Posted on | July 12, 2011 | 24 Comments
Located in South Yarra, LuxBite opened late last year, and has been embraced by dessert loving bloggers (see below for the epic blog list!) and adorers of sugar, macarons and pretty cakes. Opened by Bernard Chu and Yen Yee, pastry chefs who have worked in restaurants like Rockpool Bar & Grill, Giuseppe Arnaldo & Sons and Comme Kitchen among others), the dessert café specialises in macarons, that pretty little biscuit that’s so hot right now. But they also do pretty good desserts… a lot of desserts… as you shall see!
Thanh organised a cake date at LuxBite a couple of weeks ago, with the 12 of us attending paying a heavily subsidised $15 each and eating our way through almost every single item available at the shop (minus these pretty macarons).
Before we started in on the sugar, we had a little chawanmushi each, an item made specially for us and not on the menu. I love chawanmushi, and this was a good version, with the egg mushroom smooth and silky.
We then shared a couple of savoury brunch items – the MeatBite and the VegBite. The MeatBite was a ramekin of baked beans, bacon and pork belly, served with a poached egg and toast on the side. I know this is a dessert café and all, but I think this dish would have been much, much improved with better quality baked beans. They tasted too much like tinned baked beans for my liking (which I despise).
The VegBite was a poached egg on toast, served with pumpkin, sauteed mushrooms and spinach. I loved the little cubes of seasoned pumpkin, though the spinach was a touch too salty. A bit later we would be wishing for some of that salt…
On to dessert. We shared a couple of the SweetBites, waffles that tasted a lot like hot cross buns, and served with poached pears and honey butter. I accidentally scoffed a rather big dab of the butter, thinking it was cream. No, no, it was definitely butter and not ideal for scoffing. But I liked the waffles – they were nice thick versions, and good with a touch of butter rather than a big lump.
After the SweetBite, we tried three of the cake slices from the cravings series. These were made in mini versions for us to share. There was a chocolate craving, a cheesecake craving, and caramel craving. Thank goodness these were small, because they were all very rich. My favourite was the cheesecake craving (at the back), which was lemon flavoured and dusted with strawberry powder. The chocolate slice had a thick chocolate ganache style filling on a hazelnut crust, and the caramel one had sweet caramel sandwiched in between a layer of dark chocolate and a coconut base.
The slices were closely followed by a palate cleanser (not on the menu) which was made up of pandan pannacotta topped with a tamarind syrup and guava granita. It was an interesting blend of flavours, and I liked the elements separately, but it was a bit too busy for me. Two out of three layers would’ve been magnificent.
Along with the palate cleanser, we had miniature versions of the LuxBite tarts – an apple crumble tart (Apple iTart), a lemon meringue tart, and a passionfruit tart (Pining for passion). Can you believe we received one of these plates each?! For favourites, it was a toss up between the apple crumble tart and the lemon meringue tart with the apple crumble just edging out the lemon meringue. This is possibly because it was still warm and who can resist a warm apple pie?
Other people on the table tried to tell me that the passionfruit tart was the best but unfortunately it was way too sweet for me.
By this stage, most of us were reacting to the excess sugar, but there was a lot more to come. Small versions of the Supersized Love and Oriental Love were handed out to each of us. I shared one with Adrian (Alastair having given up eating any more at this stage), and the excess was packed away to take home.
The Supersized Love is LuxBite’s take on a Ferrero Rocher aka the “golden ball”, a large macaron shell filled with a hazelnut and chocolate ganache. Definitely one for Ferrero Rocher fans.
The Oriental Love contained cubes of banana sandwiched in the macaron shell along with pandan cream, passionfruit curd and peanut brittle. I didn’t really like this one as I couldn’t handle the half cooked banana flavour, but others loved it.
I had reached serious sugar overload by this stage, but I soldiered on. Well, I sort of soldiered on. The next two items were an earl grey and peppermint bread and butter pudding and the ET. I ate the bread and butter pudding and took the ET home. I really liked the bread and butter pudding – it was sitting in a minty crème anglaise that was very refreshing. As for the ET, I ate it later at home – the shiny surface hid a very smooth, gooey chocolate mousse and it was topped with terribly addictive caramel popcorn a la Poppycock.
Finally, we were nearing the end. Next was my favourite item of the day and while I had been insisting that I had eaten far too much sugar already, as soon as I had a taste of the Meringue Monster I kept going back for more. The Meringue Monster was amazing – the outer soft meringue was dusted with strawberry powder, and inside were layers of watermelon and strawberry mousse on top of a white chocolate cake. It was delicious – very refreshing and fruity and the flavour of the strawberry and watermelon mousse came through so well. Love!
The last item was a surprise, a new item that was going through development at the time and not yet on the menu. The PMS – standing for polenta, mandarin and saffron – had chocolate mousse on a polenta and saffron base that was dusted with cocoa, and topped with a dehydrated mandarin slice.
Wow, what a day that was. I think I went home and had a nap afterwards!
Read what Allan aka King of Sweets thought of the cakedate.
And for more on LuxBite, check out these blogs:
[googleMap name="LuxBite" width="600" height="300" directions_to="false"]38 Toorak Road South Yarra VIC Australia[/googleMap]
38 Toorak Road
Phone: 03 9867 5888