21 Bougainville St Griffith, ACT 2603
The FreakShake – a large milkshake, usually served in a mason jar, topped with a sky-towering assortment of cakes, ice-cream, donuts, cookies and whipped cream. For those who’s never seen or heard of one (where have you been living?), these crazy concoctions have been making the rounds on social media for many months now, each one more over-the-top than the last. Their origin? None other than a little café in Canberra, my home town. I’d been resisting the hype around these shakes for quite some time, but an impromptu trip back to the capital meant I had no excuses to not try these caloric monsters that have been taking Australia by storm.
The café’s name is Pâtissez, who’s first few months of FreakShake fame led to spiralling queues out the door, a rarity in Canberra. Fortunately, the hysteria had died down by the time I visited to catch up with a few high school friends, and we were able to get a seat immediately.
Straight away, my attention was caught by their big display of home-made cakes, or ‘FreakCakes’, as they liked to dub them. Most looked interesting and delicious, and I really liked that they had an unpolished, rustic look about them.
While this doesn’t look like much, I actually really enjoyed it – think tender and flavourful pulled pork, balanced by a fresh and crunchy slaw, all amidst a super fluffy brioche bun. That being said, $17 for a relatively simple burger without any sides felt a little steep.
One of my friends had a sporting event later that day, so opted for a light and simple meal. The poached eggs were well-cooked and all Canberrans know Autolyse sourdough is the bomb.
As soon as I saw this dish, I had major order envy. While similar in essence, this choice came with poached eggs and sourdough instead of brioche. Knowing how great the pulled pork and slaw combination was in my dish, I could tell that this one would have been a winner.
The pièce de résistance of our meal – a Golden Gaytime-inspired shake, complete with what looked like an upside down ice cream on top. There were quite a few different flavours in this shake unlike some of the other options on offer – chocolate, caramel, honeycomb, vanilla – their varying levels of sweetness and saltiness helped to break up the monotony, especially as the shake itself wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. What I thought was ice cream on top actually had parfait inside, which I found interesting and really enjoyed. However, between the 3 of us there, we managed to finish our one milkshake, bearing in mind we ordered the small version (I bet you couldn’t even tell!), and we all left without feeling like we’d overdosed on dessert…just.
Overall, I was happy with our meal at Pâtissez – while their specialty is their milkshakes, the food there was actually very decent. The pulled pork was great, although I do think everything on the menu is slightly overpriced given their simplicity. I enjoyed trying out their FreakShakes, but don’t think I’ll be ordering them again, both at Pâtissez and other cafés in Melbourne – they’re fun and novel but just too over-the-top for me. If you’ve ever had FreakShakes or something similar, let me know – what did you think?