We finished our recent stay with friends in the Hunter Valley with a final meal at Sabor in the Hunter, a dessert cafe. It’s located a little bit outside of the usual wine tour trail in Lovedale, and unlike many of the other restaurants and cafes in the area, isn’t attached to a winery. It’s an establishment that truly stands alone on its own merits. The main downside is that all seating at the cafe is outside, which can be challenging on warmer days with the sun beating down on you.
I ordered a cool drink to start, as it did turn out to be quite a warm day when we went. The Sparkling Jaffa caught my eye as soon as I saw it, as I love the combination of chocolate and orange. I have to admit that I wasn’t sure what to expect – how would they make a sparkling soda out of chocolate? I was very pleasantly surprised when this sparkling orange soda came out – it tasted initially of fresh citrusy orange, but had a lingering creamy chocolate aftertaste. I don’t know how they did it, but it worked!
Other drinks ordered included a smooth and milky Flat White in a cute mug designed to wrap your hands around ergonomically.
K and I shared some Fresh Scones as we hadn’t had lunch yet and needed something a bit more filling than just dessert. The scones were light and fluffy having clearly been freshly baked that day. The sweet jam on top was just delightful.
We went on to try Sabor’s Tasting Plate, a sampler of their best chocolate-based desserts. It looks very impressive, and slightly daunting for two people right? I’m proud to say that we managed to finish the platter off between the two of us, tasting a mouthful of each and then splitting it by preference. K prefers coffee so he got most of the Coffee & Walnut Slice, and I can never walk past anything with salted caramel in it, so I claimed the mousse as my own! With five decent-sized mini desserts offered on the platter, $25 is really a very good price for what you get.
The Flourless Chocolate Cake was a favourite for both of us though, so I had to split it evenly with K despite the fact that I could have eaten it all! While it was still very much a sweet treat, it wasn’t overly sticky and sickeningly sugary.
Now quickly, just a few of the other desserts ordered around the table. I tried a spoonful of most, and concluded that most, if not all, desserts at Sabor in the Hunter really hit the ‘sweet’ spot of being a sweet sugary dessert treat that doesn’t sit too heavily in your stomach afterwards.
Everyone loved the way the Biku Banoffee pie had been deconstructed and was presented like a trifle.
The toasted Passionfruit Meringue isn’t on the menu but my friend B picked it as soon as she saw it in the display cabinet in the shop. It proved to be extremely light, melting on your tongue as soon as you took a spoonful.
The crumble on the Blueberry & Ricotta Crumble Cheesecake provided a good textural point of difference to the creamy cheesecake.
The simple Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta was really enhanced by the concentrated strawberry syrup and fresh strawberries on the side.
This Red Velvet & Winter Lime Cheesecake was a favourite for those of us in the group who like to take photos of food, and we held everyone up as we tried to manouevre ourselves into the best possible position to take a shot of the beautiful presentation of this dessert.
Coated in a sticky caramel sauce, the Double Chocolate & Caramel Wave was probably the sweetest dish of the those ordered, explaining why our friend R was the only one to leave any dessert on his plate by the time we left.
Overall, I really enjoyed our visit to Sabor in the Hunter – it’s a little bit different to what you would normally classify as a traditional “Hunter Valley” activity, and really makes a nice change from the usual winery tours and tastings, especially for someone like me who wasn’t drinking. I would definitely visit Sabor again the next time I’m in the area.