sugar hit 2011: the westin sydney

The first stop on this year’s Crave Sydney Food Festival “Sugar Hit” tour is The Westin Sydney. It didn’t impress me last year, so had things changed?

The dessert
Sago and coconut soup with a chocolate and mango marquise.

The look
To be honest, I had no expectations in terms of presentation, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a bit of playfulness on the plate. I do question though, whether or not the combinations did work effectively together. More on that later.

The picture here doesn’t do it much justice. The main feature you see is the marquise bar, with a pink sugar “wheel” and a side garnish of dried lychee and raspberries in a sweet pink syrup and sugar coated nuts. The small jar contained a mixture of coconut and sago, and tasted exactly like the Chinese tapioca dessert “西米露”.

The Westin Sydney's Sugar Hit 2011

The taste test
The marquise had a wonderful rich luscious mousse-like texture. The downer was that the chocolate flavour completely overwhelmed the mango. The mango had a tartness that resembled passionfruit more than mango in my opinion. Even though the flavours were imbalanced the texture was a real winner.

I could see that they gave thought to the different textures in this dish and it does give it nice contrast. The dehydrated fruit also had a tartness that cut through the richness of the chocolate marquise and gave crunch to offset the mousse texture. However, I did not find the sugar wheel pleasant to eat as it solidified around my teeth causing my jaw to stick together. Also, as it was not caramelised, it lacked the smokey caramel taste.

I think the biggest let down was that the dessert was just too sweet. I felt that it became sweeter and sweeter as I ate until it almost became unbearable. (Note: I am not much of a sweet tooth). The Brown Brothers dessert wine really helped to cut the sweetness, but halfway through the dessert I felt like I’ve had enough.

My previous experiences at The Westin Sydney have been so-so at best. My experience this year has not changed my view for the better. I can see how they have tried to take tropical ingredients and combine them into this dish, but in my opinion the execution just did not quite hit the mark.

You will definitely love this dessert if you have a sweet tooth.

Would I go back?
Probably not.

Further information
My blog post: what to eat during the crave sydney food festival 2011
The Westin’s Sugar Hit @ Crave Sydney’s website
My second stop: sugar hit 2011 review: shangri-la hotel
My third stop: sugar hit 2011 review: glass brasserie
Guest review: sugar hit 2011 review: sydney harbour marriott

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