Sugar bite.

Posted on July 26, 2011


Overladen with sugar, the desserts I tried at Luxbite were overrated and lacked flavour. After reading rave reviews on the internet and in print media, I decided to venture to South Yarra. Fueled with anticipation and excitement, I expected this place to challenge my perceptions and tantalize my palate. Instead I was left with a sugar headache and a desperate desire to guzzle a whole bucket of water.

Opened this year by pastry chefs Bernard and Yen, who have packed some rather impressive experience on their resume, working with Peter Gilmore at Quay to Catherine Adams of Rockpool Bar and Grill. Originally from Malaysia, they infuse asian flavours with French techniques. With flavours such as Kaya toast, Mandarin and Saffron and Kaffir Lime. The cafe is on the high-end of Toorak Road in South Yarra, where money protrudes from overly wealthy wallets. A clever place to situate the cafe to maximise profit. The inside is rather stuffy and lacking warmth, mirrored walls and clustered seating, I felt cramped. It was nice to see Bernard working the register, showing that he is quite hands on in the business. There is a cabinet filled with bright and bold looking cakes, attached are clever and witty names. The macaron cabinet lights up the room with a large selection of jewel and crayon coloured macarons. There is the possibility to eat in, with a breakfast/lunch menu.

Mr M and I chose take-away, as I didn’t feel like being cramped. I chose the “ET”, a popcorn and salty caramel cake, and Mr M chose the “Caramel cravings”, a caramel chocolate custard with a salted caramel macaron on top to garnish. From the jewel coloured macarons we chose a box of four: peanut butter & jelly, Oreo, Lychee & Rose and Kaya Toast.

All of the treats were overly sweet. I am a sweet tooth and am usually fond of most dessert, but I was unimpressed and desperatly needing water after eating. The “ET” has a beautiful salty caramel hidden inside, which had a velvety texture and the perfect amount of salt. The chocolate mousse was good too, but it was the glaze on top that was sickly sweet. That was the least of my problems with this dessert. Popcorn in a dessert should only be used when popped correctly. I found more than five unpopped corn kernels in my dessert. Not only was I not expecting this, but I bit into the cake so hard onto a kernel that I hurt my tooth. The actual idea of popcorn with the mousse was exciting, but if your going to use popcorn at least pop it correctly. I was left angry and annoyed that we had driven all the way home. Otherwise I would have asked for my money back.

The “Caramel Cravings” dessert was acceptable, but once again was too sweet. Two bites too much. The macarons were beautifully made, however the ganache looked like it had been wiped  on the outside to fit inside the almond meringue, I do not think this is the correct way to serve a macaron, but then again I am no pastry chef. The Peanut Butter & Jelly macaron was ordinary, the Oreo was likewise. They actually tasted rather old, quite stiff and crunchy, rather than soft, crisp and lightly chewy. The Kaya toast and Lychee & rose macarons helped pick up the pieces of their tarnished counterparts. Perfect chewy consistency and unique flavours. I adored the piece of butter inside the Kaya macaron, and thought the balance of lychee and rose was spot on.

It is a shame that my experience was so disappointing, perhaps I chose wrong. With a price tag matching the area, I did not feel satisfied with what I paid for.  As the saying goes ‘your only as good as your last dish’, and unfortunately they failed for that day. I’d suggest they tone down the sugar, and focus more on the delicate and unique asian flavours which I loved in my last two macarons. An unfortunate sugar overload at Luxbite….

38 Toorak Road,
South Yarra,
P: +61 398 675 888
Open Wed – Mon, 8 am – 8pm

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

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