Australia’s Best Dessert Degustation Menus
It was not too long ago that a dessert was merely a sweet dish served at the end of a meal. Despite its potential to be the grand finale, it was often treated more like an intermission, no thanks to the standard and unimaginative servings of basic cake, ice cream and fresh fruit. It even played second fiddle to the coffee that accompanied it. Until now.
These days, the dessert menu in restaurants has grown noticeably longer and bolder as more desserts chefs embrace culinary innovation. Dedicated dessert parlours are the norm and are even cutting themselves a slice of the fine dining pie.
But what has really set the bar at an impressive height is dessert degustation. Once only applicable to savouries, the latest degustation menus now feature a lineup of miniature saccharine artworks that will light up the eyes, palate and Instagram feed of dessert lovers.
These are woman with drive’s picks of the four best dessert degustation menus that are making some seriously sweet waves in Australia.
Also read: Degustation At Home: Part 1
Fancy Nance, South Yarra, Melbourne
A luxurious yet whimsical high tea salon, Fancy Nance is named after Adriano Zumbo’s mother who never left the house without full makeup and jewellery. In holding true to his reputation for audacity, the famous pastry chef has disrupted the traditional high tea concept by replacing tiered cake stands of ribbon sandwiches and scones with share plates of flamboyant desserts that taste as exquisite as they sound. Raspberry barley and strawberry eucalyptus gum parfait, anyone? Let your sweet tooth steer you towards the indulgent I’m So Fancy menu or the smaller Pretty Flamingo one. The menus constantly evolve based on seasonal produce. Gluten-free options are also available.
Om Nom, Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne
Om Nom believes that “fantasy is a vital ingredient in every dish”. That is a glimpse into the experience that awaits at the world’s first dessert hotel. Every single sweet treat is an intricate work of art and Om Nom’s French-trained Head Chef, Christy-Tania, has no qualms pushing the envelope. Her contemporary menu offers a range of homespun favourites like popcorn and macaroons as well as more elaborate signature creations like the mango alfonso. Om Nom’s latest high tea menu now includes a coconut pineapple and mango gateaux and a lime and raspberry tart.
KOI Dessert Bar, Chippendale, Sydney
When former MasterChef contestant, Reynold Poernomo made good on his promise to open a dessert bar in Sydney, he was rewarded with an ever-growing line outside the door. Fans continue to pack the classy upstairs bar and relaxed courtyard as they swoon over and dive into KOI’s six-course dessert degustation menu of three savoury and three sweet bites. There is also a second menu of three desserts showcasing his experimental creation of coconut tapioca with palm sugar, pandan ice cream and caramelized milk solids. The a la carte menu offers Reynold’s more basic, but no less divine, desserts.
Bacchus, South Bank, Brisbane
Degustation dining is an opulent affair at Bacchus so expect its dessert menu to exceed expectations. The five-course menu promises a festival of flavour, texture and colour courtesy of its five leading ingredients – passionfruit, pear, pistachios, berries and chocolate. For the full experience, upgrade your menu to include wines pairings for each sweet treat. Bacchus is also the Queensland home to Dom Perignon and a glass of the champagne can be ordered as part of the high tea.
Image credit: Om Nom
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