Disclaimer: My ticket was complimentary as Luxbite had asked me to take photos of the night for their use. I did cover half the cost of my friend's ticket though :)
When I saw Luxbite announce their first dinner degustation with Anna Polyviou, just quietly on twitter, I knew I had to get in. Stat. Fortunately I was one of the people who managed to get two seats to the degustation that sold out in under 24 hours. Kind of crazy right?
But then again, maybe not so. I love what Bernard and Yen do with their desserts at Luxbite. They're all about fun and do an amazing job of taking traditionally Asian flavours and putting a modern twist of them, or taking a classic cake and mixing it up a little (case in point, you have to go in for their summer Banoffee Opera cake. Seriously.)
And they took this mind set to this dinner with Anna, crafting a dessert degustation menu with a lot of Asian inspiration.
These one off degustations I think are wonderful, and I'm always pleased when I can attend a dinner or meal such as this, as it really is the chef at their best, doing what they love and what they're interested in. But it also makes me kind of sad, because since it is once off, there is a potential for some of these wonderful dishes to only be seen once. So no one else will get to try them! Although I guess there is the potential for the dishes to be reincarnated on future menus or delicious things to take home…*hinthintnudgenudge*
And in light of that, since I was also permitted by Yen and Bernard to sneak into the back and take behind the scenes pictures, I've decided that this post will be more of a photo essay, with some description of the dishes (I am a bit of a blabbermouth so I can't resist a bit of sharing still!)
Bourban and bacon popcorn from Wonder Snack. Crack in popcorn form. I need 4 litres of this in my life please.
Our little door gifts…a jar of salted caramel spread. No kidding.
Our amuse bouche, the Drunken Pandan Panda. Passionfruit puree with mango and champagne jelly and mango balls that would just pop and burst into juicy joy. With a bit of fresh tropical sorbet. The mini pandan macaron went surprisingly well with all the zest and the zing of all the fruits.
Adorable white chocolate pops, that made me think of a planet from some sugary universe far far away. What a wonderful universe that would be…
Second course, Asian Pink Bits. You can tell Anna and Bernard had fun playing with the naming of the desserts…strawberries, egg white and palm sugar. The egg white taking the form of meringue tubes, light and crumbly. Tapioca and jelly could be found as well.
Third course. You Think You Know This Asian Drink?! Home made milo, condensed milk pearls, kopi cream thing at the other end of the green tube and a sinfully sinful column of melty milo-y chocolate.
Our palette cleanser was next….sushi? We all looked at the menu slightly bewildered. They were chucking a savoury in there? With rice, salmon roe, wasabi mayo and soy, it sounded pretty legit.
Until you gave it a good chomp and you realise Bernard's gone off and played a lil trick on all of you! The 'sushi' is based off the Thai dessert, sticky mango rice. With glutinous rice, topped with mango balls, tamarind for the 'seaweed', pandan cream for the 'wasabi' and palm sugar caramel filling up the traditional soy sauce fish.
It was all a bit of a mind fuck. You were tasting one thing, but looking at something else…which looked pretty convincing. My friend Tegan, who doesn't really do seafood, was rather worried when it was put in front of her, until I told her exactly what it was!
Visually the fourth course was one of my favourites. I couldn't help but smile watching it come together. The Sweet Asian Garden, inspired by Yayoi Kusama (who's just done a collaboration with Louis Vuitton), with flavours such as roselia hibiscus, jasmine, chrysanthemum and rose.
The polka dots just made you smile. The sugar crusted rose petal made you giggle, the pumpkin creme brulee made you swoon, the tea flavoured granita flower made me sigh as my palate was freshened up. It was a game figuring out where to start!
Last but not least, we were Rocking and Popping Karaoke Candy. With peanut, black sesame, raspberry and cacao…and a serving of popping candy to sprinkle.
The most 'traditional' looking dessert with a deliciously rich chocolatey mousse. Mmm. So dense. Mmm. So good. Loved the combination of the peanut ice-cream sandwich and the black sesame ice-cream. Worked together very well.
And just for a moment, we were all transported back to being 4 year olds, pointing and laughing and squealing as the popping candy worked it's magic...
With that we all rolled on home in a sweet sweet sweet sweet sugar coma...
There's word about that Luxbite will be doing this on a monthly basis, with different guest chefs…so what are you waiting for? Follow them on twitter and keep a close eye out...
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