Tag Archives: N2

Sugar Hit Melbourne – Don’t Miss Out!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve surely been living under a rock! Sugar Hit Melbourne returns for its third and final night this Friday, full of K-pop inspired sweets and entertainment!

20140502_203819IMG-20140603-WA0067I’ve blogged about the first event previously, a Bangkok inspired event full of delicious flavours. The photos from this post are from the second Bollywood festival held in May.

This night contrasted the initial event, after the team consisting of Luxbite, N2 Extreme Gelato, Mork Chocolate and Krimper Cafe heeded feedback and came up with a new creative, concept. A DJ replaced the softer, live band from the Bangkok night, pumping out pop songs mixed with modern Bollywood music throughout the night.

The queueing area was more distinct, marked by fluorescent tape on the floor, even with directions to leave room for the walkway. As pictured (right, with my eyes closed) the walkway was playfully shaped as a snake, whilst fairy lights mark the entrance on the otherwise quiet laneway.

In addition to this, they prepared some handout menus this time, which allowed you to contemplate what dessert sounded best as you line up. Check out the menus below for a gist of how it works!

The Luxbite and N2 corner was still a bit crowded. Despite the floor markings, when you wait for your order, there’s not a lot of room so there can be a bit of confusion. The solution is just to make sure you listen out for your name carefully over the music.

If you hate waiting, there are some “Fast Passes” up for grabs for $10, which allows you express access to the dessert station of your choice. You can buy them here, but unless you’re in a rush to get somewhere, I don’t think the wait is so bad.

I should note that I was one of the first ones there on the first night, and the second time I came after 8pm, when it was a little less busy. As you line up, you get to soak up the atmosphere and you still have the company of your friends to entertain you.

Both events even had some snacks that you could taste test in line – at the Bollywood event we were offered some curried popcorn by Wondersnack. It’s definitely different and it’s something you will be telling people about!

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Of course, you also get to try amazing desserts such as the gelato above, infused with Darjeeling tea and a tea caramel syringe whilst the tube included pistachio crumble and watermelon yogurt mousse. With creative and impressive desserts such as these, who knows what will be in store this Friday?

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Evidently, we managed to order all the Luxbite and N2 desserts (above). Luxbite and N2 often team up to create a #luxbitexn2 special dessert for the night, so keep an eye on their teasers if you can’t wait until Friday night to find out.

If we didn’t have dinner beforehand, I would have loved to try some drinks such as a classic mango lassi by Krimper or some hot chocolates. You’ll notice in the menu, you also have an option of infusing some drinks with alcohol. Not sure how this went down for Bollywood, but it was extremely popular to have a vodka Thai milk tea at the first event.

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The Bollywood atmosphere was enhanced by some performances scattered throughout the night. Some space was left in the corner for the performers and everyone really enjoyed the energetic dances.

On the side, there was also a station where you could get henna or bindis to embrace the culture. The team were even dressed up in Bollywood outfits. So prepare yourself for Friday, who knows what fun they’ll have in store to spread the Korean craze.

As Friday draws nearer, keep an eye on social media as teasers continue to pop up. Warning – it might make you salivate. Here’s a few below:

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When: Friday 6th June, 6.3pm-11pm, so make you sure you fit it in somewhere in your Friday activities!
Where: 20 Guildford Lane, Krimper Cafe, Melbourne CBD
Price: Free entry, food ranges $5-$10
Website: sugarhitmelb.com.au
But Fast Passes to skip the queue can be bought here for $10.

Krimper on Urbanspoon  LuxBite on Urbanspoon  N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

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
 

Summer is calling…

As Melbourne finally heats up (temporarily), the call for ice cream grows louder and louder. I can’t say no to ice cream so let’s not waste anymore time and I will share some more hotspots, following on from my last post Gelato in Melbourne.

The Lab: 188 Bourke St, Melbourne

The Lab shares a similar concept to N2 Extreme Gelato, with large machines full of nitrogen and clouds of smoke engulfing their scientific-looking employees.

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Their location is more convenient, located in the heart of the city on Bourke St and so I eagerly joined a long queue. Their flavours don’t sound as exciting as N2, but that’s not what matters. We ended up with a banana honey crunch and salted caramel popcorn ($6 each).

The banana was nice and sweet with some added texture of muesli on top and the salted caramel matched well with the popcorn pieces scattered on top.

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The problem is I found N2 flavours a lot more smooth and wholesome. They seem to find a way to cohesively mix flavours together whilst adding innovative things such as a creme brulee layer on top, whereas The Lab just put pieces of things on top. So if you’re in the city, it should satisfy your ice cream cravings but if you have time I’d suggest venturing out.

The Lab is open Mon-Thurs and Sun 12pm-11.30pm and Fri-Sat 12pm-1am.

The Lab Nitrogen Gelato on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina: 237 Smith St, Fitzroy

Another new and well-anticipated shop is Gelato Messina. Heralding from Sydney with great popularity, winner of this year’s Australian stage of the Gelato World Tour, and voted the best gelato in Australia by the Good Food Guide, there’s every reason for the hype surrounding them.

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A great queue greeted us on a Friday night, but they even have takeaway menus for you to look at whilst you wait. In addition to that, they have a Specials board, which makes the decision of what flavour to get that much harder.

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In addition to your everyday flavours (above), I tried to avoid the generic salted caramel that was also on show and instead my eyes lit up at my other true love, white chocolate. I was also interested by the apple pie flavour so I got a scoop of that and their special, nicciolino, which was described as white chocolate and hazelnut gelato with frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) soaked sponge and gianduia (sweet chocolate containing hazelnut) ganache (2 scoops, $6). Phew.

Until now, I didn’t even realise what those ingredients were and now I realise the abundance of hazelnut. There were some chunks of all these things, sponge, ganache and apple pie, that made the gelato quite tasty and full of surprises. We couldn’t quite put out finger on what it was, but we’re 90% sure it was the frangelico sponge that was the tastiest addition to the gelato.

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The apple pie also uncannily resembled the actual taste of apple pie quite well, with pies of pie throughout it. Finally getting to try it, I can understand the hype and the queue, however you will see where my heart lies at the end of this post.

Their outfit is also very funky, located on Smith St it’s a must. There’s quite a few spots to sit on the curvy benches inside and enjoy your gelato as well, and if you’re up for it you can even order tubs of ice cream or the misto plate ($12), a plate of five flavours.

Gelato Messina is open Mon-Thurs and Sun 12pm-11pm and Fri-Sat 12pm-11.30pm.

Gelato Messina Fitzroy on Urbanspoon

Il Dolce Freddo: 116 Lygon St, Carlton

If anyone ever refers to “Freddo’s” for short, this is where they mean. Located on Lygon St, there’s plenty of competition from other gelato shops yet on a Saturday night, this place still managed to be constantly busy.

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Even glancing at the flavours, most of them were close to finished. They have a wide range of flavours but are not as experimental, with Asian nuances. Flavours such as durian, green tea and lychee demonstrate this.

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This time, I couldn’t resist their version of the salted caramel, and now I’ve realised my liking for bits and pieces in my gelato, I also tried the vanilla crunch. My friend went for a green theme, with green tea and pistachio. I think they were about $5-6, and the waffle cone was a nice touch.

They have limited tables to sit inside and some outside to enjoy the lively Lygon St atmosphere. I enjoyed the combination of my flavours and the crunchy bits of my gelato. My friend’s green tea was also good but not too strong. If I’m ever in the mood for ice cream that I know will be good, I can usually rely on Freddo’s. They are more traditional and no frills except for a few of their exotic flavours.

Il Dolce Freddo is open Tue-Sun 12.30pm-11pm.

Il Dolce Freddo on Urbanspoon

Cones: 141A Station St, Fairfield

Cones is a local gelato shop in Fairfield, located on the busy Station St near Fairfield Station. After a brunch session at the amazing Fifteen Poundswe took advantage of the hot day and walked over for our gelato fix.

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Their flavours range from the classic bubblegum to the comforting and rich nutella. I was immensely tempted by the tim tam flavour (bottom left), but it looked too rich and full of chocolate for me to stomach in ice cream form.

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Instead, I ended up with a honeycomb flavour, which seems to look like all the other flavours I get from other shops (salted caramel, hazelnut etc)! It wasn’t mind-blowing, but subtle and enjoyable. They had decent prices and we were really happy with how full they pack your cone/cup with ice cream as it’s rare for local places to be so generous.

Cones is open everyday 9.30am-9.30pm.

Cold Rock Ice Creamery: Shop 21, Janefield Drive, University Hill

University Hill is generally a very quiet and empty ghost town in the northern suburbs. However, Cold Rock seems to be full of people looking for a good dose of late night ice cream, who don’t want to venture towards the city. If you’ve never been, you get to choose various toppings for them to smash into your ice cream.

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Their flavours aren’t that extensive, but at least they had white chocolate to satisfy me. When I realised I could get two flavours, I also got the mango sorbet as mango is my favourite fruit.

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I got them to put in tim tams, a favourite chocolate snack of mine, and as I didn’t want it overflowing with hard chocolate pieces, I also got marshmallows to balance it out. It may not look pretty, but I think I created a pretty good combination.

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I guess the only problem is customer service is a tad slow for perhaps one of the the only busy places at University Hill, and the person who served me didn’t seem too enthusiastic. To top that, he charged me the wrong price and had to come over to get more money off me. The toppings are also a bit expensive, all up it was about $8.90 or so.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t finish my filling serve of smashed ice cream as I was so full and if I’m ever feeling particularly lazy, I wouldn’t have to venture far to visit here.

Cold Rock is open Mon-Wed and Sun 10am-9pm, Thurs 10am-10pm and Fri-Sat 10am-11pm.

Cold Rock Ice Creamery on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato: 329 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

It is evident from this post, that I eat way too much ice cream. No matter how much I like the other ones, I have decided N2 still wins in my heart but it most certainly depends on which flavours. Their popular French Earl Grey dulce de leche is a winner and third time around, this lemon meringue pie ($8) was also amazing.

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The meringue swirl was warm and full of flavour, whilst it contrasted with the cold gelato below. The added shortbread to the serving made it an overall taste sensation and now the next on my list to try one day would be their ferrero reveal, considering how much I love ferrero rochers!

N2 Extreme Gelato is open everyday 1pm-11pm.

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon