So I’ve been pretty late to the Crave Sydney Food Festival game. But thanks to the diary-synching powers and ultra organisation of Amy from Pretty Pretty Yum Yum, I got to enjoy the Sugar Hit dessert special on offer at Azuma Kushiyaki. It’s two bento boxes of awesome, and its crowdpulling power has led to diners overflowing the restaurant and having to take seats at the Azuma Patisserie next door, just to fit.
I like how everyone’s twin boxes ends up a visual scorecard of the six treats on offer. At our table, every cup of Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis and Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake, sweetly streaked through with raspberry coulis and rained with freeze-dried raspberry flakes, was spoon-scraped clean. The Petit Almond Financier underwent a quick disappearing act, as did the multi-coloured Macarons. Half-eaten were the Green Tea and Wasabi ganache tarts. Not that the unfinished pastry states were some brutal judgment – just proof that desserts with strong shocks of flavour need only minimal bites to make their point.
I also love the cartoony expressions on all the different macarons – and the fact that the pastry chef went to the trouble of individually shaping their faces. We lined ours together so you can see their Oscar-winning emotional range. For me, the Passionfruit Macaron, with its crushed-fruit ganache, was a goal-kicking way to end the night.
The Sugar Hit is $20, with a glass of Brown Brothers muscat, Hennessy cognac or Azuma’s special-blend green tea; available after 9pm and bookings are pretty much essential. On offer as part of the Crave Sydney Food Festival. Azuma Kushiyaki Bar & Grill, Regent Place, 501 George Street, Sydney NSW (02) 9267 7775, www.azuma.com.au