The opening salvo was an Avocado and Sampinit Religieuse by Chef Kristine. While I know that a religieuse is a big and a small pâte à choux puff attached to one another, I’m pleasantly surprised to learn that a sampinit is a local wild raspberry. Their delicate sweet-tart flavor was playful against the gritty sweetness of the macaron, blushes of pink against jade. After a brief table discussion on how to compose each bite – “It’s too big to fit in one mouthful!” – it was decided that the best way was to chase a bite of the macaron with a taste of the avocado cream puff. The filling’s silkiness emphasized the inherent lushness of the avocado. “Oof, SO good!” Remarks a gentleman, his eyes rolling heavenward.
When it comes to Chef Miko’s creations, it’s best to expect the unexpected. A milk bottle is the chosen receptacle for the deceivingly titled Cookies & Milk. Fermented milk, that squiggle you see on the side of the bottle, was reminiscent of Greek yogurt. Its rounded tanginess flitted and flirted with the decidedly mild-mannered nature of the yogurt snow, which was similar to the ice in Korean shaved ice desserts. Some playfulness from the sugar crumble sitting alongside until the sultry pili butter sauntered in; smeared on a spoon, it smashed all hopes of self-denial.
Covered by the tuile are two tongues of uni draped in the rather benignly named Uni Ice Cream, Sake & Lychee. A silken creaminess swells in the mouth with a fleeting flavor of the ocean before being washed away by the cool custard cream buoyed by a lick of sake and a lash of lychee. And oh, what’s this underneath? A treasure of longans, their grape-like flavor musky and lingering. This is a dessert that has aphrodisiac written all over it.
I’m all for sexy desserts but sometimes nothing sends me than a straightforward sweet. My favorite dessert of the night was the Guava & Shortbread Ice Cream Eton Mess by Chef Kristine. Playfully plated, it’s a revelation of flavors and layers. Pink guava – hauntingly sour and sweet – is macerated into a custard base and churned into ice cream. It’s the creamy head capped by an upside down ice cream cone. To bolster and delight just beside it is a cloud of meringue, its crisp exterior cloaking the cushiony depths within. I adore food with acidic elements and this one had sour power in spades. Tangy on creamy, cool on crisp, the sweet sourness sends inhibitions surrendering, summoning bite after bite after bite…