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Unread 31 Oct 18, 04:50 PM  
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#97
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Thank you everyone for sticking with me when I ventured to the dark side (off-site ). Silly as it is, I was actually nervous about posting about as I promised a DxDP report and it turned out very different to expected.

And Happy Halloween! We're having a little buffet for tea tonight as we're (hoping!) we'll be too busy with trick-or-treaters to cook.

***

DAY 6

The plan was Crystal Palace breakfast, then it was an early lunch at Electric Umbrella, but after much debate we ended up somewhere else

Dennys


You can see their menu here.

Mum had All-American Slam - Three scrambled eggs with Cheddar cheese, two bacon strips and two sausage links, plus hash browns and two slices of white toast



She enjoyed this, but thought iHop was better.

Nik had The Grand Slamwich - Two scrambled eggs, crumbled sausage, bacon, shaved ham and American cheese on potato bread grilled with a maple spice spread. Served with hash browns



This was delicious, I could eat it right now, and wish we could recreate it at home! It was even better than the much loved iHop sandwich. Nik was worried the maple spice spread might make the sandwich too sweet but it was very subtle. The hash browns were also better than iHops, they were crispier here.

I would have been quite happy never to have seen an egg again so I had the Build Your Own Sampler with Mozzarella Cheese Sticks, Chicken Strips and Bacon Cheddar Tots.



Unfortunately, this was as beige as it looks! It is listed on the menu as saying it comes with your choice of dipping sauces, but I wasnt offered any and had to asked for some barbecue and ranch. The cheese sticks were no better than youd get in McDonalds here, the chicken strips were nothing special, and the bacon cheddar tots were horrible, the bacon flavouring just made them taste greasy, Mum liked them though.

I dont seem to have snapped a picture of the receipt here, but IIRC it was even cheaper than iHop. Great value again, and a reminder that there is yummy food outside of Disney.

***


Tiffins

We had a Rivers of Lights Dining Package reservation at Tiffins, due to the ADR slots for the package we had to eat relatively early at 4.45 so we skipped lunch, the unused dining credits were racking up but I was determined not to start panicking about this and instead concentrate on enjoying our trip.



Tiffins was one of a few restaurants that had some variety in the -Non-Alcoholic Specialities section most Signatures offered a virgin pina colada, virgin strawberry daiquiri, or a no-jito.

I had the Lilly Gorill-Ie - which was sprite flavoured with strawberry. I didnt like (when will I learn I just like coke!), it wasnt sweet enough for me.



Mum had Hibiscus Henna which was watermelon, hibiscus, soda water and lime juice. I didnt try this as I think watermelon tastes like soap, but she liked it!



Nik had Kiama Mamma which was watermelon and sprite, he also enjoyed his drink.



This was the worst bread of the tip. It was very doughy and when dipped in the molasses it wasnt pleasant at all.





To start, I had the Chefs Houe-Made Charcuterie Board - Selection of Cured and Smoked Meats.



This was excellent, just as it was last year. My only criticism is that the naan bread served with it had a glaze on it that made it much too sweet.

Nik and Mum both had Asparagus-Leek Soup - Jumbo Lump Crab, Meyer Lemon Oil.



There were no complaints about this.




When I saw this dish in Niki Ts latest report I knew I had to have it - Tiffins wasn't originally going to work in our plans but I scrapped Boma dinner for it. Fort McCoy Beef Tenderloin - Char-crusted Beef Tenderloin, Loaded Crushed Potatoes, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Bacon-cherry Vinaigrette, Crispy Shallots Nik ordered the same, although I had tried to swap him towards the Surf and Turf!



Sounds incredible, right?! Oh my, this was almost inedible, it was ridiculously salty, I think the char crust must have been made purely from salt. I love salt but this was way too much for me. I didnt like the crispy shallots, I thought they were like cheap crisps (Nik liked them), and the bacon-cherry vinaigrette spoiled the potatoes for me, as the bacon flavouring was almost as overpowering at the salt. I thought the sprouts were the nicest thing on the plate!

My meat was served the suggested medium-rare, here's Nik's medium.



Mum had Shrimp and Grit - Anson Mills Grits, Applewood-smoked Bacon, Heirloom Tomatoes, Smoked Pepper Jam



This was a huge portion, she cleared the plate but said it was very spicy!

Of course, we had to try the Lobster Mac and Cheese - Black Diamond Cheddar Cheese, Shery, Orecchiette Pasta



I thought this was the best of all the mac and cheese we sampled, probably because it just tasted like standard mac and cheese. I didnt think they were particularly generous with the lobster.



Mum had the Tiffins Trio - South American Chocolate Ganache, Whipped Cheesecake, Passion Fruit Tapioca Crme



This was nicely presented with all three little dishes stacked on top of each other. The portions were quite large so it would be perfect for sharing. She said she didnt have a clue what she was eating but it was all nice

I asked if I could have the Neopolitan Macaroon - Strawberry and Vanilla Macaroon with White Chocolate Mousse, Pate de Fruits, and Macareted Strawberries



This was really nice, much too nice to be languishing on the kids menu!

Nik had Whipped Cheesecake - Amarula Panna Cotta, Sesame Crumbs, Espresso Sponge



The was much hilarity between Nik and Mum over the presentation of this. It is a very popular dessert and lived up to the hype for Nik, personally, I didnt think it was anything special.

Dinner came to $234.84 not including the macaroni and the two extra Cokes Nik and I ordered. Interestingly, some restaurants allowed you a soda alongside a speciality drink with no extra charge, but others didnt.



We were given our tickets for Rivers of Light. But, just as last year after our Tiffins ADR, thunder and lightning started whilst we were on the safari and we decided to make a run for it to the car before it started raining. I dont think it did rain, just our luck.



We were also given this chocolate as a gift as a returning guest alongside the little artwork all guests are given, a nice touch. I didnt get around to trying the chocolate.



After wed eaten Nik said that wed tried Tiffins twice now, and he hadnt enjoyed it either time, so Im not sure if well be back. It's a shame as it gets rave reviews and there's lots of the menu that appeals to me personally.

The Rivers of Light dining package is $68 per adult, you get three courses, can have an alcoholic drink if you wish, and get reserved seating, it's actually a really good deal out of pocket.

CREDITS USED 51
TOTAL IN $$ 1,493.98
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Unread 31 Oct 18, 06:59 PM  
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#98
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Restaurant Reviews: 1
Oh, I love the fact that you went offsite AGAIN (although am very disappointed you didn't properly push the boat out and get yourself to Keke's or Peach Valley Cafe). Denny's is not a favourite of mine. We ate there loads on our first visits to the US in 2004, 2005 and 2006 but since then every time we've been, I've left disappointed. And I got really bad upset stomach after eating at one in Vegas the night before my 40th, which completely ruined my Birthday. We haven't set foot in one since then.

I can't believe you felt bad about posting off site reviews - I LOVE reading about off site dining, probably more so than onsite. I always like to get ideas of what I might have, or where we might go, on future visits. As it is, I'm taking SquishtheWhale's advice and trying those red velvet pancakes next time we go to IHop.

Sorry that Tiffin's was disappointing. That beef looked so good, it's a shame it didn't live up to expectations. And the Dining Package does sound like a good deal, given the price of many of those entrees.

Looking forward to more...
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Unread 31 Oct 18, 09:02 PM  
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I have to agree with Nik and your mum I manage chuckled more than a little at the cheesecake swirl dessert!

Dennys looked yummy for breakfast. I'm wondering where else you sneaked off to! I bet you felt really naughty going outside the compound...I mean bubble!
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Unread 1 Nov 18, 01:21 PM  
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#100
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Id just been looking at the beef picture thinking it looked lovely, what a shame it was such a disappointment! And that you didnt make it to Rivers of Light either (though not a huge loss as I wasnt much of a fan of it).

Dennys looks good too, we have had a couple of breakfasts there though last time I didnt think the server was great. I might have to go back to IHOP on our next visit too after seeing your food!
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Unread 1 Nov 18, 03:51 PM  
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Same as others I was looking at the beef picture thinking 'ooh that looks absolutley lush! ' Before I scrolled down and saw your verdict! What a disappointment. The dessert sampler looks yummy though.

My ADR day is Monday and my boss has just scheduled a skype meeting for 11am Monday! Couldn't be any worse timing. I feel like I will be very distracted on that call lol.
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Unread 2 Nov 18, 11:28 AM  
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#102
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Getting so many tips thanks for taking the time to share.
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Unread 2 Nov 18, 03:46 PM  
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#103
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Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Oh, I love the fact that you went offsite AGAIN (although am very disappointed you didn't properly push the boat out and get yourself to Keke's or Peach Valley Cafe). Denny's is not a favourite of mine. We ate there loads on our first visits to the US in 2004, 2005 and 2006 but since then every time we've been, I've left disappointed. And I got really bad upset stomach after eating at one in Vegas the night before my 40th, which completely ruined my Birthday. We haven't set foot in one since then.

I can't believe you felt bad about posting off site reviews - I LOVE reading about off site dining, probably more so than onsite. I always like to get ideas of what I might have, or where we might go, on future visits. As it is, I'm taking SquishtheWhale's advice and trying those red velvet pancakes next time we go to IHop.

Sorry that Tiffin's was disappointing. That beef looked so good, it's a shame it didn't live up to expectations. And the Dining Package does sound like a good deal, given the price of many of those entrees.

Looking forward to more...
There's so much choice off-site it's going to take us forever to catch up, I just looked up Peach Valley Cafe and it looks like somewhere we'd love, I'm going to show Nik later Have you been to Teak Neighourhood Grill? That's somewhere I'd really like to try.

I don't usually read offsite reviews (I was afraid they'd tempt me in the past) but I've got lots of research to do for the future!

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by Goldia View Post
I have to agree with Nik and your mum I manage chuckled more than a little at the cheesecake swirl dessert!

Dennys looked yummy for breakfast. I'm wondering where else you sneaked off to! I bet you felt really naughty going outside the compound...I mean bubble!
The compound I really did feel naughty, I felt like I was cheating on Disney.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by Eccle View Post
Id just been looking at the beef picture thinking it looked lovely, what a shame it was such a disappointment! And that you didnt make it to Rivers of Light either (though not a huge loss as I wasnt much of a fan of it).

Dennys looks good too, we have had a couple of breakfasts there though last time I didnt think the server was great. I might have to go back to IHOP on our next visit too after seeing your food!
We've only seen Rivers of Light once and we just didn't get it, so we weren't too disappointed to have missed it

Definitely do iHOP, next time I'll try something breakfast-y from Denny's as that seemed like their strength.

Thank you for reading!


Originally Posted by SquishTheWhale View Post
Same as others I was looking at the beef picture thinking 'ooh that looks absolutley lush! ' Before I scrolled down and saw your verdict! What a disappointment. The dessert sampler looks yummy though.

My ADR day is Monday and my boss has just scheduled a skype meeting for 11am Monday! Couldn't be any worse timing. I feel like I will be very distracted on that call lol.
I'm stressed on your behalf about ADR day. A few years ago my ADR day coincided with a conference, so I made a 'fake' booking for a 11 night day beginning the day before our arrival day, bringing my ADR day forward a day. I obviously lost my 50 deposit as I cancelled the new booking afterwards, but it was worth it for the peace of mind of having my ADRs. Yes I am crazy.

Thank you for reading!

P.S. A Skype meeting sounds horrific, I thought conference calls were bad but that's a whole new level


Originally Posted by ohana_mama View Post
Getting so many tips thanks for taking the time to share.
Thank you for reading!
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Unread 2 Nov 18, 04:28 PM  
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#104
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Join Date: Oct 11
Location: Dundee
DAY 7

The arrival of our last breakfast ADR, and the favourite of all three of us.

TUSKER HOUSE

Or Toska House if youre my mum Our ADR was for 8 am but we were held up at check-in by two parties who had two different reservations and had checked in separately, but wanted to be seated together Clearly Disney are supposed to be psychic.

We were seated in the main room as close to the buffet as possible so I was happy with that, I ran off as soon as our drinks orders had been taken to get some buffet pictures before it got too busy. Mum asked Nik if Im always like this

Croissants and Coffee Crumb Cake



Biscuits and gravy, and something completely unidentifiable, Im guessing bread pudding!?



Krispy Kreme Donut Holes and Chocolate Twists



Some more baked goods, the Raspberry Chocolate Chip Bread was delicious, and I think quite a new addition.



Blurry bread and bagels



Yogurt and toppings, Nik was pleased to see they had strawberry here.



Smoked salmon and toppings, salmon and hard-boiled eggs.



Apple sauce and some fruit, Nik felt that the fruit selection wasnt as good as in the past



This is clearly a very popular station untouched healthy stuff



Plantain (or hot bananas as I heard one mum referring to them as ), eggs, bacon and waffles



Bobotie, rice and curry. This curry is nice, but not for breakfast!



Cereal



Kids station




Pre-made omelettes, roast potatoes (these are very nice), frittata and eggs



The best breakfast item available anywhere, ever, the round sausage! Mealie Pap, Scrambled Eggs and Bacon



Carved ham with mustard sauce



We were speed eating as we were rope dropping Navi River Journey after breakfast (we were on and off before it was even 9 am). Breakfast came to $108.63 but we, of course, used 3 Table Service credits.

Everything was fabulous as per usual, and I'll always champion Tusker House to anyone who asks for breakfast recommendations.

CREDITS USED 54
TOTAL IN $$ 1,602.61

***

We were meeting my Great Aunt Trish and my gran at the Grand Floridian for Afternoon Tea today, but as our reservation wasnt until later we decided to get some lunch to tide us over

Gasparilla Island Grill

Gasparilla Island Grill is the Grand Floridians Quick Service restaurant. To find it, turn left when you walk out the back of the main building then left again and youll find it tucked around the side. You can view their lunch menu here

Mum had Roasted Turkey Sandwich - with Florida Orange Vinaigrette and Pickled Onions served with House-made Chips



I think she found this a bit dry, she left around half of it. It does look lovely though!

I had Roast Beef Sandwich - with Horseradish and served with House-made Chips



This was also very dry. I had thought that the sandwiches might be toasted, and this would have really benefited from being toasted and some cheese added. The chips were as bland as always. On the plus side, it was jam packed with beef. I have read that some guests have been asked if they would like their sandwich toasted, so if this is something you'd like be sure to ask if they don't offer.

Nik had a grilled cheese which came with tomato bisque, I cant seem to see this on the current menu.



This doesnt look particularly exciting but he enjoyed it. I dont know why I didnt take the lid of the soup before I took the picture!

We had forgotten our refillable mugs today so had to take the drink that came included with our meals on the dining plan, if we had remembered them we would have been free to switch the drinks for a side, snack or dessert.

There are some tables outside the restaurant and this is the view, how lovely.



When I first came across that photo I was very confused as to why Id taken a picture of a bin

Lunch came to $46.27 and we used 3 dining credits. I wouldnt say that Gasparilla Island Grill is somewhere you should go out of your way to try eating at, there was nothing particularly special on the menu, and if youre paying OOP Grand Floridian Caf has more appealing options for not much extra cost. Nevertheless, I was glad we ticked another place off our list.

CREDITS USED 57
TOTAL IN $$ 1,648.88

***


Afternoon Tea at Garden View Tea Room

When we checked in I was mortified to be told I had mixed up the ADR time and we were an hour late! I am never late for anything, ever! The lady on the podium said she could fit us in but it may not be for a while as she had other big parties arriving. I was so embarrassed and apologised about a hundred times, but the lady definitely had an air of a disapproving school teacher about her Luckily, they actually managed to squeeze us in straight away, I was very grateful for that!

We all opted for The Bedfordshire Tea - First Course Medley of Finger Sandwiches accompanied with Berries, Cheese and Lavosh Second Course Buttery Scone and Jam Tart Finale Choice of delicate House-Made Pastries, Strawberries and Crme, or English Trifle Accompanied by your choice of tea This costs $35 each.



I had the Nutty Chocolate - rich Assam is a perfect partner to the flavour of delicious chocolate and creamy hazelnuts like a praline truffle This really did taste like a chocolate truffle, I only added one sugar, but I should have added more as it wasnt sweet enough for me. Our server, who was lovely, asked if we would like some milk, which I was grateful for as Id never noticed it in Afternoon Tea reviews before.

Nik and Mum both had Enchanted Forest - ripe forest fruits of raspberry, strawberry and blueberry, a rich creamy vanilla to compliment the depths of this black China tea They both enjoyed it, again I thought it tasted like medicine!

Gran had Earl Grey but I didnt take a note of what Trish had.

The sandwiches are curry chicken, egg salad, pear and Gorgonzola, cucumber and roasted tomato with goats cheese.



Now, I knew that Nik wouldnt enjoy the majority of these, so I asked him beforehand if I wanted me to ask if he could have the kids selection of sandwiches instead. He did, but he felt awkward about it, so to put him at ease I said I would ask for the kids ones for myself too. I had been trying to Google for months if this was possible but couldnt find an answer, Im sure Im not the only person with this question, so if you were wondering youre about to find out that

Of course, you can! The server just smiled when I asked, so Im sure they hear this all the time.



Our sandwiches were PB&J, tuna salad and ham and cheese. To his surprise, Nik loved PB&J!

Next came the scones, and much debate over how to pronounce their name (we say it to rhyme with gone). On top, you can see Grannys strawberries and crme.



Nik and Mum both had the trifle, it changes seasonally and this one was lemon and blueberry. It was very lemony!




Trish and I had both had the pastries. I loved the swan, it was made from choux and was delicious, the filling was a really light vanilla mousse.



Afternoon Tea cost $186.38 for five adults, unfortunately it is not included on the dining plan so we paid OOP for this. Trish lives in Florida and has an AP, I completely forgot to ask if they offered discount here. Trish and Granny both felt like this was overpriced but the rest of us understood we were paying for the experience and it was lovely. The tea room was much smaller than I expected, and we didnt have a window table, which meant we didnt have a great view of the gardens but we still enjoyed it. Afternoon Tea was something I had wanted to do for years so I was so pleased to have finally done it, and got to show off the Grand Floridian to my family.

***

This trip was booked way back in January 2017 and since then Mum changed her plans a little, initially she was going to spend a day with Trish and Granny. Then it was a night, then the weekend, and eventually it was decided she go from Friday until the following Wednesday evening when we would all meet up again for a meal at Flying Fish.

Mums absence meant that we were never going to get the full use of DxDP, which will probably enlighten you all as to why I seemed to have such a laid back attitude towards it this year.

With Mum gone, it was just the two of us that headed to the Yacht Club for dinner. It was a Friday evening during Food & Wine, yet I stupidly thought half an hour would be enough time for us to get from CBR to YC, park and get to the restaurant. Of course, standard parking at the YC was full, as was the conference centre parking. I would have valet parked but as we were only popping out for dinner I hadnt brought any cash (I won't make that mistake again!), so we wouldnt be able to tip. Eventually we were sent over to the conference centre overflow parking at the Beach Club and had quite the walk to the restaurant.

Yachtsman Steakhouse

We were late for our ADR (shock!) but I explained it was due to parking and the manager who checked us in couldnt have been nicer about it. The restaurant was very, very busy, the busiest Ive seen any Disney restaurant ever, but we were seated relatively quickly.

I think that visually Yachtsman is a little lacking, and also feels a little more pretentious than other Signatures, but thats my only criticism of it, and is very much nit-picking.

Our server was Lulu, and she was wonderful. She was so genuine, and I told the restaurant manager who visited our table after we had finished eating this, and he said he was so pleased to hear us say this as its very true. We also tweeted a Cast Compliment for her.

Onto the food!



We both had virgin strawberry daiquiris.




These were much nicer than the ones we had last year at Narcoossees. Im sure they are actually exactly the same but these ones didnt taste as sweet.

Then came the famous bread service, a mix of sour dough and onion rolls with salted butter and roasted garlic.



Nik was sceptical about spreading an entire clove of garlic onto a roll but he was converted as soon as he had tasted it! These were incredible, and I would pay for them as an appetizer anywhere. I hate to be a clich but they are amazing.

Usually a charcuterie board is my go-to starter but I was a little wary after really not enjoying the one I had at Artist Point, and I couldnt find any pictures of the Yachtsmans online to decide if I wanted to try it or not, so I was really torn over what to have to start. I didnt want to be boring and have a salad, and I didnt want anything too heavy as I wanted to save room for my main. In the end I went for French Onion Soup - Sourdough Crouton/Gruyere Cheese/Rich Onion Broth



I really dont know why I ordered this, as I know I dont like French Onion Soup. I didnt like it, but Nik thought it was delicious. I cant deal with the texture of the huge crouton in the middle of the bowl, it makes me feel like Im eating a sponge. I had thought maybe I could just eat the cheese but it was too stringy for me. When Lulu came to take my plate away she asked if I hadnt enjoyed the soup, I explained that it just wasnt for me but there was nothing wrong with it, she offered to have it removed from the bill! I had to insist three times that this really wasnt necessary.

Of course, Nik ordered Lobster Bisque - Maine Lobster/Crme Fraiche/Preserved Lemon/Fine Herbs



This looks beautiful, and he loved it. Initially, he couldnt decide if this or Narcoossees were the better dish, but eventually Narcoossees won out, but Im sure if youre a lobster bisque fan you would be more than happy with either of them.

I had the 16-oz Rib-Eye Steak - Truffle Fries/Black Garlic Aioli/Point Reyes Blue Cheese Butter



Go to Yachtsman if you want steak, this was delicious, cooked perfectly, and really flavourful piece of meat. I was a little nervous about the blue cheese butter, as I dont like blue cheese, but it was really subtle and added a nice glaze to the meat. The truffle fries were excellent, Im quite a dab hand at homemade chips and these were even better than mine

I also ordered a side of Sauteed Mushrooms - Maitre dButter/Chicken Jus.



These were perfect for mushroom fans, great texture, and just a really simple, yet well-executed dish.

Nik had 8-oz Black Angus Filet Mignon -Mashed Potatoes/Cabarnet Wine Sauce



This was the best fillet he had. Again, something really simple, but cooked perfectly. As for the mash, the learned amongst you will know that Tesco Finest Creamy Mash is the best mash money can buy, and the Yachtsmans was just like it. Sorry chef if thats not what you were aiming for

And, of course,Truffle Macaroni & Cheese - Orecchiette Pasta/Smoked Gouda



This was my second favourite after the Tiffins one, but Nik thought it was the best of all the mac and cheese we tried.

We were absolutely stuffed and had no room for dessert, I asked if we could take it to go and this wasnt a problem at all. You can see the dessert menu here.

I had The Admirals Cake - Decadent Layered Cake of Valrhona Chocolate Brownie, Caramel Crunch, Dark Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Banana Fosters Jam, Caramel Ganache



The dessert pictures are of the desserts in the to-go boxes we were given so I'm sure they'll be plated more elaborately in the restaurant.

I ate this for breakfast the next morning, why oh, why did it have to include banana?! If you left out the jam then this would probably have been one of my favourite desserts of all time. It was delicious and every mouthful had a different texture due to all the different layers, I had to eat around the banana haha.

Nik had White Chocolate Cheesecake - Pickled Blueberries, Caramel Ganache, Anise Twist



He never got around to eating this as he initially forgot about it, then by the time he remembered we werent sure if it would be okay to eat. If Id known he was going to forget Id have eaten myself as it sounded tasty!

The DxDP covered $175.71 of our meal tonight, including the extra sides and the two Cokes we added on it was $206.57. This was our favourite meal, and just an overall fantastic experience, we would absolutely pay for this OOP.

CREDITS USED 61
TOTAL IN $$ 1,824.59
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