Need a list of stunning snacks to snap that perfect #foodstagram shot? We've got it covered for you.
By Georgia Rickard
Home to the world’s coffee capital and populated by millions of ardent devourers of smashed avocado, Australia has some of the best food on earth. It should come as no surprise that Australians also enjoy a photo-worthy snack as much as the next Instagrammer. Here are some of the latest treats to add a bit of whimsy and colour to your social media accounts.
Australia's #foodstagram heaven
The panookie, Hobart
It’s not a pancake, it’s not a cookie – it’s some kind of hybrid, and it has taken over Hobart. “The panookie is a pizza pie of cookie dough, baked into a pan and topped with various goodies, as well as house-made marshmallow and a scoop of Valhalla [a famous Tasmanian ice cream],” says Min Ratthanakun, owner of the Honey Badger Dessert Cafe. The cafe serves the panookie in three varieties – black (served with milk and dark chocolate), white (white chocolate cookie dough served with boysenberry ice cream) and blonde (peanut butter and choc chip dough served with caramel fudge ice cream and orange blossom Persian fairy floss). “People love them,” Ratthanakun says. “We make our own cookie dough, we make our own marshmallows and we top them with all kinds of goodness like Oreo crumbs, flaked almonds, seasonal berries and caramel beads.” In Salamanca Square, Hobart’s famous historical precinct, the cafe is the perfect spot to stop at after you’ve strolled the waterfront and browsed through the area’s galleries and gift shops. Shopping burns calories – you deserve a panookie!
The rainbow coffee, Brisbane
Unusually coloured lattes are an Instagram staple, but the rainbow latte at the Piggy Back cafe is slightly different, says the cafe’s manager, Marina Ghobrial, because creator Emily Coumbis “was determined not to compromise on taste”. As head barista, Coumbis is passionate about her coffee and experimented with several versions before she mastered her technique, which Ghobrial says tastes “just like a classic Australian latte”. “We steam the milk, use simple food colouring to do the latte art on top, and serve each drink with a double shot of espresso on the side,” Ghobrial says. Since introducing the drink to its menu, the Brisbane cafe has hosted so many global travellers that a map has been installed along one wall, allowing visitors to mark where they’re from. “People have come from everywhere,” Ghobrial says.
The matcha burger, Melbourne
Melbourne’s Matcha Mylkbar is well acquainted with fame: in 2016, the vegan eatery created the smurf latte, a bright blue drink that went viral. But the most popular item on the menu is actually the bright green matcha burger, says Mylkbar co-founder Mark Filippelli. “The burger features a green brioche bun coloured by matcha and a fried ‘chicken’ patty made of garden protein and grain,” he says. Despite serving an entirely plant-based menu, the restaurant doesn’t advertise its food as vegan. “We don’t serve typical vegan food, and our customers aren't necessarily vegan – they’re just people who enjoy eating tasty things,” Filippelli says. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth is one of them, says Mylkbar’s general manager, Ruby Shine. “He has dropped in several times; he and his family get a smorgasbord of items,” Shine says. Sounds to us like a good reason to go.
Cantonese-inspired soft serve, Canberra
When Cantonese-Australian Kent Nhan co-founded Canberra restaurant XO, he decided to give Australian diners a taste of his upbringing. The restaurant's ice cream lab started with chrysanthemum-flavoured soft serve, “Where I grew up, in Hong Kong, chrysanthemum-flavoured tea is served to children as part of traditional yum cha breakfast,” he says. “Chrysanthenum is also commonly used in cooking across South-East Asia.” Infusing the flavour into a soft serve dessert was an instant hit – so much so that XO has begun adding a new soft serve flavour to its menu every month. They've experimented with Milo, Nashi pear, and even miso. We can only imagine what might be next.
The blue bowl, Sydney
Concrete Jungle in Sydney is serving blue bowls for breakfast, and locals are eating them up. While the meals at this trendy cafe, in Sydney’s inner-city art precinct, Chippendale, look too good to be healthy, the entire menu is health-conscious – including the blue bowl. Blue algae powder is blended with pineapple, banana, coconut yoghurt and a splash of coconut water to create that precise shade of blue, with house-made granola, edible flowers, coconut flakes, crunchy buckwheat, blueberries and freeze-dried raspberries for flavour, colour and satisfying crunch. Happily, we can confirm it tastes as good as it looks – a little like bubblegum – and the cafe is just as Instagrammable as its food. Picture a light-filled, industrial space dotted with hanging vines and blonde wood and you’re practically there.
Insta-famous shakes, Adelaide
At Adelaide’s 50SIXONE, your sweet tooth will rejoice with a full page of the menu being dedicated to over-the-top shakes and decadent desserts. Try the CrazyTella - French toast rolls stuffed with Nutella and pan fried, dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with house made vanilla bean ice cream, Kinder chocolate and a mini Nutella jar. Or maybe you're in the mood for Dessert Nachos? Baked chocolate and cinnamon tortilla chips, strawberry and mint salsa, chocolate drizzle and smooth vanilla and matcha ice creams. 50SIXONE is also the brains behind the OMG Snapchat That – a bright blue, bubblegum-flavoured thickshake topped with sweet treats, rainbow sour strips, and a giant lollipop. Your tastebuds and your camera flash should prepare for a serious workout.
The avocado flower bagel, Brisbane
Two of Instagram’s great loves – avocado on toast and rainbow bagels – have been fused at Brisbane’s NYC Bagel Deli to create a snack that’s almost too pretty to eat. “There’s always a collective sigh at the table when we serve the avocado rose,” NYC Bagel Deli co-owner Eddie Tice says. The Feta and Avo Rose, as it’s known, is in essence a fairly simple treat: “It’s an open, toasted bagel with a base of crumbled Danish feta, layered with avocado, dukkah, fresh lime and edible flowers,” Tice says. The difference is the delicately sliced avocado, arranged like the petals of a rose: “You need a perfectly ripe avocado to get the right effect,” Tice says. He admits he was a little concerned about putting the treat on the menu. “They’re labour intensive. But people love them. And the rainbow bagel is created using natural colours, so it tastes just like a normal bagel.”