There’s been a lot of hoo-hah about macarons in Melbourne and the consensus from the blogosphere seems to be that South Yarra dessert cafe LuxBite make some fantastic ones. They are particularly reknowned for combining Asian flavours into this quintessentially French sweet – a rare example of successful fusion cuisine?
My friend and I decided to meet at the bright and pretty cafe for a catchup. While the place is small, it’s pretty hard to miss as eEmblazoned on the window is what I might adopt as my life motto ‘Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.’
We decided to share the afternoon tea set for two. For $42 I think it’s good value – two drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate, chai), three finger sandwiches (why not four? makes it a bit hard to share between two people) plus two desserts and four macaron flavours of your selection.**
Such is the strength of LuxBite ‘s word of mouth recommendations that at 3pm on a Monday they’d sold out of their signature macaron flavours, Kaya Toast and Peanut Butter and Jelly. Never mind, there was still lots to choose from!
I like slightly more savoury flavours in my macarons given that they are essentially a baked sugar confection and both J and I loved the punchy tang of the kaffir lime. On the other hand, we thought that the white peach and jasmine paled in comparison – if you’d asked me what flavour I’d just eaten I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. Similarly, loved the saltiness of the salted caramel but didn’t get too excited by the rather subdued Heilala Vanilla Crème Brulee.
Overall the texture was right on – a thin crusty shell, soft centre, good ‘feet’ and no air pockets, with a balanced quantity between the shell and the filling. However, one gripe – the Salted Caramel macaron had been mixed such that I think some of the sugar had crystallised so that certain mouthfuls felt like chewy toffee.
As for the desserts – we enjoyed both of our selections ‘Supersized Love’ a giant decadent macaron wagon wheel/Ferrero Rocher hybrid and the Black Forest mousse (normally $8.50 each). Both of the desserts consisted of variations on light, fluffy mousse layers though the Supersized Love was a particular winner with its crunchy crust of hazelnuts.
The three sandwiches were pleasant but unremarkable, though particular mention should be made of the lovely sweet relish accompanying the smoked ham toasted finger. Frankly we were too excited about the sweets to take much notice of the sandwiches!
On the way out I couldn’t resist taking some macarons home with me, particularly as I wanted to try some of the other flavours. They travelled well on the bus in their divided casings and that night RM and I polished off another eight macarons, with particular highlights being the non-traditional flavours of O-O-Oreo and Choc Cherry.
For more macaron and dessert reading, check out posts on Famish’d macaron tasting, dessert evenings with Pierre Roelofs at Cafe Rosamond and the pop-up store for the Sweet Studio.
**I used a prepaid voucher purchased from The Agenda Daily, a daily email with reviews and recommendations for Melbourne (and Sydney), so it only cost me $21. I have been impressed with the unique discounts provided by them (unlike your standard group buying sites offering hair removal one day, discount pizza the next). You may have noticed that I’ve installed a widget on the right hand side of the blog to help promote their offers – feel free to have a look :–)
- LuxBite, 38 Toorak Rd, South Yarra +61 3 98675888