In Sydney, dessert playgrounds can be hard to find at night. Luckily last Wednesday, Shangri-La Hotel’s executive pastry chef Anna Polyviou gave over 500 hundred sugared up guest the opportunity to discover sweets like never before. It was one funky dessert pop-up event located right inside the five-star luxury hotel, Shangri-La Sydney’s Grand Ballroom. We were treated to street-market style set up with disco lighting and a DJ playing night-club music throughout the evening.
For $55 per ticket which includes 10 tokens and the opportunity to go hard out for all things sweet, I’d say it’s surprisingly worth it! Dedication to sweets is a serious matter and what makes this event so Willy Wonka like is inviting friends along. Special guests like the unconquerable Adriano Zumbo, Tim Clark from Cacao, Kirsten Tibballs from Savour School, Bernard Chu and Yen Yee from Melbourne’s LuxBite and off course Shangri-La hotel’s pastry star, Anna Polyviou.
What’s your favourite Zumbaron flavour? Adriano Zumbo stall.
Sweet Street event showcased the best treats and in between our splendid sweet-tooth madness, prizes from KitchenAid and dance competition was all happening under the one roof.
Scrumdiddilyumpshus Éclairs from Cacao Lab – Tim Clark
Selfie time with the BOSSES from N2 Extrem Gelato and LuxBite before the event. No biggie!!!
Heaven for lovers of chocolate, this extraordinary handmade chocolate garden is completely edible. Unfortunately Kirsten Tibballs display wasn’t for us to eat. However to accommodate, she was selling one stunning chocolate goodie bag for 1 token a bag.
Gigantic chocolate mushroom from Savour School
Chocolates and painted butterflies that’s also edible is the perfect gift combination to win my heart. This has got to be one of the delicious Chocolate Dessert Garden for your next dinner party that will leave your guests awe-struck. If only I knew how to grow and maintain my own chocolate garden.
Mother nature has turned into CHOCOLATE!!! – Savour School
A bag of awesome chocolate treats from Savour School (1 token)
Let’s see what Anna Polyviou stall has got for us hungry sweet tooth.
Anna’s Taste Test Donut was inspired by Sydney’s Hartsyard chef Andy Bowdy to create a CRAZY doughnut-flavoured ice cream. I think this may be the next trend for Sydney.
Doesn’t this remind you of The Simpsons cartoon donut?
I can never ever get past the Passionfruit Posset with seasonal tropical fruit compote-garnished with mango pearls. An incredibly refreshing fruity treat! Served in a petite cylinder cup. For a moment your mind may wander off to a tropical island as the pearls offer a nice burst of mango flavour.
Passionfruit posset and tropical fruit (1 token)
Donuts get in ma belly!!!
Berries and vanilla panna cotta (1 token)
Bar tender from Blu Bar on 36 cocktail bar
For the people who fancied a nice adult beverage, Blu Bar on 36 cocktail bar offered only one type of cocktail-Spydah. It included tonka bean infused with rum, banana liquor, ginger beer and a scoop of ice-cream. The cocktail name sort of makes our skin crawl, but you’ll feel pretty festive after downing it.
Spydah (2 tokens)
Savoury option for the night was supplied by Shangri-La and that too was another corner no one missed out on. My favourite was the Shredded pork salad as the meat was supreme in taste and it was so freaken tender.
Don’t go pigging out tonight, ok? *Oink*
Shredded pork salad (1 token)
There is always a reason why Anna decided to abduct the lolly bag man from his Luxbite pastry lab in Melbourne. You’re properly wondering why? [Please continue reading…]
Concentration is the key to making eye-popping ice-creams at N2 Extreme Gelato.
So I’ll get straight to it and say the LIMITED EDITION ‘lollybag burger‘-chocolate brioche buns that was held together by an ENORMOUS scoop of lemon gelato plus a ganache, made from melted Redskin candies, in place of a the ordinary ‘tomato sauce’. From the top 100 & 1000s charcoal brioche bun with confit lemon popping candy, musk whipped cream, mandarin and eucalyptus gelato, freckles spread and served with a syringe full of injectable liquefied redskin candies.
Limited edition: Lolly Bag Burger (2 tokens)
Nitrogen frozen gelato was also on offer with Ferrero Rocher that contained chocolate coated rice bubbles, chocolate and hazelnut gelato, hazelnuts and just for the stack of it why not serve it with a syringe full of injectable melted chocolate.
Ferrero Reveal (1 token)
Min Chuan Chai from N2 Extreme Gelato
Just right next door to N2 Extreme Gelato, Bernard Chu and Yen Yee of Lux Bite Melbourne decided to tart things up. This stall showcase new flavours such as lavender, blueberry and vanilla and tarts. All tarts were SOLD OUT before 8:10pm and I was extremely happy I somehow managed to sample all three flavours.
Endless Love is LuxBite’s popular dessert, inspired by Pierre Hermes Ispahan. This tart includes rose and lychee ganache filled, topped with fresh raspberries and silver to garnish. Next, Sood Tee Ruk is a happy ending…that Luxbite are giving lemon meringue tart a Thai twist. This tart includes Kalamansi lime curd with jackfruit, longan, chilli, salt, meringue, kaffir lime sherbet.
For the final tart, we had blueberry tart that’s filled with Heilala vanilla rice pudding and hazelnut praline cream, topped with fresh blueberries and chunks of hazelnut.
Assortment of tarts from LuxBite.
Great catching up with my Melbourne friends Bernard and Yen at LuxBite.
Spicy Lamb and Beef skewers (1 token each)
Papaya salad (1 token)
Pork salad (1 token)
Sweet as! The Éclairs from Cacao Lab were rendered in new ways, including Hot Choc Dog and deep-frying. Starting from left to right we have:
Caipirinha-Tangy lime creme with brown sugar smash and Cachaca boost
Hot Choc Dog containing Chocolate mousse, raspberry gel and say whaat? grated ‘chocolate’ cheese.
Pop Choc with 66% dark chocolate, pop rocks and rice puffs
Éclairs from Cacao Lab – Tim Clark (1 token each)
Delicate eclairs in the deep-fried coconut version.
Caipirinha-Tangy lime creme with brown sugar smash and Cachaca boost (1 token)
Hot Choc Dog Éclair (1 token)
Move over soft serve because Anna’s parfait yoghurt with a chunky centre is the NEW THING. Yoghurt ice-cream has never looked so pretty before, until now. It’s only appropriate to eat this whilst watching TV. This finger-licking parfait ice-cream yoghurt attached on a wooden popsicle stick topped with crunchy caramel popcorn. A splendid way to bring the Sweet Street to an end.
Mag-Anna’s Salted Caramel Popcorn (1 token)
The Strawberry Yoghurt was an absolutely sinful ice-cream. I was really fascinated with how adorable this yoghurt was. In my opinion a sensational rollicking dessert!
Mag-Anna’s Strawberry Yoghurt (1 token)
Dedicated to only serve sweets, Anna has been recongnised for her skills in the pastry kitchen. She is the brainchild behind Sweet Street and is one of the founders of the Sydney Pastry Chef Club. Together with Adriano Zumbo, Min Chuan Chai of N2 Nitrogen Gelato, Bernard Chu and Yen Yee of Lux Bite, Tim Clark of Cacao Lab, and Kirsten Tibballs of Savour Chocolate and Patisserie, they are unstoppable. This event is basically your ideal childhood birthday party for all the GROWN UPS.
Anna and friends at Sweet Street.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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Very rarely in Sydney would I come across a 30cm in length fried chicken. With Sydney-siders increase of fried cravings over the years, Hot Star Large Fried Chicken (96 Liverpool Street, Sydney NSW 2000) has successfully opened its first store in the heart of the CBD. With epic queues all the way down the street, the sight of 250 grams of succulent JUMBO chicken breast gets food lovers eye-twitching and it’s totally worth it. Hot star started their frying food scene back in Taiwan Shilin night Market in 1992 with one mouth-watering mission- “To deliver authentic Taiwanese street food“. And let me just state I am certainly happy that chicken crossed the road. Teehee.
I was very fortunate to be on the other side of the shipping-container sized kitchen and witness the hard working staff of 10 assemble all this fried madness. Taking 30 minutes of Casey’s (Hot Star Store Manager) time meant a lot to me and to her as pipping hot chicken continue to get pampered in coated flour then dunked in hundred degree oil. Also with hungry starving customers continue to pile, it was essential to absorb all the secret information and share it with you guys.
Customers are keen for their FRIED CHICKEN.
Can’t wait any longer…
Who are we kidding, the Original Fried Chicken ($7.90) is amazingly addictive with enormous pepper seasoning . I mean, they sell almost 600 fried chicken steaks, alone in 1 day. Sure, when you first have your eyes glued to this chicken, it may look dry, but don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s surprisingly moist, really moist and tender. Extremely crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, I can say you will appreciate the minimum 12 hours marinated flavour, texture and quality of this XXL chicken steak. This fresh chicken sensation is not as oily as I thought, if you examine it closely tiny bubbles of fried flour, looks appetising. I couldn’t convince Casey to tell me why this is slightly crisper than Taiwan Hot Star but I do know they put a lot of hours in spoiling their chicken breast with pepper seasoning or if you are game enough try chilli powder. I honestly questioned a few times whether this is a chicken thigh piece, but no, Casey stated it’s CHICKEN BREAST! This juicy chicken, cooked to order may involve palm-sweating and teeth-grinding experience. Also it may get a bit messy as bone and cartilage are present. But that’s ok, you’d be too busy enjoying this succulent treat, you won’t even care.
Original Fried Chicken ($7.90)
Woah! This chicken breast is bigger than my hand.
Tiny bubbles of protein madness!
It seems like Hot Star have taking frying to a whole new level of tastiness by introducing Deep Fried King Oyster Mushroom ($3.90) is placed onto the palm of my hands. I legitimately crammed everything into my mouth, which is fine by me but not so sure about Casey’s expression. Let’s just say she politely giggled. The secret method for making a crisp, savory crunch is carefully hand-selecting the mushrooms to ensure quality and this my friend creates a rich, concentrated flavour. Each chopped piece of pepper seasoned mushroom squirts quite a lot of juice. Just FYI, this meaty and firm texture mushroom is a must for a movie snack.
Deep Fried King Oyster Mushroom ($3.90)
I am not going to lie: Deep Fried Sweet Potato ($3.90) is ridiculously sweet! NATURALLY! It’s a real sweet treat. They’re full of flavour that are secretly seasoned with… you’ll never guess, PLUM POWDER. These finger shaped sticks are a great alternative to standard French fries. I absolutely love the light crisp on the outside and the warm soft mash inside. Yes, another ongoing obsession of mine.
Deep Fried Sweet Potato ($3.90)
The first thing I will comment about this Deep Fried Curly Fries ($3.90) is that it’s not curly enough. However, scoffing down all this starch goodness, just shows how easily I get manipulated by its crunchy texture and flavour. Yeap, I think my stomach is pleasantly satisfied with that gold brown fried deliciousness.
Deep Fried Curly Fries ($3.90)
Very pleased to share behind the scene of what goes around here at Hot Star. Chicken breasted are firstly coated with flour and seasoning before deep frying them.
Flour and seasoning.
Chicken breast waiting to be cooked.
Fry baby, FRY!
After deep frying them for about 12 mintues, let these chicken steak be air dried before packaging them.
How smart is this, ready to fry curly fries.
Ready to fry King Oyster Mushroom.
Ready to fry Sweet Potato.
Fresh basil is important for the chicken bites.
Can’t wait to try these Chicken Bites next time.
It is good to know Hot Star only orders FRESH NOT FROZEN chicken, every single day.They believe fresh ingredients for instance chicken and vegetables is the key to making their products more delicious and addictive. Chicken bites will be next on my list to try. And yes, the fry goodness is really worth waiting for! If you have already tried Hot Star’s fried chicken in Sydney, what do you think? Have you tried their other existing stores in Melbourne or Taiwan? Let me know your opinion.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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I can hardly contain my excitement because it’s Nessy Eater’s FIRST BLOGIVERSARY. I can’t believe this food blog still exist and I’m still blogging. I was for certain this wouldn’t even last for 1 month. It took me a weekend to realise it has been one amazing year to be a food blogger. Making lots and lots of new friends, who have the same interest as me feels like home. Nessy Eater motivates me every day to be inspired, enjoy life and share the joy of eating. I like to THANK YOU friends and family, who have the patience when I’m preparing my ritual- feeding my camera first before meals are then served to them. Looking back on the past year, I’ve been very grateful to be invited to many delicious eats and events. I will try to discover more about food, recipes and drinks. I am looking forward to improving this space and hope you will enjoy it. So like…the other day I came across bite-size homemade popcorn chicken at the table, one bite and I was HOOKED! It is a recipe that is so wrong yet soooooo good not to resist. It has been tested and APPROVED by amature cooks, like me. Even our friends who have impeccable taste were amused and are super keen to see this again without a doubt. I bet you won’t touch KFC popcorn chicken again for years!
The secret to this absolutely amazing recipe are two important ingredients that not many minions would want to share, however I managed to mastermind it THANKS to Tall Tommy and they are chicken powder and cayenne pepper. You’ll go C-R-A-Z-Y if you are missing either one or both of these ingredients whilst making these TASTY chicks.
Gimme me popcorn chicken NOW.
Let’s BEGIN! Easy peasy steps just in case you peeps out there want to make this. You’ll need:
Homemade Popcorn Chicken
Credits to LOL Couple – Tall Tommy.
- 3 boneless chicken breasts (Chopped in small pieces ranging 1.5 inch in size)
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour or self-raising
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp chicken powder
- 3 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp potato starch or sweet potato starch or cornflour
- 3-4 cups vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup plain flour
Before starting, prepare 3-4 cups vegetable oil into a wok or small skillet and place on medium heat.
Then mix 1 1/2 cups plain flour , 1/2 tsp potato starch and 1/4 cup water in small mixing bowl.
Add 1 1/2 tsp chicken powder, stir.
Add 3 tsp cayenne pepper, stir.
Double check the consistency of the flour mixture, not too runny, not too thick.
( Too thick= Add water, Too runny= Add flour).
Dunk the chicken pieces into the flour mixture (If time isn’t an issue, piece by piece) , fully coating the chicken.
Dip pieces of chicken into 1 1/2 cup plain flour batch, being sure they are fully covered.
To test if the oil is ready simply fry a few pieces of chicken into the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready! Now, slowly place the chicken into the oil. After 4-5 minutes depending on heat flip pieces over. Pieces of chicken should be ready when it turns golden brown. (Best to take one out and cut it in half to see if the meat is fully cooked).
Once the chicken is ready, scoop out the chicken pieces and make sure oil is drained as much as possible. Use 2 paper towels or more to excess the oil so the popcorn chicken is super duper crunchy.
Homemade popcorn chicken is READY TO EAT.
- Tastes just like KFC popcorn chicken with the secret ingredient: cayenne pepper and chicken powder
- Smaller pieces of chicken = crispier and crunchier
- For awesome results use deep fryer
- Use paper towels/ tempura sheets to excess oil
It ain’t Ba-Na-n-a minion. Tee hee.
Nessy Eater and I have come a long long way. I appreciate the time and effort for sharing the the past year with me. Each comment, email or message has given me encouragement to keep doing what I love best- EATING.
Photos by Vanny Tang
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