Having just dessert for dinner sounds like one of the greatest things ever so I was super excited to go to “Just Desserts” – a March into Merivale event where a handful of Merivale restaurants showcase some of their finest desserts for the sweet-tooths in Sydney. Entry ($45) also includes 6 tokens, which you can redeem for desserts and/or drinks within the event.
I’d sussed out what some of the offerings were prior to the event so when we arrived, we made a beeline straight for the mini fried ice creams at the Mr Wong stand. The fried ice cream was super popular (no surprise there!) so there was a short wait while batches upon batches of ice cream were fried to order. We eventually made our way out of the throng with our prize in hand, and dug in past the crispy batter to reveal a vanilla ice cream centre. I found some parts of the fried ice cream a little too cakey from the coating, but I think I could just about drink that amazing butterscotch sauce!
Another popular item was the hot banana, nutella and salted caramel spring roll from Ms G’s. Again, this was fried to order in batches but it meant we got a freshly fried spring roll scattered with the red raspberry powder. This was a surprise favourite of mine as it wasn’t too sweet and the banana, nutella and salted caramel flavours worked really well together.
This honey, peach and fig dessert was from est. and was pretty as a picture with the cut figs against the creamy honey mousse. The honey flavour in this dessert was quite overpowering and sweet so luckily the fresh figs helped with that. I found it hard to discern any noticeable white peach or orange flavours and overall we found this dessert very sweet.
We were quickly approaching sugar coma stage so we decided to try a dessert that was less sweet. We noticed that Merivale Events’ pastry team was offering a nitro lemon squash and soda dessert – the perfect tart foil to the sweetness of all the other desserts. It also helped that there was liquid nitrogen involved which made for a fun dessert that landed on your plate while it was still ‘smoking’.
This dessert is definitely one for those of you who enjoy sour things. A sour lemon soda was formed into a solid using the liquid nitrogen, which sat on a frozen citrus salad with grapefruit pearls and candied citrus rind. There was an occasional burst of sweetness from the crushed meringue and toffee in the candied rind, but other than that it was a mouth puckering dessert of super sour proportions!
We found a bit of sweet respite with this Swiss meringue roll from Lorraine’s Patisserie, which had a light meringue swirl on top of a banana and passionfruit confit. Our roll was almost swimming in a passionfruit syrup which was very sweet, but the actual flavours were quite enjoyable and the addition of some whipped cream also helped to counteract the sweetness.
The undisputed favourite of the night for me was this chocolate bar from Merivale Events Pastry, which was a rectangular container of hazelnut and chocolate that housed a flowing salted caramel inside, and was decorated with marshmallows, nuts and edible flowers. It was pretty to look at, delicious to eat and had a wonderful balance of sweet and salty. The bar itself was actually quite nutty and crumbly which gave it a nice texture against the caramel. Clearly this was a popular dessert as when we came back for seconds, they were all sold out!
We had only used around half of our tokens but we were all sugared-out and I was seriously craving something savoury. It seems like you can get too much of a good thing, because even the thought of eating another dessert was all a bit too much! It was a great event to attend with some really high quality dessert offerings, but I think maybe dessert for dinner isn’t such a great idea after all lol
Penguin says Feed Me attended Just Desserts courtesy of Merivale. March into Merivale is on until 11th April 2014. Check out the website to see all the events on during the festival.