Life is too short to eat dinner before dessert, that’s where March into Merivale’s Just Desserts comes in.
Last Wednesday I attended the Just Desserts function at the Establishment bar and my sweet tooth was out and ready to go.
The bar was transformed into a sweet treat boulevard with various pop-up stalls stationed around the walls. The stalls were hosted by Mr Wong, est., Lorraine’s Patisserie, Bistrode CBD, Ms.G’s, and Functions and Events at Merivale.
Upon arrival we were given our token cards – each had 6 tokens with which you could purchase your desired desserts.
There were people buzzing around the stalls excitedly, getting a peek at all the delicious treats on offer and the venue itself was dressed up with banners hanging from the ceiling and food displays featured plates of cocoa powder, chillies, dark chocolate blocks and grapes.
Before deciding which dessert was going to be first, everyone did a loop of the venue to check out what was on offer.
The sultry and enticing jazz music really helped set the tone for the sugar filled event.
Rating scale: 1 piece of chocolate ▝ (It was nice but I wouldn’t eat it every day) – 5 pieces of chocolate ▝▝▝▝▝ (I need a plate of this on hand 24/7).
Some of the delicious desserts on offer:
MR WONG MENU
Mini Fried ice cream with butterscotch sauce:
What were people saying? The butterscotch sauce is to DIE for!
I have never tried fried ice cream before, but there was something incredibly satisfying about eating a hot, crunchy, deep fried coating around a ball of creamy, frozen vanilla bean ice cream. The butterscotch sauce pooled underneath coated each scoop of the delicious hot and cold ice cream with every bite.
Did it look as good as it tasted? At first I was a bit sceptical, it looked like a fried dim sim. But after cracking it open and biting into it, there was no doubt left in my mind.
Banana and nutella spring roll with salted caramel ice cream:
What were people saying? Oh my god, the nutella’s warm!
Three of my favourite things were included in this dish, and boy did it all work well together.
Biting into the spring roll caused the warm Nutella to ooze out of the pastry encasing. Small chunks of banana tantalised my taste buds while the salted caramel ice cream balanced the sweetness of the dish with its saltiness. Overall, the flavours combined together perfectly to create a salty and sweet combination.
Did it look as good as it tasted? It didn’t look very exciting on the plate, all neutral colours and no splash of colour. This dessert definitely tasted better than it looked.
FUNCTIONS & EVENTS AT MERIVALE MENU
Raspberry and Lychee Macaron:
What were people saying? I thought they were supposed to be crunchy the whole way through!
Pretty please with a raspberry on top?
Macarons are the best, they’re the perfect combination of crunchy and gooey.
This dessert was a nice break from all the surrounding sweet treats. Biting into this gave a satisfying crunch before hitting the soft middle. The maracon just melted into an array of flavours in my mouth… soft raspberry followed by the hint of dark chocolate, with a gentle punch of lychee following close behind.
Did it look as good as it tasted? Yes! It was adorably plated, sitting on a curved wooden plate on top of a rose petal, the dark brown chocolate made the pinks and reds of the macaron pop even more. The raspberry on top just made it even cuter.
Oreo dessert of white chocolate mousse, chocolate crumble and milk foam:
What were people saying? This foams like the stuff off the top of a cappuccino!
This dish was one of perfection. No flavours were over powering. Each flavour complimented its counterpart. The milk foam against the sweet white chocolate mousse, the crunchy chocolate crumble against the bitter dark chocolate round. It was pure delight.
Did it look as good as it tasted? It looked like Saturn, the chocolate round was Saturn’s ring and the mousse was the planet. This treat was very well plated.
Vanilla Mousse with Strawberries, Rhubarb and Hibiscus Wafer:
What were people saying? Do you eat the flowers? (Yes, and they have a mild cranberry/citrus taste to them!)
This light dessert was definitely a nice change of pace compared to the chocolate fix we were getting. The strawberries and rhubarb balanced out the sweet vanilla mousse while the hibiscus wafer added a light crunch to the dish.
Did it look as good as it tasted? Yes! It was extremely pleasing to the eye. The white vanilla mousse donned a light pink sheen to it where the juice of the strawberries hit it and the pop of white and purple hibiscus flowers scattered over the top added a gentleness to the dessert.
LORRAINE’S PATTISERIE MENU
Milk chocolate ice cream verrine marbled with passionfruit praline mousse:
What were people saying: Chocolate ice cream, my favourite!
Chocolate ice cream with a twist. The passion fruit praline added a subtle flavour the rich milk chocolate. The sour passion fruit mini macaron on top served as a sour contrast to the sweet dessert.
Did it look as good as it tasted? Yes, but then again… who can go wrong with chocolate ice cream? The marbling of the passion fruit praline mousse through the body of the ice cream was pleasing to the eyes.
BISTRODE CBD MENU
Dark chocolate crème brûlée and coconut sorbet:
What were people saying: Oh my god, that’s so good!
As I tapped my spoon against the caramelised sugar on the surface of the brûlée I was welcome with a gooey rich dark chocolate centre. The creamy warm dessert melted in my mouth. When teamed with the coconut ice cream, the flavours balanced out. It was delicious.
Did it look as good as it tasted? Yes, it was presented in a cute little ramekin with a melting scoop of sorbet on top. Yum!
Jane’s honey tart and peanut butter ice cream
What were people saying: I can’t wait to try this, I love peanut butter!
Peanut butter and honey is the best combination ever. The saltiness of the peanut butter ice cream with the sticky honey in this tart was perfect. It was a nice light dessert to finish the night off.
Did it look as good as it tasted? It tasted better than it looked, it really did look a bit boring on the plate. A drizzle of sauce over the top could have made this ten times more appetising.
I would most definitely go to this event again, it was an experience to taste all these flavours blending together. Some flavour combinations were bold (think goats cheese with plum and blood orange) while others were just meant to be (Jane’s honey tart and peanut butter ice cream, yes please!)
Some snaps from the night, courtesy of MY Media Sydney:
March into Merivale (23 February – 29 March) is a festival of the senses where food, wine, adventure and surprise come together in over 50 events. The rest of the month will be filled with other food and drink events, with each day of the week having its own theme:
Monday Detox, Tuesday Date nights, Wednesday showcases, Thursday savoir faire, Friday surprise, Saturday Party and Sunday brunches along with mystery events such as the Mystery Dinner, a Chandon Vintage pop-up bar and Absolut Sundays.
For a calendar on the events being covered, click here. – Jessica Heckley
Top photo supplied by MY Media Sydney.
Dessert photos by Simon Ryan.