My niece told me I have to try Tella Balls. It’s a small franchised chain of dessert bars that is more than a bit obsessed with Nutella. I suppose if the word ‘Tella’ is in your name, it’s a bit of a giveaway.
I dropped in to Tella Balls at Dulwich Hill.
The first impression I got was that it was rather grubby. The tables were scratched, the menus were filthy, behind the counter was quite messy. There were flies everywhere. Okay, it was a hot Sydney day and there are going to be lots of flies. But this was a bit extreme. I think the Tella Balls people have to re-think their shop design, for example, not have the front wide open, especially on a busy road like New Canterbury Road. It might also keep the fly problem down.
I checked the menu online beforehand and knew I wanted a Tella Ball Shake – a milkshake with a doughnut on top. However, it said to check the flavours available at the time and I could choose any doughnut I wanted.
So I ordered a Tella Ball Shake, however the girl serving me didn’t give me the chance to tell her what flavours I wanted. She just assumed I wanted the standard Nutella. But I’m not a big fan of Nutella. I wanted something else. She found it a bit difficult to understand that I wanted a variation, as advertised, on the standard. Anyway, I got a Gaytime doughnut with a caramel milkshake. I suppose going to a Nutella dessert bar and not ordering Nutella is a bit like going to a seafood restaurant and ordering the schnitzel.
I sat at a grubby table, swatting away flies. I looked around and noticed all the Nutella jars on the shelves like trophies. Being a hot day, I was looking forward to a nice cold milkshake.
Guess what… it wasn’t cold. Another reason to be unimpressed.
The doughnut itself was obviously commercially made. It had that yellow flesh that is trademark commercial doughnut. It wasn’t very fresh either. And it was incredibly sweet. I guess being the Gaytime flavour it was always going to be quite sweet.
And do you know what – I just don’t get the doughnut shake thing. I think it’s a fad. Stick a doughnut through a straw and sit it on top of a milkshake. It’s still just a doughnut and milkshake. Sure, it looks impressive. But now you’ve got a straw that is sticky with the doughnut filling.
So, the bottom line is that Tella Balls didn’t win any favours with me. The company is keen on expanding, but they really have to pick up their game if they are going to stick around.
Jam-filled Doughnut & Nutella-filled Doughnut @ Red Mango Patisserie, Greenwood Plaza, North Sydney
Golden Gaytime Donut @ The Donut Dealer
Nutella Doughnut @ Red Mango, Greenwood Plaza, North Sydney