This Sugar Hit had been three weeks in the planning. A couple of friends and I finally managed to find a night when all of us were free for some chocolatey goodness.
It's not difficult to see why the Shangri-la's Sugar Hit appealed to us:
Chocolate Lovers Plate - Trio of Rhubarb & White Chocolate gelato, 70% Excellence macaron with raspberry ganache and Roast Banana gianduja mousse on a coconut crisp.Pretty much an menu item that purports to cater to the chocolate lover will get my attention.
The Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-la was by far the most comfortable Sugar Hit venue I've been to. The couches were huge and soft--perfect for, well, lounging about. When we walked in, someone was playing the grand piano. Definitely a great start to the night.
For the first time this month, I was offered a choice between the cognac and the dessert wine. One of my dinner companions--having been to numerous Sugar Hits already--asked what tyoe of Brown Brothers wine they had. It turns out that they had the Sienna, which was a red dessert wine. My friends were sold, while I chose the cognac for variety.
The drinks arrived first, and the cognac was strong. Over the course of the night, I don't think I even got halfway through the glass. My friends said the dessert wine was good.
Of course, the main event of the night was the tasting plate. When it came out, there were looks of awe and grins of anticipation. The waiter named each dessert on the plate, but all I heard was "Blah, blah, blah," as we smiled politely and waited for him to leave so we could dig in. After he did leave, we contemplated the best order in which to tackle the plate.
It was obvious we had to start with the strawberry (because it was sitting on the spoon). The fruit was firm, not sour but not too sweet either. I would have liked more chocolate, but it could have been swimming in melted Valrhona and I'd still want more, so maybe that's not saying much.
Then we tasted the mousse. It was sooooooo good. I had my doubts about banana and mousse together, but it wasn't banana-flavoured chocolate as I'd feared. A piece of sweet banana sat above the base and covered with the mousse. My friend, who ate the mousse from the top down, exclaimed, "Oh, so there's the banana!" Which was nothing compared to my dumb moment of the night:
Friend: The pear is nice.*sigh*
Me: What pear? Isn't it a coconut crisp?
(Confusion all around as everyone stares suspiciously at their plates.I grab the menu.)
Me: It says "coconut crisp" on the menu!
(Silence, which I assume might have been my friends wondering what kind of airhead I am.)
Me: Um, or maybe it is a pear.
Other friend (managing to almost hide his sarcasm by not rolling his eyes): I think the mousse is on top of the coconut crisp.
Me (sheepish): Ahhhh...I was wondering! 'Cos didn't think it looked like coconut--coconut is white!
Anyway, I dug into the gelato after a few bites of the mousse, and the effect was almost like having a banana split. *g* The gelato was underwhelming after the mousse. We agreed it wasn't bad for something that was masquerading as chocolate even though it had no cocoa, but it tasted pretty much like vanilla gelato. There were swirls of rhubarb flavour, but mine didn't have enough for me to appreciate it (although I think my friend got an actual rhubarb bit).
We finished the plate off by savouring the macaron, which was airy and just delightful. The filling was surprisingly rich. While I would have liked more, more, more (it was a very small macaron), it was probably just the right size for the plate. Any more and the sweetness would have overpowered everything.
We sat around for another couple of hours chatting away. Did I mention how comfy the couches were? I wanted to take them home. The service was excellent. We pretty much overstayed our welcome, but we never felt like the staff were trying to bundle us out.
I had such a great experience that I'm planning to come back soon with my husband. I also hear their buffet upstairs is good, so it's on my list to try.
By far, this was the best Sugar Hit of the month for me. I hope they're back next year!
Lobby Lounge - Shangri-la Hotel
176 Cumberland St, The Rocks
02 9250 6198