The Langham Aria Bar: Burch and Purchese afternoon tea

Posted on | March 23, 2012 | 26 Comments

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Langham and Media Moguls.

The other week I was invited to attend the launch of the Burch and Purchese afternoon tea at The Langham. It’s a limited series of afternoon teas starting in April – replacing the chocolate bar at the Aria Bar (which I have also attended previously), cakes and treats will instead be created by Darren Purchese from Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio in South Yarra.

If you’ve visited the B&P Sweet Studio, you’ll know that it’s like a crazy science lab for sweet things, so I was eager to see whether some of those whimsical and interesting flavour combinations would be brought across to The Langham.


My eating partner in crime on the day was Shellie, and together we gamely tried a bit of everything. Let’s have a closer look…

Aren’t these little cakes cute? These contained milk chocolate and mango cream, coconut meringue, Jamaican ginger cake, mango cream, milk chocolate sponge, mango custard and topped with a chocolate gingerbread man. It was like a dainty little ginger layer cake.

The explosive raspberry marshmallows were one of my favourite items. They contained raspberry marshmallow with a soft set raspberry centre that sat on a base of milk chocolate and pop rocks. Yay, pop rocks!

I’m not really a white chocolate person, so I found these white chocolate and salted caramel lollipops on the sweet side. I think the salt in the caramel could’ve been dialled up a lot more.

The strawberry eclairs was the only item that wasn’t particularly great. The choux dough was filled with a strawberry pastry cream, and unfortunately the pastry was too dry – possibly due to the small size. Anyway, there was lots more treats to try, so Shellie and I moved on.

Darren Purchese described this as a salad in a glass – dessert style. It was probably the strangest item on the table. The main ingredients in this was avocado, mint, cucumber and white chocolate – see the salad reference? It contained yoghurt and lime crumb, avocado cream, mint tapicoa, ascorbic jelly, compressed cucumber with apple, white chocolate mousse and a mint chocolate wafer. Tart but creamy, with a refreshing cucumber flavour, I was really surprised to find that the combination was unexpectedly delicious.

Next up – a gorgeously glossy item of chocolate, mandarin and salted caramel. Normally I HATE jaffa and orange chocolate, but I found that I didn’t mind this – possibly because the mandarin wasn’t particularly prominent. This was made with Kendari 60% chocolate mousse, Murray River salted caramel, burnt mandarin cream, St Clements marmalade, aerated chocolate shortbread and coated with a chocolate mirror glaze.

Another really fun item were the mini meringue clouds. These chewy meringues were flavoured with freeze dried passionfruit, strawberry or blackberry. And when I say chewy, I mean chewy. At the bottom of the meringue there was a flavoured taffy like substance.

I loved this glass of coconut, passionfruit, ginger and mint. It was made up of layers of coconut mousse, passionfruit curd, coconut caviar, passionfruit jelly, salted oat and ginger crumble, white chocolate mint wafer, ginger macaroon and coated with brilliant white chocolate spray.

The dark chocolate and salted caramel lollipops with mandarin and cocoa nibs were better than their white chocolate counterparts though I did still find them on the too sweet side.

Another really gorgeous dainty cake – pistachio cake, strawberry and rose petal jam, yoghurt sponge, white peach cream, blood peach and peach schnapps cream and wild strawberry, vanilla and white choc mousse. The subtle flavours and soft layers of sponge really did it for me.

This cake was made with smoked white chocolate cream, crunchy almond meringue, coffee buttercream, coffee sponge, aniseed syrup, brownie sponge, lemon curd and dehydrated choc rock. The main flavours that came out in this was the aniseed and coffee. It was interesting – aniseed fans would probably like this more than I did. It’s not that I disliked it, but it didn’t really excite me.

Originally, these salted caramel gold bars were reportedly made for Nigella Lawson. They proved so popular that he keeps making them. It’s not surprising that they’re popular – they were pretty damn good. Like a posh, higher quality version of a caramello koala. :p

Still with me? Seriously, can you believe Shellie and I tried a bit of everything?! And I’m still not finished.

One for banana lovers – the glass contained caramelised white chocolate and vanilla mousse, macadamia spiced speculaas (shortbread biscuit), caramelised banana cream, passionfruit jelly, passionfruit curd and choc velvet spray. Awesome, and how cute are the little chocolate bars?

Finally, there were also chocolate flowers – all the colours were different flavours. There was strawberry, mint, mango, and blueberry from memory.

Overall, and you know that I don’t have a major sweet tooth, I was impressed by the different flavours and textures that had been worked into the desserts. It wasn’t all sugar on sugar on sugar. They were pretty, a bit fun, but most importantly delicious.

And in addition to the sweet treats, the afternoon tea still featured the usual ribbon sandwiches, scones and tea. Thank goodness for the sandwiches, because by the end of the afternoon we were both suffering from sugar overload and had to scoff down a few sandwiches to cope. Soft, really soft. :)

The B&P afternoon tea is currently available for three Fridays in April, May and June. At $69, the price is the same as the regular chocolate bar afternoon tea in the weekend. I know which afternoon tea I would rather attend – definitely this one. :)

The dates available are:

Friday 20 April
Friday 4 May
Friday 1 June
From 10:30am – 4pm

(More dates may possibly be announced soon)

Cost: $69 per person

See: ariabar.com.au.

And check out Shellie’s post on the launch.


View Off the spork in a larger map

Aria Bar & Lounge
The Langham Melbourne
One Southgate Avenue
Southbank 3006
Ph: 1800 641 107
Web: ariabar.com.au

Aria Bar & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Comments

26 Responses to “The Langham Aria Bar: Burch and Purchese afternoon tea”

  1. Hannah
    March 24th, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

    Envy envy envy! Oh how I want the salad one (after all, I frequently use avocado in dessert), and the pistachio and rose petal one. How rude for you not to save me some! I care not that it would’ve been mouldy by the time I got to it…

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Oh and who says that I didn’t save you any? Maybe I posted it and your mail-person has stolen your parcel again?

    [Reply]

  2. Iron Chef Shellie
    March 24th, 2012 @ 4:29 pm

    yummmm… sugar headache all over again :P
    x
    Iron Chef Shellie recently posted..{MFWF 2012} Vintage High Tea @ Werribee Mansion

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Thanks for being my eating partner in crime :D

    [Reply]

  3. Slowsunday
    March 24th, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

    Dang!! Not really a sweet tooth but jeebus! Might need to convert! Definitely intrigued by the limb crumb. WTF?

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Hahaha oh damn – that should be lime. Silly typo – good spotting :)

    [Reply]

  4. msihua
    March 24th, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    Mannnnnn so jealous!!!!! I so should have taken a day off!!

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    You should’ve! Fail Dastardly.

    [Reply]

  5. Food is our religion
    March 24th, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

    those ginger cakes are so cute! Love the pics!

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    I loved the little ginger people too :)

    [Reply]

  6. Ruben
    March 25th, 2012 @ 3:19 am

    Good post! I’ll definitely be pinning this on pinterest!

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  7. Celeste @ Berrytravels
    March 25th, 2012 @ 1:06 pm

    Can you believe I am actually going to fly back to Melb for a weekend just for this?!
    Celeste @ Berrytravels recently posted..Eating out: Ah Koong Fishball Restaurant in Johor Bahru – 亚坤纯正西刀鱼丸

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Are you?? You’re crazy, woman. :) I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

    [Reply]

  8. EatPlayShop
    March 25th, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    Awesome pictures as always! I only have one word – ENVIOUS!!!!! I’m leaving major hints with my family that I would love to go to one of these for my birthday, do you think it’ll work???!!!
    EatPlayShop recently posted..Sweet & Sticky Event @ Brunetti Carlton (Melbourne Food & Wine Festival)

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Yes! I’m totally sure it will work – and if not, you need BIGGER hints.

    [Reply]

  9. CheezyK
    March 26th, 2012 @ 9:49 am

    Why oh why do they only have these on a Friday … looks like you had a lot of fun though!

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    I know – it sucks that it’s only on a Friday.

    [Reply]

  10. April
    March 28th, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    Gosh I feel like I’ve had a sugar overload just *looking* at the photos :D
    April recently posted..Lunch with Champagne Jayne at Vue De Monde

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Hah imagine how we felt eating all that?!

    [Reply]

  11. Annette
    April 2nd, 2012 @ 7:23 am

    Wow –these look seriously good Agnes –and awesome photos! I am not a dessert person but I could really try some of these. Absolutely beautiful!

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Thanks Annette – the desserts were gorgeous :)

    [Reply]

  12. Thanh
    April 7th, 2012 @ 7:59 pm

    HEAVEN.

    I can believe you and Shellie tried everything. I think we’re up to 300 pushups now.
    Thanh recently posted..Singapore Takeout In Sydney

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    Shellie and I did it for our blogs. Yep, definitely for the blogs.

    [Reply]

  13. Corrie
    June 9th, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    Hi,
    How do you make those raspberry marshmellow things. They look divine.

    [Reply]

    Agnes Reply:

    No idea sorry, I didn’t make them :)

    [Reply]

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