Taste Test: Is An $11.50 Milkshake Worth The Money?

Taste Test: Is An $11.50 Milkshake Worth The Money?

If you’re an Instagram or Facebook user, you’ve probably been seeing plenty of pictures of disgustingly indulgent milkshakes, with lots of stuff piled precariously on top of them. Like any rational human being, we wanted to see if these ‘Freak Shakes’ tasted as good as they looked, so we popped by Canberra’s Pâtissez to find out.

Before you get a milkshake at Pâtissez — or even a seat, for that matter — you’re in for a wait of up to three hours in their busiest periods. We visited late on Friday morning when the waitlist was a more modest half an hour. The staff member in charge of making sure everyone gets seated (eventually) tells me that he arrived that morning at 6:30am to find 11 people already lined up, waiting for the 7am open. They do offer takeaway versions of their famous milkshakes, but let’s be honest, the sticky, drippy mason jar presentation is a big part of the experience.

Pâtissez’s regular Freakshow includes four different shakes — Muddy Pât, Salty Nutz, French Vanilla and Nutella & Salty Pretzel — along with the current special, the Like A Velvet. Our neighbours’ drinks arrived around the same time as we were deciding on our own, and the bright pink red velvet-inspired concoction looked too good to pass up. We went with one of the Like A Velvet specials, one Nutella & Salty Pretzel, and then settled in to wait and watch enviously as other people received theirs.

Taste Test: Is An $11.50 Milkshake Worth The Money?

When the shakes arrive they look, well, fantastic. The Like A Velvet is a soft pink shake with pockets of raspberry gel swirled throughout, even more of the sweet pink goo spread around the rim of the jar. As if that’s not enough, it’s topped with a tower of red velvet cake and cream cheese icing, with a single strawberry crowning the whole thing.

The Nutella & Salty Pretzel has Nutella embedded with salted pretzels (surprise, surprise) around the rim, with a generous serve of whipped cream on top. If you think you could resist sticking your fingers in all that oozy Nutella, then you’re a stronger person than I am.

Taste Test: Is An $11.50 Milkshake Worth The Money?

Both shakes aren’t actually overwhelmingly sweet from the get go, despite looking like a one-way ticket to diabetes. The actual milkshake — which really only accounts for about half of the whole package — is thankfully not too thick or rich. The Nutella shake has just enough salt to balance out the sweetness, and all the flavours work really nicely together overall. We even found a little cache of what could have been salted caramel hidden in the vanilla-flecked cream.

Taste Test: Is An $11.50 Milkshake Worth The Money?

The Like A Velvet ended up just a little too sweet for us to finish, although that may have been because we had already filled up on salty Nutella goodness. If you’re planning on tasting multiple flavours, be sure to bring plenty of friends so you can share them around. Two whole shakes would be too much milkshake for any mere mortal.

Taste Test: Is An $11.50 Milkshake Worth The Money?

At $11.50 each the price is rather steep for a milkshake, but you’re best to consider it more as a dessert anyway. I went into this taste test promising myself that I wouldn’t be swayed by gorgeous presentation and liberal application of Nutella but, let’s be honest, who would say no to these? It’s obvious that they’ve been put together with great care and quality ingredients — no canned whippy cream in sight. It’s also very possible that I’m already planning my next three-hour trip down to Canberra for another one.

Taste Verdict: 10/10


    • I love these – the BBQ chicken milkshake is especially great – but in the internet’s defense, it’s really really hard not to Instagram when you get one of these plopped down in front of you.
      I like to think of it as a compliment to the chef. Uh. Milkshake chef.

  • I dunno. I kinda feel like smashing a mason jar over the head of anyone who is waiting 3hrs for a milkshake.

    • It’s a waitlist system rather than people literally queuing up for 3 hours. They also have blankets and cushions set up on the lawns for people who want to hang around and wait. It’s pretty cute, really.

      • I must confess to not fully understanding why it takes so long. The queue – sorry waitlist – must be ridiculous cause those milkshakes look like they would take all of 15 sec to whip up.

        I mean put some overpriced crud in milk, cram it into a jar, squeeze pre-made cream and pre-made pastry of your choice on top, then smear the outside of the jar with topping until it looks like a slasher film or porno gone wrong.

        I’m struggling to understand why they couldn’t make 10,000 per hour. Maybe it takes 2:59 to position the straw “just right” to convince the hipster dufus customer that it’s worth $15, presumably while they sun their beard on a cushion out on the lawn.

        • Because the wait was for table service. They were doing takeaway milkshakes within about 15 minutes!

        • They also make all the ingredients fresh each day, so while they’re open till 4, they’re never open till 4 because they run out of everything.

  • The actual milkshake — which really only accounts for about half of the whole package — is thankfully not too thick or rich. — This is the first time I’ve every heard of anybody complaining that a milkshake can be too thick!

    • Hey if I have an aneurysm just trying to drink a milkshake then it’s probably too thick.

  • Is there a specific reason why they can’t get all the ingredients inside the jar?

    I don’t mind paying the money but I’d rather it go toward something I will consume rather than a bunch of food smeared on the outside of a vessel that I won’t get to enjoy.

  • I went a few weeks ago on a Saturday morning, and we ordered the takeaway versions of French Vanilla, a salted popcorn one and the pretzel and Nutella one.

    Strangely, the popcorn one was served warm like a hot chocolate, which wasn’t unpleasant but odd.

    The French Vanilla one was served tepid, which I found slightly off putting, but it is probably the one I would choose again. It did however use real vanilla bean, as I ended up with a pile of vanilla beans seeds at the bottom of the cup.

    Honestly, considering the half hour wait and the $35 it cost, I was disappointed.

  • Whether a queue or a waitlist, 3 hours seems ridiculous, especially for something that looks like it will make me want a good wash after to remove the stickyness.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!