afternoon coffee.

Like sticky date pudding and crave a lasagne without the doomsday pricing of the regular Italian joints? Check out Little House of Dreams to fill the bill.

Little House of Dreams
Block 8 
Dempsey Road
t: 6472 4977

Operating hours:
Sun - Thurs: 11am - 9pm

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