Tag Archives: laneway

Sugar Hit Melbourne: Bangkok Nightlife

20140404_182207If you didn’t hear me plugging this sweet event last week (pun intended), I can assure you that you missed out on some amazing desserts. Lucky for you, there’s still two more events to come in May and June.

Last Friday, I attended the first night of Sugar Hit Melbourne, a collaboration between Krimper Cafe, Luxbite, N2 Extreme Gelato and Mork Chocolate. It’s lucky we arrived early, as people dawdled in the laneway because the line got extremely long later on.

Whilst we waited, some people were using fluorescent tape to create some impressive artwork (right). The basketball hoop, the hopscotch matching Krimper’s neon pink sign, and more, turned the area into a vibrant scene dubbed “Play Laneway”. It seemed to encapsulate the playful feeling of Melbourne’s laneways and street art.

I wasn’t entirely sure how it would work – I thought perhaps it would be a market-like setup in the laneway. However the entire experience is actually one big line passing different stations inside Krimper  – something we realised a little too late.

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Upon entering, we passed some little stalls including one for greeting cards and one full of Asian snacks from Mr. Nice Guy Thai. You then pass the cafe counter where you can order Mork hot chocolates or “Morktails”, Thai milk tea in bags infused with vodka or savoury food such as pork sliders by Krimper. We also spotted a DIY photo booth – but thought that could wait until after the food!

We would have tried some drinks but by the time we realised we were part of one big line, we had passed and found ourselves reaching our main target – the dessert corner featuring ever-so-poplar Luxbite and N2 Extreme Gelato. I had healthily been stalking their Instagrams and Facebooks for menu teasers, as I thought this would help me make my decision as to what to order. But everything sounded so good that we decided to order everything!

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Although the lining up was a bit hectic, the swiftness of Luxbite and N2’s service was quite impressive. From N2, I had the lychee champagne bucket ($8, top left), featuring lychee sorbet, lychee jelly bits and a pipette of champagne. It tasted pretty much how I expected it to. I’m not a big fan of champagne, but I love lychee and the flavours were subtle enough until you squeeze the pipette!

My friend had the Bangkok nuts ($8, top right), which had coconut cream sorbet, a sticky peanut centre and a layer of creamed corn topped with whipped Thai milk tea cream. What a mouthful – quite literally. I don’t usually like coconut but I really enjoyed the sticky peanut centre and the milk tea cream was an innovative idea. It’s amazing how much they can do with one cup of gelato.

IMG-20140404-WA0028 I’d fortunately won a free Luxbite dessert, hence this tube dessert called Love You Long Time ($9, above), which included condensed milk panna cotta, caramelised banana, pandan cream, coconut & peanut crumble and ginger & pineapple macaron. Not a great fan of pandan either (I know, you’re thinking what do I like?), but the layers of this dessert really bring everything together to create a taste sensation. I especially enjoyed the crumble and caramelised banana. You can taste the Asian/Thai influences and the result is delicious.
IMG-20140404-WA0007Next up was Luxbite’s Sood Tee Ruk or “Ultimate Sweetheart” ($7, above). This was a kalamansi lime curd tart with kalamansi confit, longan, chilli salt, meringue, kaffir lime sherbet. I’d never heard of kalamansi until this day but discovered it was a type of lime. Thus, it was similar to a lemon meringue tart, but nicer. The crumble of the meringue along with the lime flavour balanced out well and the tart had some interesting parts inside. Luckily for those who missed out, Luxbite just revealed today that they will be selling the dessert this weekend!
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The ultimate surprise and my favourite was a collaboration between Luxbite and N2 – mango sticky rice ($10, above). This included coconut & pandan sticky rice, mango boba, coriander, caramelised shallots, mango lemongrass sorbet, palm sugar caramel and basil seed. The sticky rice was a familiar taste for an Asian person like me and it’s normal for it to be eaten as a dessert.

But this brought sticky rice as a dessert to a whole new level, with the popping of the juicy boba balls, a delicious syringe of palm sugar caramel, and sorbet oozing seductively all over it. The entire dish worked so well that I hope they bring it back in the future!

Sugar Hit Melbourne will occur again with a Bollywood theme on May 2nd and one more time with a K-Pop theme on June 6th. Check out their Facebook and social media to hear all the latest updates. 

Meanwhile, if you can’t make these events you can always drop by the respective stores. I’ve already blogged about N2, so I’ll give a special mention to Luxbite. I’d recommend their banoffee opera cake (left) with hazelnut sponge and banana ganache. It’s rich, but great with a cup of tea. You can also try their famous Lolly Bag Cake as featured on Masterchef or their interestingly flavoured macarons. They’re even selling a Luxbite and Mork Chocolate collaboration of salted caramel hot chocolate that you can mix up at home!

Luxbite is located 38 Toorak Road, South Yarra and you can view their online menu here.

LuxBite on Urbanspoon
 

Chuckle Park

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In the mood for something other than Asian but not too pricey, I discovered this hip little place on a laneway on Little Collins. Wandering along Little Collins, this laneway of hipsters and Friday night drinkers burst with animation from the everyday streets of Melbourne.

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The tiny laneway is lit up by strings of jars, with the Chuckle Park truck at the end for you to order food. Wooden tables with plants and bright red stools are scattered for a limited number of people to sit.

Chuckle Park is owned by and located next to the bar, New Guernica. Luckily for us, they were full of people for Christmas celebrations, and we received tickets for a complimentary drink on the way in to the Chuckle Park laneway. We were informed at the bar that this would be a shot, we have no idea what it was but we enjoyed it because it tasted nice like apple (they called it their appletiser promo on their entrance board).

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After this we went back downstairs to loiter in the laneway and wait for a table at Chuckle Park. It didn’t take too long and we swooped in on a table as some people were leaving. Then came the usual tough decision of what to eat!

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Their menu can be described as Spanish-inspired, with a short yet simple selection. We ended up with three pulled pork rolls and one meatball wrap and our table number was provided on a pebble (above). We also couldn’t resist their fantastic looking cocktail jars so we ordered a jar of raspberry mojito (Bacardi, raspberry liqueur, fresh lime and mint, $35) and a fruity mocktail.

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The pulled pork roll was surprisingly quite spicy, and we discovered the meatball wrap was too. On closer inspection the items are more detailedly described as pulled pork roll with slow spicy pork, cheese, walnut, fennel and slaw ($10) and tasty meatballs in pita wrap with authentic tomato spiced sauce, cheese and spinach ($10).

They didn’t seem to cut back on any ingredients and it proved a naturally messy meal. As they didn’t hold back on the meat, the spicy fillings satisfied our bellies. The pork was nice and tender and the burgers oozed with a bit of sauce as we tried to keep them together, thus the wrap wasn’t as troublesome.

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The cocktail jar may look large, but it technically holds around four or five drinks, so it was easily shared between three of us. There’s lots of ice so the raspberry flavour was more outdone by the mint leaves.

I asked if they did mocktails and so they provided their standard drink, with all their fruit juices and more mixed together. The flavour is hard to describe with so many juices involved but with an abundance of fruity fragrances and a dash of sour aftertaste, it seemed to taste more interesting than the cocktail.

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Overall, it’s a great little place and provides a unique vibe compared to a standard bar or restaurant. If you can’t stand smokers you might find it a little claustrophobic being in such a small, enclosed space yet outdoors. The meals are impressive for a small outfit and the idea seems to have proved popular.

Chuckle Park is open Mon-Thurs 12pm-late and Fri-Sun 12pm-1am. See their menu here.

Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon