A Sweet Tooth's Heaven... Sabor Dessert Bar
Local couple Renata and Fernando Antao have delighted visitors (and a good many locals) with their decadent desserts and tasty treats straight from the kitchens of Sabor Dessert Bar. Now in their tenth year – we caught up with the dynamic duo to find out how the business has grown and what visitors can expect when they visit.
Hi Renata & Fernando, Can you please introduce yourselves and tell us a little about yourselves and also when and how you came to be in the Hunter Valley?
Renata and I were Sydneysiders that loved holidaying in the Hunter Valley and did so several times a year. When we decided we wanted a tree-change from Sydney's hustle and bustle, we couldn't think of anywhere else we'd rather move to. We owned a pizzeria in Sydney, before wholesaling our Portuguese chocolate mousse (made with my grandmother's original recipe) throughout greater Sydney and Queensland – so we brought that with us to the Hunter as inspiration for Sabor Dessert Bar, which we opened in 2011. It's now been nearly ten years since we moved to the Hunter and we've never looked back.
How has Sabor changed over the years?
Five years ago we moved from our original location in Lovedale to our current Dessert Bar on Broke Road in Pokolbin. It’s a larger venue and has impressive views of the vineyards below and the mountain ranges. It gives a whole new atmosphere to Sabor by adding to the enjoyment of your dessert with views. Ten years ago, we started with a much smaller range of desserts, about 20 or so, but we’ve expanded our range to over 60 desserts over the past ten years – the largest range in the Hunter Valley.
Tell us a little about what’s on offer at Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar? What types of delectable delights do you serve up?
With over 60 desserts, we try to accommodate different tastes and dietary requirements. We have Portuguese Tarts and Macarons for something small to have with your coffee, or we have our individually crafted desserts from your old favourites like Chocolate Mud, Lemon Meringue, Mars Bar and Snickers Cheesecakes, ice cream and waffles to more elaborate desserts like our Green Apple Royal, Lychee & Summerberry Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse Crown (just to name a few). All our desserts can also be paired with local wine, dessert wine, cider and much more or with a coffee made your way. We also have a range of sweet products mostly locally sourced such as Hunter Valley Cookies, Rocky Roads, Fudges and Callebaut Belgian Chocolate.
Do you have a favourite Dessert? Can you tell us a bit about why it is your favourite and what we can expect to taste?
This is where Renata and I differ. When it comes to desserts, Renata prefers a dessert with fruitier flavours, whereas I love chocolate and caramel based desserts. Renata's favourite is the Gluten-Free Lychee & Summerberry Cheesecake. It's a mixed berry mousse cheesecake with a lychee centre, covered with our raspberry glitter glaze and topped with fresh berries and white chocolate leaves. My favourite has to be our Flaming Chocolate & Caramel Brownie, both for the flavour and the dessert's theatrics. It's made with a chocolate brownie base, infused with dolce de Leite (Brazilian style caramel), served with salted caramel ice cream, strawberries and our housemade biscotti, served in a hot skillet. The server then pours whiskey over the hot brownie and sets it alight. Very dramatic!
It must be extremely difficult for diners to choose just one dessert from the menu. How many desserts do you have on offer – and is there a way we can taste a few in one sitting (without sounding greedy!!)?
Yes! We have the SABOR tasting plate and the MEDLEY tasting plate. Both have a selection of 5 mini boutique desserts to savour. The Sabor tasting plate is more chocolate and caramel based desserts which includes our Portuguese Chocolate Mousse, Sticky Date Pudding & Mini Black Forest, and yes, you guessed it, the Medley tasting plate has more of a fruitier selection including Mini Lemon Meringue, Mini Green Apple and Raspberry Opera Slice.
Maybe they should be called Fernando’s Tasting Plate and Renata’s Tasting Plate! What else – apart from desserts – is on the menu? We hear your coffee is a must-try – what are you serving up to the coffee-connoisseurs amongst us?
We also have a minimal savoury menu (which is still somewhat considered dessert), with plain and ham and swiss cheese croissants, housemade scones with jam and cream, raisin toast and a cheese platter for two. We know there are varying food allergies and we do our best to cater to all if not most with a large selection of gluten-free desserts and a smaller selection of dairy-free, egg-free, vegetarian and vegan desserts. We also have a dedicated kids menu that is as much fun if not more than the adults with our Oompa Loompa Sundaes and Willy Wonka Waffles – which are topped with smarties, marshmallows and popping candy.
We pride ourselves on having great coffee and teas. We have had a hand in developing just the right roast for our 100% Colombian Arabic beans with all the flavour and none of the bitterness. Our Hot Chocolates are also well known throughout the Valley as we serve them with pure melted chocolate and various flavours. Not to mention we use Bondi Chai for our large variety of chai drinks, hot and cold.
What’s in store for Sabor in 2021? Any exciting plans we should know about for this year and beyond?
2021 is a massive milestone for Sabor as it's our 10th year in business, so we’re planning special offers, prizes and a huge giveaway for our patrons to celebrate our actual 10th Birthday in August. We are always trying to develop new dessert designs and flavours, which won't change going forward.
For more information about Sabor, to book, or to purchase a gift certificate, visit www.sabordessertbar.com.au