11 April 2011

March into Merivale special event: Charlie and the chocolate factory at Lotus, Potts Point (9 Apr 2011)

22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point NSW 2011

Sugar fix set to overload

Thanks to Kimberley Salt from Merivale for inviting me to this March into Merivale special event ($75 adults, $35 kids) where Chef Dan Hong went to town on creating unique desserts with his trusty kitchen team. It certainly was a dentist’s nightmare with all the sugary overload and I’m sure my cholesterol has also taken a turn in the wrong direction. To awaken the taste buds an alcoholic ‘Russian Spyder’ made with Wyborowa Vodka, Kaluha, Coke & vanilla ice cream was served. I loved the quality vanilla bean ice cream and I wished I had one of those thin spoons to stir it up more to balance the flavours. The first dessert was ‘Blueberry’ inspired by Violet Bearegarde which sneakily left you with a blue tongue in the true spirit of Willy Wonka. A green apple consommé was poured over with its dry ice haze for theatrical effect. The crumble was good and flavours all seemed to work well together.

The Ice Cream Sandwich came with a liberal amount of dehydrated strawberry powder. Trying to cut the chocolate brownie wasn’t the most graceful as it squashed down the soft white peach ice cream underneath. If the top layer was perhaps a thin wafer of chocolate and the base still the brownie then it might have been more elegant to cut but I guess it wouldn’t have been a true sandwich then. I thought some choc chips in the brownie would have been nice and if the brownie was a bit softer in density. The ‘GOLDEN EGGS’ was quite fun and very interesting with delicate mango yolks created by spherification which burst in your mouth. The dehydrated chocolate meringue was a little awkward to break and cut with a single spoon so I thought if each yolk was served in a Chinese spoon ready to eat with meringue and roasted white chocolate sauce could have worked as well. I enjoyed the technique and mango flavour in the dish.

The Chocolate & mandarin ‘Surprise’ was the richest dessert for me. The surprise factor was the Pop Rocks that lay underneath although I probably could have done with less surprise and more crumble. The decadent chocolate chantilly was smooth topped with a bit of sea salt. I struggled to finish the fizzy mandarin espuma but that might have been because my sugar overload was reaching its critical point by then. The finale was the Oompa Loompa ice cream sundae with ‘Chocolate River’ which was a mish-mash of all the classics you’d love to see as a kid except perhaps the richly coloured and decently flavoured pandan ice cream masquerading as mint ice cream which was excellent. All the ingredients seemed to work nicely together although I wasn’t a big fan of the pretzels in it for some reason but my brother was, and there was probably more than enough raspberry sauce which could have been pulled back a bit for my liking. I think for the benefit of the theme it would have been pretty cool if the waiters all dressed up as Oompa Loompas and Chef Dan Hong dressed up as Willy Wonka for the delight of the kids and the young at heart.

PROS: For lovers of all things sweet, Fun atmosphere and efficient service, Appropriate décor and props for the event, I love the effect of dry ice in water, Kid friendly event
CONS: Parking in the area can be a nightmare, So much sugar can’t be good for you
MUST TRY: Golden Eggs for something different and interesting

Chef Dan Hong calm and collected in the kitchen

All hands on deck in the kitchen

Menu $75 per person includes a cocktail, $35 for children

‘Russian Spyder’: Wyborowa Vodka, Kaluha, Coke & vanilla ice cream

Side order of a glass of milk to help wash down the sugar overload

‘Blueberry’ inspired by Violet Bearegarde

‘Blueberry’ inspired by Violet Bearegarde: Blueberry ice cream, blueberries, candied violets, streusel, green apple consommé

Blueberry tongue

Ice Cream Sandwich

Ice Cream Sandwich: Chocolate brownie, white peach ice cream, strawberries, dehydrated strawberry powder

We have a small technical problem when cutting


‘GOLDEN EGGS’: ‘Mango yolk’, dehydrated chocolate meringue, roasted white chocolate sauce, gold dust

Mango goodness lies within

Chocolate & mandarin ‘Surprise’

Chocolate & mandarin ‘Surprise’: Chocolate chantilly, mandarin purée, fizzy mandarin espuma, Pop Rocks

Oompa Loompa ice cream sundae with ‘Chocolate River’

Oompa Loompa ice cream sundae with ‘Chocolate River’: Pandan ice cream, choc chip cookie, honeycomb, marshmallow, peanut & pretzel praline, raspberry sauce, hot chocolate fudge

Tempting lollies everywhere

The best hats a kid could want

For the kids and the young at heart

The calm before the sugar storm

View Larger Map
Lotus on Urbanspoon


joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Fabo! Every kid's and adult's dreams come true! :-)

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

LOVE the plating up shots.
That's a lot of over-sugared, probably hyperactive kids there... fun fun

Madam Wu said...

Oompa Loompa looks crazy! The ice cream biscuit sounded the best to me. Will any of these make it on their permanent menu? I hope that blue tongue effect didn't last!

Unknown said...

Oh wow that looks amazing! Was it a once off event and if not, when is it available?

Simon Leong said...

hi joey, sugar overload indeed

hi tina, i think part of the fun is watching the desserts being made too. i think i escaped before the kids started jumping off the walls :-) i didn't noticed any red frogs around.

hi madam wu, i don't think you'll see these on the normal menu. just a once off but i think some of them would be worthy as a menu special. thankfully blue tongue was at the start so had faded by the end of the event.

hi melisa, only a once off event as part of March into Merivale :-)

Simon Food Favourites Map

View Simon Food Favourites in a larger map Key: BLUE - Location visit and review PINK - Simon Favourites and places offering something special

Small Bars in Sydney map

View Small Bars in Sydney in a larger map