Dessert, SIFF, Sugar Hit, Sydney, CBD
comments 6

SIFF Sugar Hit 2009: Shangri La Hotel

Having spent too much money on food lately, I wasn’t intending on going to Shangri La for a Sugar Hit this Friday night. To be honest I’m not really a big sweet tooth , I’m more a savoury person. If I had to choose between a pierre herme macaron or some fried chicken, I would pick the fried chicken.

We had just finished our meal at the Night Noodle Markets, when Kathness somehow managed to get us a booking for 8 people just 1 hour before the Shangri La Sugar Hit would start.  I didn’t hold much hope for a table as a few hotels have been booked out for their Sugar Hit sessions. As the night was young, I couldn’t knock back an opportunity to increase my blood sugar levels.

Last year, squishies wasn’t too excited about what Shangri La had to offer for their Sugar Hit. Apparently they had a change of hands in the Head Pastry Chef department and the offerings were a bit more different from previous years. I guess each person has different expectations from a Sugar Hit. For me, since it is a month long celebration of food I expect something which makes me go ‘wow’, something which really showcases the talent of the Pastry Chef of the establishment. But at the same time, I understand how difficult it would be to come up with a dessert which appeals to everyone while charging $20.

Hazelnut torte, lemon curd, sugar coated hazelnuts, and lemon jelly

Hazelnut torte, lemon curd, sugar coated popcorn, and lemon jelly ($20)

How did this year stack up ? Good, but not great. If you look at it from a quantity perspective, it’s missing some of the variety which other Sugar Hits this year offer in the form of tasting plates. But we all know that quantity doesn’t always equal quality.

The hazelnut torte was incredibly smooth, with the spoon sliding effortlessly through in one motion. I felt the torte lacked the nuttiness of real hazelnuts, but on the flip side this ensured that the torte wasn’t overpowered by the nuts.

Hazelnut torte, lemon curd, sugar coated hazelnuts, and lemon jelly

Hazelnut torte, lemon curd, sugar coated popcorn, and lemon jelly

The lemon curd and it’s natural citrus kick did a good job as a contrast to the richness of the torte. I regularly took a big spoon of torte and a smudge of curd en route to my stomach.

I’m not sure what happened to the sugar-coated hazelnuts though (it’s on the siff website), as it was substituted with sugar coated pop corn. Either way, such a simple addition probably did the dessert a great favour. The sweetness and crunch of toasted corn ensured that my favourite elements of a great dessert were present. That is, sweetness, smoothness and texture. It’s probably why I love things such as maxibons, ice cream sandwiches, cookies and cream ice cream, vanilla ice cream with praline pieces ….. the list goes on.

In the background, was a fantastic two piece band entertaining guests. She had an incredibly smooth voice and boy could she sing.  I also couldn’t help but test out the video function on my camera.


If you are looking for a chilled out place for some dessert, the Shangri La lounge is the place to be. The ambience is nice and sitting on the couches sipping on a glass of wine and chatting over dessert was an unusual way for my group of friends to spend a Friday night. I think the days of drunken shenanigans on a Friday night after work are a thing of the past, for this week at least.

Note : the SIFF Sugar Hits are available throughout October 2009 as part of the Sydney International Food Festival.

Shangri La Hotel

The Rocks
176 Cumberland Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Phone : 9250 6000
Fax : 9250 6250
Web :


  1. I saw a picture of this dessert elsewhere and thought it looked great, but thought it must have been something salted caramel with the colour and the popcorn! Am yet to get to a sugar hit this year, but can’t wait!

  2. wow i think you guys are unbeaten in the sugar hit coverage so far! lovely pics as always and ” I also couldn’t help but test out the video function on my camera.” Ha, any excuse eh? lol

  3. HAHHA FRIED CHICKEN!! Fo shizzle my nizzle… but yeah you guys really blitzing these siff deals, great work!
    Hmm would you recc it?

  4. @Reemski : There are so many to try! Hope you get around to some.

    @Helen : I just think we are lucky there are 5 of us lol, I personally have only been to two!

    @Arwen : I thought so too, without the popcorn the dessert might have been a bit bland.

    @FFichiban : Hmm I think there are better Sugar Hits this year but taste wise this one is not bad.

    @Simon : Very nice place to chill! Wish we had bars like this heh.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.