Bel Mondo, Sydney – Sugar Hit 2010

Before Sugar Hit, I had never heard of Bel Mondo. I decided to give this restaurant that I had never heard of a chance due to the fact that their Sugar Hit sounded delicious. I had been warned when making a booking that the restaurant was hard to find. They were NOT joking! The boyfriend and I parked relatively close and it still took a while for us to find the restaurant. After scrolling through Google Maps on my phone and then having to ask someone, we made our way up a flight of stairs into the darkness and found Bel Mondo tucked away an elevated part of The Rocks.

My first impression of the restaurant, it seemed very exclusive. The everyday man/woman would not just stumble across this restaurant. It made the experience seem that much more special. The boyfriend pushed through some large doors (I had never had luck with large doors, I don’t have the strength) and we entered the bar area. There was a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. The bar area connected through to the dining area where I could see the somewhat romantic ambiance. It looked very warm. As we were having Sugar Hit, we were informed that it would be served in the bar area. We choose a nice comfy lounge against the wall where we could see the open kitchen. There were other patrons that looked excited to try out the Sugar Hit. We waited patiently (although I was very fidgety, I’ve never been very patient) for the waiter to come. He seemed very stressed and it looked like it had been a busy night. The bench was covered in bottles of empty wine and wine glasses. However, with the lighting, the array of glasses just looked like decorations.

The waiter, Alex, finally set up our cutlery for our Sugar Hit and was very nice when I informed him I couldn’t drink. I ordered an orange juice instead and he offered to make it ‘special’ with a little twist. A little twist? I hope he didn’t mean vodka.

Brown Brothers Dessert Wine
Twice the amount of what the other customers received as the waiter put my share into the boyfriend’s glass as well.

Orange Juice with a splash of Guava Nectar and a squeeze of Blood Orange and Lime
This was quite nice, one of my new favourite drinks. The splash of guava took away sourness from the orange juice and it made the drink really smooth. Downside to this drink I was given, there was still a fruit sticker on the blood orange.

Orange Juice with Guava Nectar and Brown Brothers Dessert Wine
Do you see the fruit sticker I had to remove from the blood orange?

Poached Pear and Medjool Date with Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream, Spiced French Toast and Butterscotch Sauce
The piece de resistance of Bel Mondo’s Sugar Hit. The dessert was lovely and was not overly sweet. Each element worked with each other to create a harmony of flavours.

Spiced French Toast
The french toast was nice and warm with a slightly crispy outer layer. It’s quite different to the french toast that I’m used to from Hong Kong style restaurants. This french toast had notes of cinnamon which gave a warmth to the dish. The softness of the inside was quite pleasant to eat.

Poached Pear and Medjool Date with Hazelnut Praline Ice Cream and Butterscotch Sauce
The poached pear accentuated the natural sweetness of the fruit. The pear was soft but there was still a slight bite to it. Medjool dates are prized dates eaten in Middle Eastern cuisine. They are known to be extremely sweet which I thought overpowered this dish. The hazelnut praline ice cream was delightful. However, it was very soft and began to melt as soon as the dessert was put in front of me. The butterscotch sauce was rich and went well with the ice cream.

When most elements of a dish are this good on their own, they become even better when eaten together. The warmth of the french toast melted the ice cream in my mouth, while the pears creates a burst of natural sweetness. The different textures in my mouth worked well together. The dessert was finished in no time at all. I hate it when something this good has to end. The only negative comment I shall give on this dessert is that I found the medjool dates overpowering and way too sweet. The boyfriend enjoyed it though, but he was not willing to finish my dates. Overall a very pleasant dish. The food, the ambiance and the service all receive top marks from me.

This Sugar Hit was part of what I was trying to explain when describing the Sydney International Food Festival. I was able to visit a restaurant that I normally would not be able to see when I walk past The Rocks. I was introduced to a different restaurant where I’m eager to visit sometime in the future.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Bel Mondo
Gloucester Walk
The Rocks NSW 2000
T: (02) 9241 3700

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bel Mondo on Urbanspoon

Azuma Patisserie, Sydney – Sugar Hit 2010

I had been looking to Azuma’s Sugar Hit since last year when I missed out on a booking. I was devastated so I book as soon as they released the line up for this year’s Sydney International Food Festival. After a night of after work drinks, I made sure I was still sober enough to enjoy this Japanese creation. As we were a group of 9, we were sat in the patisserie rather than the restaurant. The patisserie is quite cute and bright. There is seating both inside and outside and we were lucky enough to be seated inside.

The displays of chiffon cake look delicious.

Fake green tea ice cream displays.

There were also some chiffon cakes cooling on the counter. There are cooled upside down to prevent the cake from falling. This creates a very soft, light, melt in your mouth cake.

I was excited to see the menu for Sugar Hit. There was so much variety and we were able to taste ALL of them. The menu:

Easts meets West – Dessert Tasting Plate

Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Strawberry Coulis

Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Coulis Centre and Freeze-Dried Raspberry Flakes

Premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Ganache Tart

Fresh Japanese Wasabi Ganache Tart

Petit Almond Financier

Freshly Baked Macaroon (flavours change daily)

Served with your choice of ~

Azuma’s Special Blend Japanese Green Tea

Brown Brothers 2009 Orange Muscat & Flora

Hennessy VS

One of my friends thought we had to pick a dessert and was delighted when I informed her that we get to taste all of them. So many elements were in this dessert. So many different flavours and textures, all very unique in their own little way. They did indeed have the East meets West concept in mind when creating these desserts.

Vanilla Panna Cotta served with Strawberry Coulis
So simple, yet so good. The sweetness of the panna cotta was well balanced with the tartness of the coulis. So smooth texture of the panna cotta goes down so easily and is a classic.

Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Coulis Centre and Freeze-Dried Raspberry Flakes
There wasn’t much cake and coulis in the centre so it basically tasted like normal mousse. The free-dried raspberry flakes..they had a texture to them that was like eating stale popcorn. Quite sour which balanced the sweetness. The boyfriend commented that it was like eating space food.

Premium Japanese Matcha Green Tea Ganache Tart
The ganache was quite thick and sweet. I would have preferred it to have a more natural green tea flavour without the sugar. This reminded me an egg tart, just green.

Fresh Japanese Wasabi Ganache Tart
This dessert was..interesting. I can see how the patisserie chefs were trying to be creative but this type of thing is a hit or miss with people. I did not like it at all. It just felt weird eating something that looked like chocolate, but it tasted entirely of wasabi. I felt like eating some sashimi afterwards. Good or bad thing?

Petit Almond Financier
I forgot to take a photo 😦 These were more like madelines. They were quite tasty and were gone in one bite.

Freshly Baked Macaroon
The boyfriend and my macaroon. How cute are they? They seemed to be filled with a jelly mixture instead of a ganache but they were still very tasty.

Freshly Baked Macaroon
We had 9 people and we got 9 different looking macaroons. They were all so cute and caused a little squeal from all my friends (both the guys and the girls)!

Brown Brothers 2009 Orange Muscat & Flora
‘Orange Muscat forms the backbone of the blend providing aromas of orange blossom to the nose and a fresh citrus hint to the palate, while the Flora contributes colour, texture and mouth-feel to the palate. The palate is fresh and tangy with a zesty long clean balanced finish.’ ~ Azuma Patisserie.

Hennessy VS
‘This cognac offers a delicate blend of wood notes and spices, punctuated by the scent of cloves and cinnamon. Discreet, subtle and harmonious, it is characterised by a fragrance of honey and a suggestion of liquorice. An elegant cognac displaying balance, harmony, smoothness and softness.’ ~ Azuma Patisserie.

Overall a very nice dessert with some different flavours to stimulate the tastebuds. Azuma Patisserie is always impressive with their unique twist on some very classic desserts. This dessert is quite filling so I recommend not eating too much, or drinking too much beforehand. Azuma’s Sugar Hit is well worth going to. I just hope there are still booking available this late into the month.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!

Kushiyaki Bar & Grill
Regent Place
501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
T: (02)9267 7775

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Azuma Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Sugar Hit 2010

One of my favourite things about October (apart from my parent’s birthdays) is that it’s a month devoted to the wide variety of great food we have in Sydney. One of my favourite events that happens during the Sydney International Food Festival are the wonderful array of Sugar Hits on offer. These are essentially desserts created by many chefs around Sydney to showcase their skills and I believe to also introduce people to many restaurants without having the pressure of having to sit down and spend hours on dinner. It gives people to opportunity to pay $20 for a set dessert accompanied by a glass of your choice of Brown Brothers dessert wine, Hennessy Cognac, or some restaurants may offer non-alcoholic drinks to cater for those P-plate drivers (me!). You get to experience the ambiance and the service of the restaurant and in a way lures you into wanting to try out the restaurant sometime in the future. Let me take you on a high through all the sugar and dessert wine I’ve consumed over the last couple of weeks.

Happy nom nom nom-ing!