Dovetail Social might be gluten free Brisbane’s best kept secret. Nestled away in leafy Highgate Hill, this charming café, which is 100% gluten free, offers one of the most unique high teas in Brisbane – possibly the world.
Owner and passionate pastry chef Rejoice Thomson believes Dovetail Social offers the only gluten free high tea with a Filipino twist, in the world. For Rejoice, this high tea is a labour of love. Her gift to all coeliacs, but especially for her young daughter and her husband who are unable to enjoy gluten foods.
Rejoice says she wanted to create food that wasn’t just edible for coeliacs but tasted just as good as the food non-coeliacs are offered.
“Our philosophy on GF – if we didn’t tell you it’s gluten free, you wouldn’t know it is.”
And she has more than succeeded. Dovetail Social offers a menu that isn’t just a dream come true for those who can’t eat gluten but something all diners can enjoy, and the fact that the menu also takes inspiration from the Philippines is an added bonus.
This decadent high tea proves that the best food is served with a big helping of love and you can taste it in every bite. We enjoyed the Ambassador’s Christmas High Tea, which was affectionately named in honour of the Filipino ambassador’s visit to Dovetail Social.
Whether you’re familiar with Filipino food, or a novice like me, you’ll discover that Filipino food, particularly their sweets, are the perfect addition to any high tea.
But I think the thing that sets this café high tea apart from other café high teas is that everything on the menu is baked on site from scratch. Where many other cafés rely on items being delivered or an off-site baking facility, this is not the case Dovetail Social.
Menu highlights include the pork empanada, which is perfectly crispy on the outside with a flavour bomb on the inside. The kalabasa (pumpkin) scones were a twist on the traditional high tea scone and despite the savoury pumpkin notes, still paired perfectly with jam and cream.
The Christmas theme is honoured throughout the high tea with the most obvious nod being the mini trifle with delicious layers of pandan cake, mango coulis, cream and cashew meringue. I was also a huge fan of the ube pavlova donut, which is the café’s signature offering. Ube, which is a mashed purple yam is a popular addition to Filipino desserts and where they get their purple colour. Rejoice describes this donut as a fusion of Australian and Filipino culture. They sell larger versions of this at the café but a miniature version forms part of this high tea.
But the absolute highlight for me is the ube leche flan. This slice crème caramel cake is divine, and I was thrilled to learn that you can purchase the entire cake from the café – something I will be investing in soon.
If you’re planning an intimate get together, you can book the private dining room which is the perfect spot for high tea with close friends. The food is matched by the lovely décor and Johnson Bro tableware.
We recommend booking ahead of time, as this high tea is very popular with limited spots. If you’re unable to book your preferred date, Dovetail Social also offers a takeaway high tea which can be enjoyed at home or any location you choose and would be the perfect addition to any picnic or event.