Shangri-La | Let’s Do Dessert

When it comes to desserts, there are no limits. A double stint at Flying Fish (it’s that good), coupled with an amazing creation from Signorelli Gastronomia only heightens expectations and salivations for what’s coming next.

That’s how addiction starts – but if I had to be addicted to anything, it may as well be Sydney’s ever-evolving dessert scene. That segues nicely into this post on Shangri-La’s “entry” in 2014’s Good Food Month Let’s Do Dessert.

Shangri-La has a special place in my heart – it was my favourite sugar hit of 2012 and comfortably made 2nd place in 2013. Could it continue its streak of excellence in 2014?

Date Last Visited: 24/10/14
Address: Level G 176 Cumberland St The Rocks, NSW 2000
Booking Required: Yes

That’s something dessert master Anna Polyviou would have to answer. Any Sydneysider worth their sugar has heard of her. Her creative hallmark is much like Adriano Zumbo’s – whacky, fun and most importantly – delicious in surprising ways.

Let's Do Dessert Shangri-La

“Anna’s Magnum”  or the “Mag-Anna” – berry, chocolate, marshmallow, meringue

That forms a suitable introduction for the Mag-Anna. An alternate name for the dessert could be “textures of marshmallow” or “50 shades of pink”.

The outer layer is a berry jelly which encapsulates what I believe, is essentially a marshmallow filling, itself containing a chocolate vanilla mousse (regrets not doing an innards shot).

The “magnum” sits atop what I think is a pistachio cookie, and there is a raspberry marshmallow “noodle” on top.

In my everlasting attempt to be diplomatic I have to mention that Shangri-La (well, Anna) has been most impressive with everything I’ve tried in the past. However, not this time.

The problem with the dessert primarily comes down to textures. The berry jelly and marshmallow filling are essentially all spongy in texture. That is, chewy, springy and not all that satisfying. Add on the raspberry marshmallow ribbon and it’s a case of more of the same.

Further, marshmallow is more or less uniform in flavour – there isn’t much variation in flavouring a marshmallow. This is further exacerbated by the flat and uninspired texture of using marshmallow multiple times.

The most interesting part was therefore, the pistachio cookie. This was a safe and delicious bet, and worked well with crunch and flavour.

In the end, it came down to expectations: a dessert that looks like and is marketed on a play on the Magnum begs to incorporate some kind of cold, refreshing ice cream element. That was not there at all, and thus left me wanting a lot more than what was actually plated.

For what it’s worth – the plating was superb. Definitely a dessert better eaten with the eyes than the mouth.

Textures, temperatures and flavours – I want to see more of that next year!

As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three 😀

5/10 Caesars

Shangri-La Lobby Lounge on Urbanspoon

3 comments on “Shangri-La | Let’s Do Dessert”

  1. Asian Restaurant Melbourne Reply

    I must say the marshmallow dessert is looking superb. Very pleasing to eyes. But its sad that you did not quite liked the dish. The presentation is very innovative and different. I hope you get to enjoy something different on your next visit to Shangri-La.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Yes, it’s always somewhat disappointing when the plating doesn’t tie in with the actual taste of the dish. I do look forward to seeing what’s in store next year.

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