I thought I would write this post and share with you all, the photos from my eating adventures this month i.e. the desserts I have consumed of late being good food month and all. Not only has this month provided plentiful amounts of celebrations for my birthday but considering it also coincides with good food month…this has meant more eating and eating and eating on my behalf…yes food comas galore! I can’t think of a better way to have celebrated the month of October than indulging in such wonderful foods.
Now you all probably know by now that I have the biggest sweet tooth so much so that sometimes I can’t resist dessert when it is on the menu. I’ll even eat a small main at a restaurant to ensure that I can eat dessert without feeling too guilty. You will often see that on my cheat days on the weekend, I will always indulge in a sweet treat or two to take a break from eating relatively healthy during the weekdays.
So far this month I have been to two Sugar Hits firstly at Azuma Restaurant and then at the Intercontinental Hotel and recently to a Mad Hatter Themed High Tea at the Westin Hotel. The funny thing is that previously to this I had never been to a sugar hit and it must seem quite odd for someone who has such a big sweet tooth. This year I thought I would try to go to a few restaurants to see what the Sugar Hits were all about.
AZUMA SUGAR HIT
The first Sugar Hit I went to was at Azuma Restaurant. I was quite excited to go to this Sugar Hit as I had read several food blogs on this and saw many pictures of the dessert. The dessert was an “East meets West – Dessert Bento Box” consisting of a Japanese style Panna cotta made from soy & cow’s milk with a bottom layer of brown sugar jelly served with seasonal fruit on top shaped into a face and served with buckwheat soba noodles to make up the hair. The bento box also had some homemade Yuzu Sorbet with popping candy, a Gateaux Chocolate served with cream, fruits and candied violet, 2 Marble Gateaux Cookies (Chocolate & Vanilla) and a Sake Sample which was either Yuzu or Rose Sake or a Plum Wine. The bento box came with either a choice of Japanese Green Tea or a glass of Brown Brothers Cienna Rosso (a sweet and fruity sparkling wine).
My favourite dish from the bento box was the Panna cotta. I love Panna cotta and this one in particular went really well with the brown sugar jelly as you scooped further into it. They definitely tried to make it more creative by making the fruit and noodles into a face with hair. I was hesitant about the Yuzu sorbet as I had tried Yuzu sorbet and ice cream before and feel it is a bit of an acquired taste but I was quite surprised as it was very refreshing and light. As you delved further into the sorbet and ate it, you would get a whole different texture in your mouth from the popping candy. The cookies were nice and crumbly but were not a stand out for me. Also I was quite disappointed with the Gateaux Chocolate which was basically a very dense and dry chocolate cake. I’m not a fan of cream so I chose to eat the cake without it but the cake on a whole still was definitely not a memorable dish.
While you get a lot for $20 than most places offering Sugar Hits, I felt that the Bento box was a bit of a hit and miss. There were some great dishes but also some not so great dishes as well. The dessert didn’t really leave me wanting more. You will need to book Azuma if you want to try their sugar hit dessert as they usually are booked out.
Photos from Azuma:
Menu from Azuma
Glass of Brown Brothers Cienna Rosso
Azuma’s Special Blend Japanese Green Tea
The Azuma dessert bento box
Kawaii Panna Cotta – Japanese style Panna Cotta made with soy & cow’s milk, with Brown Sugar Jelly, Seasonal Fruit Face & Buckwheat Soba Noodle Hairstyle
Home-made Yuzu Sorbet with popping sparkles
Gateaux Chocolat with fresh cream, seasonal fruits & candied violet
Marble Gateaux Cookies – Homemade chocolat & vanilla marbled Gateaux cookies
INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL SUGAR HIT
I wanted to try the Intercontinental Hotel Sugar Hit after hearing from Miss J that it was one of the best Sugar Hit’s this year. So I was in luck last saturday night when a bunch of friends wanted to try this sugar hit as well. This year’s Sugar Hit at Intercontinental consists of a homemade ivory chocolate cheesecake, with salted chocolate caramel, poached strawberry and berry soil made from freeze-dried blueberries and raspberries and some red pieces of sponge cake. This dessert was served with a glass of Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora.
I really liked the dessert but did not think it really resembled a cheesecake, but moreso the texture was almost reminiscent of a soft and airy white chocolate mousse. Despite this, I really enjoyed the texture of the light and airy cake in contrast to the crumbly base. The berry soil was surprisingly nice due to the crunchy texture. This contrasted the soft spongy pieces of cake served on the sides of the cheesecake. The soft poached strawberries provided another different taste texture to the dessert when eaten together with the berry soil and cheesecake. All in all I quite enjoyed the dessert as I demolished my plate clean. Mr Muscles complained that whilst the dessert was nice, he thought there could have been much more on the plate. Others were saying that while it was nice, it wasn’t very spectacular or memorable for the price. Me being me, I was just happy to consume some cake to get my dessert fix for the night. I thought that this sugar hit was better than Azuma taste wise even though Azuma provided more components to their dessert.
Note: You can’t book the Intercontinental so you should try to get there earlier if you can around 9pm. We got there at 10:40pm and were lucky to get seated as a group was just leaving at that time.
Photos from Intercontinental Sugar Hit:
Homemade ivory chocolate cheesecake, with salted chocolate caramel, poached strawberry and berry soil
A glass of Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora
THE MAD HATTER’S AFTERNOON TEA PARTY
Yesterday Mrs Papparazzi and I went to a Mad Hatter themed High Tea at The Westin Hotel. I was very excited to go to this as I love High Tea – combining finger sandwiches with scones and dessert, I can’t think of anything better! I thoroughly enjoyed the High Tea and could see their attempts in trying to be creative with their sandwiches and desserts by thinking outside the box and serving up some original looking savoury and sweet dishes to go with the theme.
The savoury dishes on the high tea menu were all visually appealing and decorative. My favourite savoury item was the Alaskan crabmeat salad on double bread which had been cut into a flat cylinder with the crabmeat filled inside. This was then wrapped with slices of cucumber. It tasted very light and refreshing. The roasted beef sandwich was not as memorable mostly because I am not that big of a fan of roasted beef however the beef was cut thinly and rolled around the fresh asparagus so the sandwich felt quite light. To be a bit different, as part of the savoury menu, there was also a cherry bocconcini and tomato salad boat which was a nice change from the sandwiches usually served at high tea. This was served with some crunchy pieces of pastry (not quite sure what it was exactly) as garnish to the salad and to provide a certain crunch to the dish and it was also served with a light dressing.
But onto dessert…my favourite part of high tea! I loved the raspberry dessert and it would have had to be my favourite item on the high tea menu. The dessert consisted of layers of raspberry buttercream with chocolate ganache and raspberry jelly moulded into a heart shape with a heart-shaped jelly on top. The raspberry and chocolate paired well together. I loved the texture of the dessert from chocolate to jelly but was sad that it was such a small serving for such a nice dessert. Mrs Papparazzi agreed that this was her favourite dessert as well. I also quite enjoyed the dark chocolate mud cake encased in chocolate icing. I don’t know how you can go wrong with chocolate covered with more chocolate and the fact that it was moulded into the shape of a hat was very clever. I wasn’t a fan of the purple macaron with blueberry cream filling as I do not like macarons in general. Mrs Papparazzi told me she has had better macarons than the one served at this high tea so I took her word on this. The macaron however was quite creative in appearance as they had stuck a piece of edible fondant on the macaron in the shape of a clock.
The scones came out well after we had finished up the sandwiches and desserts. I was getting quite full at this stage but there is always room for some scones right? And I was happy to see that they were much smaller in size than most places that serve high tea which meant that I could just fit them in. The scones were accompanied with homemade strawberry jam, a raspberry chocolate jam and clotted cream. I really liked the strawberry and raspberry chocolate jam. Although you could not really taste the chocolate in the raspberry jam as much.
The high tea was served with some sweet wine which was quite fruity in taste and a tea of your choice. I chose green tea as I usually do and mixed in some honey that they provided while Mrs Papparazzi chose to have an English Breakfast tea with milk.
Overall I really enjoyed the high tea utilising a cute and arty theme whilst also trying to resemble the theme into savory and sweet dishes by thinking of unique and imaginative ideas for each dish. The desserts were more the standout of the high tea for me and it’s always great catching up with friends over good food and indulging every now and then. I’m still thinking about that Raspberry dessert dish right now – yum! ;P
Photos from the Mad Hatter’s High Tea (Photos courtesy of Mrs Papparazzi – her photos always turn out so good! Thank you!)
Glasses of sparking white wine
Roasted beef and fresh asparagus roulade on mini laugen
Alaskan crabmeat salad on double bread
Cherry bocconcini & tomato on a fresh green salad boat
Layers of raspberry buttercream, chocolate ganache and raspberry jelly – mmmmmmmmmmm my favourite!
Dark chocolate mud cake encased in chocolate icing
Purple macaron with a blueberry cream filling
Scones served with homemade strawberry jam, raspberry chocolate jam and clotted cream
Green Tea served with honey
Azuma Japanese Restaurant
Level 1, Chifley Plaza
2 Chifley Square
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9222-9960
Intercontinental Hotel – Cafe Opera
117 Macquarie Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9253 9000
Sugar Hit Hours: 9pm-11pm
The Westin Sydney
No. 1 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 8223-1111
Till next time!