[ Please note: This event is over and date last visited 7 August 2013, however keep look out when Shangri-La Hotel Sydney’s website mention upcoming dessert events]
You’re properly wondering why the delay of this post? Simply because the night of this event came to an end my SD card was crushed by a four legged creature with fluffy paws. I had to get my minions to help me on this one but only managed to retrieve a few photos.
My dessert prays have been answered when I previously posted Anna Polyviou First degustation at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney . As I crossed my fingers and hoped she would create another scrumdiddilyumpshus event but this time Anna decided to abduct the lolly bag man from his Luxbite pastry lab in Melbourne and turn this dessert degustation into something Asian for $125 per person.
Glass of NV Chandon
Because the theme was Asian, surprisingly sushi was served for the evening. I was worried if I ate a lot of sushi rolls I wouldn’t have enough room for dessert, but the sushi was freshly made and all I wanted to do was stuff them in my mouth because it’s so deliciously tasty.
As we reached the underground level of the magical pastry kitchen and passed through the rustic door flaps Anna Polyviou plus team and special family guest Bernard Chu and Yen Yee owners of LuxBite welcomed us.
Just before they started the dessert degustation Anna and Bernard explained how they teamed up 5 years ago and the ingredients they used in the desserts. In addition for the last course one lucky person would win a kitchen appliance sponsored by KitchenAid. The instructions were simple, just be creative is all they asked for.
Throughout the entire evening we were provided bottles of complimentary sparkling water.
Our first degustation “Anna goes Asian Malaysian” was already prepared before we even arrived.
But to complete this dish the amazing Anna needed to prepare scoops of sesame seed ice cream. It was just freaking perfect her scooped shaped ice cream.
This dish consists of raspberry brulée infused with rose tea, covered in a white chocolate smooth glaze then topped with a tea dropped shaped white chocolate disc sprayed with raspberry sauce (I personally really liked the pink raspberry drizzle), dark chocolate coconut and sesame seed disc, fresh raspberries, raspberry sponge, lychee liquid pearls, black sesame ice cream, powdered white chocolate and to garnish baby green herbs. The appearance and texture of this dessert instantly reminded me of camembert cheese but this one bursts sweetness all over the plate. Ridiculously delightful dessert, especially when Yen Yee serviced our desserts all through the night. The white chocolate mousse created a delectable gooey mess along with the raspberry sponge. As for the chocolate disc’s I could hear “snaps” across our bench as guests take their first bite. I really wanted to lick clean the plate but I had to save the embarrassment.
“Anna goes Asian Malaysian”
Lychee, raspberry, black sesame seed, rose
For our second dessert, “Banoffi Hot vs Cold” was prepared by the evil genius of the famous lolly bag cake as seen on MasterChef, Bernard Chu of LuxBite. A banana soufflé with sticky salted caramel and Szechuan pepper at the bottom, topped with icing sugar and banoffee opera cake garnished with glossy chocolate curl.
The soufflé was soft and crunchy on the crust, sweet and creamy containing the full flavours of banana. I can happily sing the Despicable Me Minion song “Ba Ba Ba Ba Banana… “. Teehee
During the preparation for this dessert, Yen and Felicity Goodchild the winner of Dilmah Real High Tea Challenge 2013 Australia helped set up the plates. It’s important for a pastry chef to be patient whilst plating.
Bernard and Yen with one common craze for all things containing sugar in them.
Paparazzi moment when I caught Anna admiring Bernard’s bright desserts and Yen “tasting” the first course of the dessert degustation. Haha
Banana soufflé all filled and ready to go in the hot steamy oven. It felt like a million years later these fluffy clouds were ready to come out of the over.
Before serving our fluffy clouds of soufflé, Bernard dusts these babies with icing sugar.
This dessert made me go bananas as I felt like I was scooping air from an empty cup. The soufflé wasn’t too sweet as the salted caramel and Szechuan pepper balanced out the entire flavour of this dessert.
Gloriously sweet sweet salted cameral buried at the bottom of the banana soufflé. Drooling over this flavorsome dessert.
Alongside the banana soufflé, the banoffee opera cake drew a lot of satisfying sounds from guests!
I was extremely fascinated how Bernard can use banana with chocolate in a dessert. The cake contained a glaze of rich milk chocolate, salted caramel, genoise sponge bathed in lemon syrup, banana and salted caramel ganache, paillete feuilletine layer with milk chocolate and Szechuan pepper. To decorate, gold flakes were sprinkled across the cake and tucked on the side a shiny curled chocolate. In my opinion, it can just be incredible on its own! This was one chocolate coma inducing cake I’ve ever had! It was so rich that my tastebuds was sensitive enough to taste every ingredient in one bite. An eye catching dish to watch the chefs assemble right in front of me was a jaw dropping experience.
“Banoffi Hot vs Cold”
Banana, caramel, milk chocolate, Szechuan pepper
After our second course was complete, we had the opportunity to freely move around and observe Anna put together our next sweet course “Passion-ate about Yellow” as its name assured, it was very yellow indeed.
Anna assembling “Passion-ate about Yellow”
Ike Malada director of Art Plate taking a sneak peak
A tangy refreshing dessert screaming summer with fruity ingredients crammed into a clear jar. The jar was filled from the bottom up with passionfruit posset, pineapple champagne jelly, passionfruit curd, ginger sponge, mango and passionfruit sorbet, coconut tapioca and baby basil to garnish. A scent of passionfruit flavour fragranced around the pastry kitchen as we continued to eat our desserts.
Close up shot of the “Passion-ate about Yellow” dessert.
Another close up shot but this time the other side. I am just so curious how this beautifully brilliant dessert is so simple but brings out 6 flavours.
“Passion-ate about Yellow”
Passionfruit, mango, coconut, ginger, pineapple, basil
When I read the next dessert my body instantly shivered. I questioned Is it edible to it? and Are we really eating toothpaste? To answer this is straightforward, this dish proved to be very popular! With the adorable sticky toothpaste in a tube, crumbles, apple sorbet, apple pearls and powered toothpaste this palate cleanser dessert turned out to be better than what I imagined . Anna liked this dish so much she included it in her degustation. Honestly, it actually tastes like toothpaste, the Colgate kind.
Anna assembling “Tooth Paste”
The following dessert “Drunken sake Baba” : hand-made marshmallow with sprinkled green tea matcha powder, piped chocolate sauce, green tea crumbles, chestnut sorbet and rum baba drenched in sake all delicately prepared by the dessert whiz kid Bernard.
Bernard impresses the ladies Jee Hwang and Yen with his handmade marshmallow skills.
This is one pastry chef that knows how to pose in front of the camera. Teehee
Had a conversation with Bernard whilst he soaked the rum baba in sake. His having the time of his life!
It was vital that these rum baba to be soaked thoroughly so Jee bathes these one more time before serving.
Have you met Kevin 007 at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney? His very passionate at what he does.
Unlike regular marshmallows, the dusted green tea matcha marshmallow was very sticky but super soft like clouds. The crumbled rum baba was a tad too sweet in my opinion however dip it with the chocolate sauce and it completes the dish.
“Drunken sake Baba”
Sake, green tea matcha, chestnut
At last our final dessert “Everyone thinks they’re a Masterchef”, we were presented a generous variety of ingredients to share from chocolates, fruits, ice cream, sauce, cookies and herbs? I was clueless with the herbs but I did use them. Every guest was also served a plain lemon tart on a plate. Because I heart getting messy in the kitchen this was a fun twist to end the night, especially guests can indulge in their own creation but also freely express their visual ideas on a plate. Not like I have any… as I recall in high school, visual arts was my weakest subject.
Talk about competition…all the guest prepared what elements to use before the ingredients even landed on to our bench. Being the non-creative one, I sat there for a few minutes wondering what to create whilst Buttercup was nearly finished decorating her spectacular masterpiece.
At last I managed to finish on time! My so called masterpiece, I call it ” Bern-Art“. Teehee get it? Bernard and pastry art = Bern-Art! I’m so childish.
“Everyone thinks they’re a masterchef”
Create me on a plate
It was a tough decision for the pastry chefs to decide who would win the KitchenAid hand mixer and they unexpectedly picked 3 guests to stand at the front of the pastry kitchen, one of them was me! *insert happy dance* Apparently the other two guest were pastry chefs themselves and it was difficult for me to out beat them. Thankfully our second round challenge was to name 7 ingredients of the lolly bag. At the time I had Dory moment as I could only name 4 out of 7, although the other two contestants could only name 2. As a results I won the challenge! Hooray!!!
Photo credit to Buttercup
O-M-GEE it’s the evil genius Bernard Chu!
Anna and her team, Bernard and Yen gifted us with the “Take Lux Bite Home” goodie bags that included the famous Luxbite lolly bag cake seen on MasterChef, Pandan Macaron and Bamboo Oolong Tea Macaron and Heilala vanilla caramel spread.
The Luxbite Lolly Bag Cake has finally arrived in Sydney! So helplessly in love with this splendid cake.
“Take Lux Bite Home”
Heilala vanilla caramel spread and Pandan and Bamboo Oolong Tea macaron
My winning show bag contained Heilala products of vanilla pods, vanilla paste and vanilla extract.
If you’re a dessert lover like me then this indulgent dessert degustation is worth a try! It’s a great opportunity to speak with pastry chef face to face whilst they prepare your desserts. I suggest you save stomach space for a delightful tasty dessert degustation and skip main meals if you plan to experience this lick smacking event.
For potential future Dessert Degustation I recommend you to check Shangri-La Hotel Sydney’s website for more information or contact (02) 9250 6000
Photos by Vanny Tang