Just Desserts – Tomislav, Darlinghurst

20 October 2010
by Phuoc

The thought of having a meal consisting of just desserts sounds heavenly to me. For SIFF, Tomislav combines forces with pastry chef Chris The of Black Star Pastry (who has worked at Quay and Claude’s) to create a 7-course dessert degustation; Just Desserts ($125). The desserts had at my birthday dinner at Tomislav were impressive so I knew I had to go back for more. Just Desserts is held for only 2 nights and is guaranteed to be a sold out event so a quick booking was made for a myself and dessert loving food bloggers.

We start off the night with racks of tests tubes being brought to us; these tubes contained the contents for our violet champagne starter. The waitress explains that one tube contains Delamotte champagne whilst the other contains a violet granita; we were instructed to slowly pour the champagne into the granita, swirl and sip. It was visually pleasing and sweet; what a perfect and fun way to start off the degustation.

To kick off the line of desserts we’ll be having, grilled strawberries served with mint and white chocolate was brought to us on a big slate board. Piles of mint and white chocolate powder were scattered throughout the board and slightly caramelised strawberries and dollops of cream were placed neatly amongst it all. I found the mint powder a little overpowering and melted quickly in the mouth whilst the white chocolate powder was a little sweet and occasionally stuck to the roof of my mouth.

Next up was the goats curd cheesecake served with elderflower gel and crushed pistachios. The goats curd cheesecake was served in two different forms. A firmer mousse-like dome was hidden underneath an aerated foam of the same mixture; the mousse didn’t taste as “cheesy” as the soft and fluffy foam, it was more like a silky vanilla mousse. Lemon balm is present in the elderflower gel which gives it a slight tang. I felt there wasn’t enough crushed pistachios on this dish for it to provide a textual contrast.

The best dessert of the night arrives at our table on a funky metal stand. We convinced our waitress to leave it on our table for a moment for us to take photos, the caramel ice cream cone features a thin hazelnut wafer cone and a smooth and creamy caramel ice cream topped with toasted peanuts. Big smiles start to appear on everyone’s face after we all take our first bite into the ice cream cone. Popping sounds were heard as we open our mouths, with giggles and laughter following; our inner-childish behaviours were brought out at that moment. At the bottom of the cone were more toasted peanuts, I secretly wished it was filled with more pop rocks though..

The last of the desserts is the warm chocolate mousse with olive oil and sea salt; which was kinda like a “pre-savoury” dish. You see, Tomislav has tipped everything that is conventional on its head and decided to serve us a backwards degustation starting with desserts and ending with savoury items. This was a very oddball dish, sure it may look very innocent but looks can be very deceiving. The olive oil has been infused with rosemary and the biscuit crumbs were horseradish flavoured which provided an unexpected kick to the dish. A quenelle of mulberry sorbet sits on top of the crumbs and provides some sweetness to this savoury dessert. The mousse is slightly bitter and smooth. When each component was had together, it all seemed to work.

We sadly concluded our desserts with the arrival of beef mince pie, tomato sauce and grilled onions. A flaky pastry cylinder encases a beef mince filling which we found slightly salty, although this may be due to the fact that we had a decent amount of desserts prior to this course. Now you can’t have a pie without tomato sauce, it’s just un-Australian to do so. Tomislav serves up his version of a tomato sauce which is a chilled powder, when you eat the two together, you get the sensation of hot and cold together in one bite (which was pretty cool).

We end our topsy turvy degustation with Tomislav’s signature starter of rice crackers and sea salt and vinegar. The atomiser contains the sea salt and vinegar mixture and a few sprays coats these deliciously light crackers; a fun and enjoyable way to conclude (or start) the night.

It was time for us to head back home as it was getting a little late. On our way out we were given a takeaway box filled with goodies from Black Star Pastry; the contents include an orange cake with fig and quince, lemon curd biscuit, ginormous white chocolate macaron with rose filling and canelle (a French rum-based dessert with a caramelised crust and chewy and moist centre).  Such a nice gesture.

Just Desserts was an enlightening way to dine. I was expecting to feel sick from all the sugar but was surprised that the degustation wasn’t sickeningly sweet at all; I could have gone a few more desserts in my opinion. Do keep an eye out for future dessert degustations at Tomislav.


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19 Comments

  1. chocolatesuze

    heh heh i totes could’ve done with more dessert too!

  2. kristy @ ksayerphotography

    Looks like you all had a fun night! I’m not a big dessert fan when i’m eating out – I can’t actually remember the last time I ate dessert when I was at a restaurant. But, dessert for dinner could be good :P

  3. G_A_G_U

    This is awesome, I hope when I am in Sydney I get to experience this

  4. nic@diningwithastud

    WOW! Looks amazing! I love poprocks! You just dont see them enough these days. Imagine how fun every meals would be haha

  5. Margaret | fangirlish

    Ooft, that takeaway box looks so adorable! That dessert degustation looks (and probably tastes) amazing. Did you go bouncing off the walls post-sugar? And the world definitely needs more pop rocks.

  6. Helen (grabyourfork)

    Yep the caramel ice cream cones were my favourite too. Pop rocks are the best!

  7. Thip

    These desserts look very interesting, especially the combination. :)

  8. mademoiselle delicieuse

    What you want is to start with desserts, move on to savouries then end with dessert again! =D

  9. bake in paris

    Such a pleasing and delicious experience. I don’t have any doubt about exploring it myself there…. thanks for taking the time to share with us….

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

  10. deeba

    What an amazing and intriguing experience… I love the upside down menu, and the way everything is so unconventional. Real treat!!

  11. Gianna

    Wow, every desert desert they served is unlike anything I have seen before –
    Such an interesting twist and very unconventional. Looks like a fun experience though!
    I love the look of the caramel ice cream cones, popping candy is the best!

  12. FFichiban

    Hahha yeah more and richer desserts needed! but that pie was soooo good after all those desserts

  13. MelbaToast

    Poprocks are so much fun! Sounds like such a great dinner…the sort of dinner every kid would dream about!

  14. joey@FoodiePop

    A dessert degustation? Why aren’t there more of these??? Thanks for the great post, I think. I am so hungry for something sweet right now …. :-D

  15. Trisha

    I would’ve expected to feel sick after all that sugar but looks like it all went down well! I would expect more pop rocks at the bottom of the cone too like chocolate at the bottom of a cornetto (no boring bits haha!). Mmmmm desserts!!!

  16. Trissa

    It does take some genius to be able to make those many desserts and for those who eat it not to feel like they’ve had too much sugar!

  17. Rhonda ( The Dainty Baker)

    Kicks self in the head! wish i had gone!!

  18. Gastronomy Gal

    Looks good- and I know test tubes are so old, but they are kinda exciting! the meat pie would have been so good after all the desserts.

  19. Phuoc

    Chocolatesuze: Me too.. We need to convince Tomislav to do more!! :D

    Kristy: I feel wrong not ending with desserts, but I guess everyone is different

    GAGU: This actual event won’t be on when you come but I’m sure there will be future ones I cam take you to.

    Nic: The world does need more poprocks.

    Margaret: Surprisingly we didn’t go bouncing off the walls, we all wanted more desserts!

    Helen: I want more of that icecream. Poprocks makes everything so much better.

    Thip: I’m sure a talented pastry chef like yourself can knock up similar things too.

    Mademoiselle delicieuse: HAHA I like the sound of that!

    Kris: Thank you. It was a fun experience :D

    Deeba: Yeah it’s pretty unusual and tasty at the same time.

    Gianna: Poprocks FTW! :D

    FFichiban: Lucky you got a second helping :P There needed to be at least one heavy and decadent dessert I think.

    MelbaToast: I felt like a child again having this degustation :)

    Joey: Oh I agree with you! There needs to be more dessert degos!

    Trisha: Hehe that’s what we all said, no boring bits if poprocks were placed on the bottom. The way Tomislav makes his desserts reduces the amount of sugar by 40% (I think), so I guess that would allow you to be able to have a lot more of it.

    Trissa: I believe he can make alot more of it and we won’t feel the sugar coma.

    Rhonda: Keep an eye out for Tomislav, I have a feeling there may be more in the future.

    Gastronomy Gal: Oh test tubes are the bomb! I’m tempted to “acquire” some from work to use them in my desserts somehow…. :P

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