I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published February 12th 2014
Dinner in Sichuan and Dessert in Hungary
If you were born in the 80's then you probably would be more comfortable with the term "progressive dinner", rather than "moveable feast", but the idea is the same. You start at one location and you finish up at another. In this case you start in Sichuan, and end in Hungary, whilst never leaving Collingwood.
This idea is the collaboration between two hot spots located on Johnston Street, Shu Restaurant and Mámor Chocolates and High Tea Szalon. They have worked together to create the perfect degustation meal....for vegans. Yes vegans, it's time to rejoice. Finally you can head out for a night of overindulgence and not have to think about the food you are ordering and eating, and just relax knowing your dietary requirements are being fully respected with delicious tasting cuisine.
The night kicks off at Shu Restaurant, a relative newcomer to the block being only 18 months old. You may have yet to stumble across this fabulous place as signage has only just been erected. However once inside you will be blow away by the industrial decor, like the steel table tops, the cast iron lampshades hang from the ceilings and the chairs are nearly invisible. Medical beakers replace water glasses, that's how innovative the decor is. This place is totally hipster and the fit out shows exceptional creativity and imagination. This extra modern decor comes with a no set menu policy, yet you are able to request a vegan, vegetarian or pescatarian banquet just by calling up or booking before hand. This really makes Shu unique and contemporary and they certainly deserve many accolades as it is a sensational culinary experience dining there.
Daikon Roll filled with fresh ingredients and a Sichuan soy dressing
As we were there on the vegan themed night, dinner included 12 Szechuan dishes ranging from pea and soybean dumplings, organic lemon cucumber and pink radish salad, noodles tossed in walnut infused oil, zucchini flowers stuffed with mashed potato, cashew and chilli salsa and crispy fried tofu with spinach in a house made Sichuan soy dressing. There was also a vegan wine to accompany the meal but admittedly we don't try it. The food was amazing and there was even a few sweaty, fire breathing moments when the Szechuan pepper took hold. Thankfully the staff had the water and wine flowing freely!
Chilled Silken Tofu Cups have a mighty punch with the Pickled Chilli Paste on top.
Shu chooses ingredients that are in season at the time and uses skill and master craftsmanship and teams these with more deconstructed and irregular techniques to create a fusion of tastes I had never experienced before. There was a lot of common vegan components present in the menu such as nuts, coconut and tofu but they were mixed with more unusual elements like pickled persimmon, lemon cucumber and zucchini flowers.
Zucchini Flowers with Mashed Potato and Cashew and Chilli Salsa
After the feeling had finally returned to my lips, tongue, esophagus and legs from the pepper power punch we rolled down a few doors to Mámor Chocolates and High Tea Szalon and were lost in time instantaneously. The gorgeous rose themed boudoir is filled with gold, antiques and plush red sofas. The ravishing red walls and red feather fans create a warmth and a type of seduction over you. The room was alive with conversation, laughter and happiness that only chocolate can bring. Continuing with the vegan theme from dinner the dessert plate they served us was something unbelievable.
Mámor will seduce your senses with world class ambiance and truffles.
We were presented with a Lemongrass and Coconut Raw Chocolate Ganache Bomb, Cashew-Strawberry Ice Cream with a beautiful coconut texture, Panna Cotta with a Coconut Caramel (who knew you could make that vegan!) and the specialty of the house, Hanna Fredrick's own handmade vegan truffles. The choc dipped ginger had a beautiful crystallised taste and texture, but there are no words for the Carrot Caramel. It was an explosion of taste so unfamiliar to me that I am still mesmerised by it. There was freshly brewed teas like chai and hibiscus and chocolate too. But the finale was the house hot chocolate, so decadent and creamy you could imagine it sliding down the back of your throat like velvet.
Dessert is served by Hanna, the owner and hostess of Mámor
The hostess, owner and creator Hanna is a welcoming face and a wealth of knowledge. She is passionate about her chocolate and her truffles and has unlimited knowledge to share. She sees chocolate as a way of life, an aphrodisiac and above all, it is a thrill. This comes across through her passionate and excited conversations. Using her talents and worldly experience, her immense knowledge and creativity, Hanna does for dessert what Shu does for Szechuan. She deconstructs it and crafts it back into unknown shapes, flavours, textures and tastes, and from my experience the other night she hits perfection every time. It is nearly impossible to not be seduced by the pleasure of a visit to Mámor.
Mámor has a delectable truffle just right for you.
Shu and Mámor truly offer unique dining experiences and it is well worth keeping up to date with both of them so that you don't miss out on one of these amazing opportunities they may be offering be that in a collaboration with one another or individually. However if you are a Vegan or are interested an an alternative and healthier dining option then Wednesday nights on Johnston street is the new hottest food spot for you. Mámor is going to start to open for dessert with both Vegan and non vegan alternatives, a delightful way to end an evening. And of course there is Shu Restaurant which is ready to thrill you with a varying and exciting menu every night.