Saturday, 4 May 2013

Alcoholic Desserts @ Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining, 3 May 2013

Rabbit Hole Bar and Dining (82 Elizabeth St, Sydney) has recently launched a Late Night Alcoholic Dessert menu and I was lucky enough to be invited to try this new exciting menu (just by sharing their flyer on FaceBook). So I was really looking forward to seeing what owner and cocktail guru Doug Laming and Executive Chef Tomoyuki Usui have been able to concoct as I have not seen this been done before anywhere.

Larios and lavender ice cream, flower crystals, alcoholic Turkish delight
First up, was Larios and lavender ice cream, flower crystals, alcoholic Turkish delight. It was a great dessert  to start with too as it was quite refreshing. I loved it and this was probably my favourite dessert of the night (although it is a bit of a toss-up with the last dessert we tried, more on that later)! The larios and lavender ice cream was a delight to eat. It was refreshing, with nice lavender flavour through the ice cream and a good amount of alcoholic kick from the gin (about 9.5% according to Doug). 
The alcoholic Turkish Delight, which was more like a jelly, was just delicious and much better than an ordinary Turkish Delight in my opinion. All the different fresh flowers, which have been baked and coated in sugar, were quite interesting as it added bitterness and texture to the dish and worked quite well with the sweetness of the other elements. So overall, this a well executed alcoholic dessert!

Pliable chocolate ganache, cocoa crumbs and 3 alcoholic “puddings”
Next was the Pliable chocolate ganache, cocoa crumbs and 3 alcoholic “puddings”, which Doug explained, is still under development. This was an enjoyable dessert but not quite as refined as the other two desserts as an alcoholic dessert. The individual elements on the plate by themselves are all very delicious. 

The pliable chocolate ganache, which has been created using the recipe of 3-Michelin starred restaurant Alinea in Chicago, is smooth, rich and decadent . The twisting of the chocolate is a really cool visual effect. A Google search of what Alinea are able to achieve with their pliable chocolate ganache is truly stunning: it is a glossy rope of chocolate that can be twisted and knotted in any way they choose to. The cocoa crumbs add a nice texture and enhanced chocolate flavour to the dessert. 

The menu says that there are 3 alcoholic “puddings”. At the moment there are 2 as Doug is looking for a third that will work well with the dessert. There is a alcoholic strawberry mousse, which is essentially an alcoholic version of the strawberry mousse on the ordinary dessert menu at Rabbit Hole. It was exactly as I remember the last time I had the strawberry mousse. It is really delicious and so, so light! It just evaporates the moment you put it in your mouth. 

The other “pudding” are the sherry vinegar pearls. We were told to have the pearls with the chocolate ganache.  Whilst the pearls provide a nice initial burst of flavour and alcohol, this was somewhat overpowered by the chocolate ganache. Overall, this dessert has a lot of potential as everything on the plate tasted great. This dessert too will be a winner once the right alcoholic elements have been worked out.                         

Alcoholic coconut and lime jelly, Mt Gay Silver Pineapple mousse, toasted coconut and freeze dried pineapple
To finish off, we had the Alcoholic coconut and lime jelly, Mt Gay Silver Pineapple mousse, toasted coconut and freeze dried pineapple. This was a thoroughly enjoyable, cohesive alcoholic dessert. It was exactly like eating a pina colada. The pineapple mousse was even lighter than the strawberry mousse. This one definitely melted and evaporated in your mouth. You can really taste the white rum in this dessert too. It packs quite a punch, that’s for sure! The coconut and lime jelly were just delicious and refreshing. And of course, fresh mint goes oh so well in this dessert. The crunchy bits of freeze dried pineapple and toasted coconut were also great.    

After having those 3 desserts, both my wife and I were very satisfied. They were all so yummy and go down so easily. You don’t realise the amount of alcohol you are ingesting as the alcohol doesn’t kick in until much later. Once it did kick in, I felt energised and left with a pep in my step.  I think Rabbit Hole are onto a good thing with the late night alcoholic dessert menu. It will be exciting to see what other desserts Doug and Tomoyuki come up with in the future!   

Highlights: I really enjoyed the Larios and lavender ice cream. So yummy!
Lowlights: There really weren’t any lowlights, more things that could be tweaked. The level of alcohol could be turned up several notches in the chocolate dessert.  
Overall: The concept of an alcoholic dessert menu is truly innovative and exciting. And it will only get better! 7.5/10 (Great)

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