Sydney

A stroll down Sweet Street at the Shangri-La

Pretty Rahman

By meal’s end, the food has picked each one off, leaving only the lonely species of dessert gourmands.

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Soul comforting concoctions… Shangri-La’s Sweet Street

Sure, if they’re a passionate sweet tooth they’ll indulge freely, defiantly ordering the most soul comforting concoction available.

But it’s not very fun being the only person who relishes being a slave to sugar.

Luckily, we’re not alone.

A recent Wednesday night saw sweet tooths descend on the Shangri-La as part of a one-off event.

Lined with food stalls offering a dizzying variety of dessert, the hotel’s grand ballroom was transformed into Sweet Street, a safe haven where dessert aficionados could roam rambunctiously and indulge, free from gluttonous judgement.

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Executive pastry chefs… Sweet Street

Executive pastry chef and recipient of the 2014 Dish of the Year Best Dessert Award Anna Polyviou was the heart behind the event, so being a bona fide obsessor of all things sugary, I knew I’d be in for a real treat.

Now you’d be mistaken to think that the purpose of Sweet Street was to just encourage making silly (but delicious) food choices.

But you’d be wrong.

This was equally an opportunity for the best and most interesting in the dessert world to come together and showcase their creative culinary skill.

Adriana Zumbo, N2 Nitrogen Gelato, Luxe Bite Melbourne, Cacao Lab, Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School were all there in fine form, offering everything from macaroons to deep fried eclairs to slices, tarts, ice cream and more.

There were even a couple of swish bar tenders serving up spider cocktails, complete with banana crumble and ice cream.

With ten tokens to use at the stalls, it was like walking into a gourmet playground with no rules to follow.

This isn’t one of your “3 tokens for half a cookie” kind of deal, so using up all ten tokens was a concerted effort, like I needed more reason to get another spider cocktail (a big ticket item, costing two tokens).

As the night progressed it did get a bit too “George Street on a Saturday night”, with unforgiving queues and crowds making the whole thing feel a bit stuffy.

A bigger, more ventilated venue next time would be much appreciated to pacify any frustrated, sugar high patrons (i.e. everyone).

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Subtleties in flavour… Sweet Street

A token savoury stall pulled a surprisingly loyal crowd and I must confess, I joined the snaking line more than once.

To be fair, even the most devout dessert connoisseur would need to recalibrate the palate to hit the stalls again, otherwise your tongue can become numb to the subtleties in flavour.

Three wide succulent cubes of beef or lamb on a skewer, sitting atop a bed of glass noodles and sprinkled with peanuts and spicy sauce was a welcome change in flavour.

Shake bags of chicken larb were both novel and satisfying, with a generous mix of Thai spices, coriander and red onion making the whole affair the furthest thing from dull.

The highlight of the night was definitely Cacao Lab’s eclairs, the hot dog éclair complete with “onion” crisps a clear winner.

Disappointingly, the four hour event started fizzling out at the two hour mark.

Maybe a 5:30pm start is too ambitious.

But if you just couldn’t get enough of the goodies, you could of course pick up a few treats to take home.

Or perhaps purchase one of the chocolate cookbooks to leave as a not so subtle hint on the desks of family or friends.

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