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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Shaun Quade's Dessert Evenings

When I saw Gourmet Traveller's announcement to the twitterverse that Shaun Quade was preparing dessert evenings at the Duchess of Spotswood, I made sure to secure a table for two in for the next available seating. The dessert evenings are held exclusively on Monday nights starting on 17th September until the 17th of December, which will recommence early 2013.

This was my first time visiting the Duchess of Spotswood so I was delighted to be finally visiting this cosy and quaint cafe/restaurant. I am still in the process of trying to wake up before noon to make here to try their brunch menu - one day! Arriving at 7pm, we were led to our table and explained how the dessert evenings played out. Four courses finished off with petit fours exhibiting Shaun Quade's unique concept on desserts. Matching wines to accompany the desserts were listed and the red sparkling wine, in particular, sounded appealing but with thoughts of the decadent dessert degustation looming, we settled on water. A little sad but considering the impending desserts, I didn't want to be too much of a glutton. Also to note, my photos are a little grainy - I had forgotten my camera that day so had to resort to using Mr A's camera phone, sigh.

Our first dessert course arrived and I was happy to just sit there receiving a stream of dessert courses. On a disc of browned spiced curd, lay a single cured egg yolk filled with pumpkin oil with savoury pumpkin seeds and candied ginger scattered around. The cured egg yolk had a texture of semi hard cheese with a slightly salted taste which reminded me of salted egg yolks. The spiced curd was mellow and creamy, contrasting deliciously against the salty cured egg yolk and sweet pumpkin oil.

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Egg yolk and ginger, pumpkin and spiced curd

Our next dessert course was presented by Shaun Quade himself who humbly thanked us for attending his dessert evenings. He then proceeded to pour a smoking concoction of coconut powder onto our dish. The slice of tart yet sweet pineapple was complemented with the classic combination of creamy coconut and kaffir lime. The wild fennel added a hint of licorice which went surprisingly well.

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Coconut and kaffir lime, pineapple and wild fennel

The third dessert would have to be my favourite. Underneath the organised mess of elements and textures were soft, caramelised bananas marrying well with the sweet malt and rich, luscious pieces of raw cacao. Delicious.

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Banana and malt, warm buckwheat and raw cacao

The last of the dessert courses was an assembly of bitter chocolate twigs and licorice moss, made up to look like a birds nest. The egg shell was sugary sweet but a minty aftertaste and inside was a licorice mousse/foam. I wasn't able to finish this course as I was really full by this point. The waiter pointed out that I made the fatal mistake of eating dinner before coming here, doh!

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Rhubarb and licorice, bitter chocolate and applemint

Petit fours to finish off our dessert evening. The charred sweetcorn butter was cold and melted slowly in my mouth. After a while, the flavours of the caramelised sweetcorn butter came through and it tasted very similar to butterscotch. It was very rich but delicious.

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Charred sweetcorn butter

Our night at Shaun Quade's dessert evenings was a long one - arriving at 7pm and leaving around 8:40pm however time passed quickly and it sure didn't feel that long, although our asses disagreed (the chairs were not kind to them). The desserts were not only an exploration of textures but the harmony of flavours combinations so we enjoyed our night very much.

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Food: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Will I return? Yes, I would definitely recommend others to visit!

Shaun Quade's Dessert Evenings at Duchess of Spotswood
87 Hudsons Road
Spotswood VIC 3015
(03) 9391 6016

Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon

6 thoughts:

  1. Oh, it's times like these that we hate our jobs. It is almost impossible for us to get out of work before 7pm, which means never being able to attend Cafe Rosamond or events like these unless we take a day off or something like that. Maybe one day...nice post by the way. Seems like our prediction of dessert bars has come true. It's about time for Melbourne, we saw the idea pop up all over NY and East Asia a year or so back.

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    1. The beauty is that you can make bookings until as late as 8pm I think!! Yes I think the idea is becoming more and more popular and hopefully it becomes a trend that doesn't stop. Thanks Momo & Coco!

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  2. It was great to finally meet you that night! How awesome was the chocolate nest...I could just pick at it all day long.

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    1. Haha yes it was great meeting you guys that night! I was so absorbed in my desserts that I didn't notice you guys until we were leaving :D It was so yummy but alas, I was slipping into food coma at that point.

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  3. SUPER NICE to finally meet you in person :) How cool were the desserts!!! I'm in love with the coconut and kaffir lime and also the chocolate nest OMG that was just so delicious! I'm totally getting fat again from looking at your photos hehe

    No wonder I didn't recognise it was you :P hahaha because you didn't have your camera with you! Because I was scanning the whole room looking for you :D

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    1. Haha! I know, really nice to meet you guys too!! I should have looked for you guys earlier but regardless I realllllly enjoyed my night!! All the desserts were fantastic, although the drive home was so hard, trying to battle food coma haha! Hehe too absorbed in the desserts sorry!

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