Monday, 6 December 2010

Altitude Restaurant , The Rocks

Last month I wrote a post on the 2010 Sugar Hit @ The Lobby Lounge at Shangri-La Hotel and I was very (pleasantly) surprised when I receive an invitation email from Joanna Keogh from Altitude Restaurant who had stumbled upon my blog :)
So after a few exchanges of email, me and i eat sweet... were booked in for a dessert tasting session.

Breathtaking view from our table

Altitude Restaurant is located on the top floor of Shangri-La Hotel in historic The Rocks, 36 levels above to be exact !
Joanna has kindly arranged a table by the window for us and I think there is no contest that the view was just simply amazing. You get a birds eye view of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and The Rocks - can't beat that :)

Veuve Clicquot Rose ; Santa Vittoria Sparkling Water

As soon as we were seated, we were offered a flute of Veuve Clicquot Rose NV Champagne - yes I know... I'm allergic to alcohol, but that night, I decided to challenge my allergy.
The result of the challenge : I lost as per usual :(  It took only a few sips before I got a bit tipsy but thankfully no allergic reaction ! *yippee*

Altitude's Chef de Cuisine, Steven Krasicki, came out to meet us soon after. Chef Krasicki was born in Canada before immigrated to Australia in 1999. His cuisine is influenced by classical Northern European style and he tries to use the best available local ingredients. 
He explained to us what we will be having for tonight's special dessert tasting session : a pre-dessert, tasting plate of some of current dessert menu and petit four to end the night.

While we wait for the sweets to arrive, here are some more shots of the harbour :

Walsh Bay Wharves

Sydney Opera House

Summer Pre - Dessert

For pre-dessert, we had a verrine of Bethonga Gold Pineapples from sunny Queensland that is currently in season. 
At the bottom was a layer of refreshing and delicately flavoured pineapple jelly, then a layer of vanilla panna cotta (just like the one we had at Sugar Hit) and then topped with diced pineapple that has been poached in vanilla syrup.
You can almost tasted summer in the glass :) The flavours were fresh and not overly sweet, a perfect palate cleanser after a meal.

Tasting Plate

We both just went "wow..." when Chef Kraciski returns with this beautiful slab of stone. I'm glad we had to share the plate instead of having one each as they were very indulgent and rich, would be struggling if we had a plate each *sugar coma*.
On the slab, we had 3 out of the 5 desserts that are in the menu - the other 2 that we didn't get to try were ice cream type desserts - a Raspberry & White Chocolate Ripple and Mascarpone Semifreddo. 

Please note that the desserts in the platter would normally be served as individual portions, it was put on a platter to make it easier for us to do the tasting that night :)

Michel Cluizel Dark Chocolate
Honeycomb Crunch, Salted Caramel

Michel Cluizel is a manufacturer of high quality chocolate in Normandy, France since 1948. This decadent dessert comprises of several components : a moist cocoa sponge at the base, a layer of crunchy honeycomb, a very fine chocolate mousse and finally a coating of shiny dark chocolate glaze. 
For the chocolate mousse, a single origin Michel Cluizel Madagascan chocolate were used, it had a smooth, rich and velvety flavour.
Along with the chocolate mousse gateaux were the the best ever salted caramel ice cream I've had - it was light yet rich from the caramel. To finish off the plate was a drizzle of salted caramel (hidden behind the gateaux in the above pic) and also fleur de sel powder.

Cross-section of Michel Cluizel Dark Chocolate

Sweet Wine Poached Peaches
Blueberry Eton Mess, Nougat Glacé Ice Cream 

I just loved the colours in the next dessert , very vibrant colours I thought, the violet, peach, white and green :)
Encased inside the crispy tuile was the blueberry eton mess, which was made with very fragrant vanilla meringue. The use of the slightly tart fresh blueberries did help to balance out the sweetness. 
The eton mess was then topped with a fan of poached peach slices, topped with nougat glacé ice cream that had crunchy pistachio nuts mixed through it.
Out of the 3 desserts on the plate, this one had to be my favourite - not too rich with just the right level of sweetness. 

Mango & Passionfruit
Spiced Rum Mousse, Mango Sorbet

The last dessert just screamed "Tropical Summer !!" with the combination of mango, passionfruit and rum :)
Fresh passionfruit pulp were rolled up inside the thinly sliced fresh mango "cigar". The fruits were accompanied by a round of brandy snap, mango & passionfruit salsa, a quenelle of mousse spiced with housemade spiced rum and a mango sorbet that I found was a bit too gummy. 
If you just after a simple, fruity and summery dessert, then this would be the one for you :)

Sydney Harbour Bridge @ Twilight

By the time we finish the the desserts, the sun has set and the sight of Sydney Harbour at twilight was just breathtaking.
And once again I looked at my cousin (i eat sweet...) and asked..."Why am I here with you instead of with someone special ? This is just way too romantic to spend it with you...."

The Rocks @ Twilight
(looking like miniature towns from up above)

Candlelit Table

Tea & Petit Four

To finish off the night of sweets, I ordered peppermint tea to go with the petit four.

Pineapple Pate de Fruit , Hazelnut Fudge , Palmier

The pineapple pate de fruit was really good, none of those artificial tasting pineapple flavour - the pate de fruit was made using fresh pineapple juice and has a nice chew to it, not too hard and not too soft.
The hazelnut fudge had a nice roasted hazelnut flavour and milk chocolate.
The palmier was a let down though, it was missing the flaky texture and the caramelized sugary coating.

Night View
( I really need to brush up on my night shot skills *sorry*)

A big thank you to Joanna for the invitation, Chef Steven Kraciski for the amazing dessert tasting session and taking his time out of the kitchen to meet us :)
The staffs were courteous, attentive and friendly at the same time which made the night even better.
A return for a proper dining experience at Altitude Restaurant is definitely written down in my eating planner :)

(Oh, and if you are interested to see how low is my alcohol consumption level.....)
No question which was mine...

Love My Foods & Sugar dined courtesy of Altitude Restaurant. 

Altitude Restaurant, Shangri-la Hotel on Urbanspoon


  1. look totally amazing!!!

  2. ooh you lucky thing those desserts look fab!

  3. Wow - that shot of the tasting plate is fabulous! I also like the souds of the mango cigar - I'd smoke that!

  4. Drool! Those sweets look amazing! The view looks pretty good too. Salted caramel = yum!

  5. dorothy : everything was amazing, the desserts and the view :)

    suze : i think the chocolate one has your name all over it !

    tina : mango cigar is healthier than Cuban cigar I suppose, lol !

    melba toast : salted caramel is always good :D

  6. the tasting plate looked very tasty indeed!!

  7. betty : it was almost sugar overload, even for me hehehehe :P

  8. Hey monica the view is absolutely stunning and so are your photos.

    The desserts look deliciously yummy. Its so bad looking at your site right now especially during the 3:00pm slum at work. Its making me want to eat something sweet.

  9. hi leona : yea, perhaps looking at this during 3.30-itis is not a great idea lol i want more of that blueberry eton mess ...yumm :D