Eating, playing and capturing moments around town.
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Life is short Eat dessert first
Alarm goes off. Snooze button is hit. Alarm goes off. The dreaded Monday morning blues kicks in. Do I have to roll out of my warm bed and go to work? Sigh. However, this particular Monday will be a bit different. Already anticipated to be the most memorable day of this new working week, it does not matter how the day goes - the only matter is that the day passes quickly without delay.
Work has finished for the day and we fast forward a few hours later. Other dessert aficionados and I have been seated down at the cosy Duchess of Spotswood, looking around curiously at other tables to see what they were eating. Shaun Quade and his team were preparing and plating up dishes in the small area next to the dining area. Music was playing softly in the background including the Pure Imagination song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It definitely suits the theme of the dessert evenings where the flavours and textures really stimulate all your senses and breaks conventional flavour pairings.
The starter course was the shape of an ice-cream with nori seaweed as the 'cone'. Strawberry puree was stored in the base and I believe the licorice/olive element was snap frozen at the top. I couldn't taste much cream thus the top icy component broke into pieces easily if you did not consume it in one bite. The smooth texture melted in your mouth straightaway. Flavours were subtle yet worked well together.
Second course was an egg yolk, delicate meringue lightly toasted to reveal creamy insides, sugar ginger squares, pumpkin puree and crunchy milk. The surprise was the unexpected liquid oozing out of the egg yolk which turned out to be injected with pumpkin seed oil. Milk powder was present on the crunchy wafer. The ginger assisted in tying together the sweetness of the meringue, milk and pumpkin with the savoury yolk. It was a delicious combination and I cleaned my plate with no issues.
Second course - egg yolk, ginger, pumpkin and crunchy milk
Third course was liquid nitrogen infused coconut, pineapple, kiffir leaves and wild fennel in a wide shaped bowl. The pineapple pieces were hidden beneath the coconut/wild fennel moss. There were pieces of coconut sponge cake and yoghurt sitting on a base of puree carrot. I think the kiffir lime leaves was the highlight of this dish which brought out the other flavours. The flavours of this dish was more subtle than the previous one.
Third course - coconut, kiffir leaves, pineapple and wild fennel
The final course was an art form in its own right. The waiter and waitress prepared a clean table top and began to slowly plate up each element in front of our eyes. An egg was smashed onto the table as the final element. It broke apart slightly to reveal a creamy, frozen vanilla filling in a white chocolate shell casting.
We couldn't wait to sample the rest. Later we found out that the vanilla pod/cinnamon stick/butter/flour/milk/spices/nuts weren't exactly what they appeared to be. Excellent attention to detail was applied to ensure that they resembled their original physical form. The vanilla pod was made out of rhubarb, cinnamon stick structured from fried banana, spices and pistachio nuts that were from bitter chocolate. The block of butter was made from saffron and the flour was sour sherbet fizz. Amazing. What a fun way to play with your food and to end the courses with.
Fourth course - milk, butter, flour, spice and nuts
Shaun mentioned in an email that his dessert evenings will continue to run indefinitely dependent on numbers. This gastronomy type of dinner is a must for sweet tooth lovers or for those who want to try out something different. It is advisable not to have a large dinner beforehand. Don't miss out.