With all the excitement over the opening of Adriano Zumbo’s first Melbourne store last week it’s easy to forget that just around the corner is the excellent LuxBite. It seems that South Yarra is officially Melbourne’s sweet spot with Burch and Purchese also in the neighbourhood.
While it may be easy to get tempted by the siren call of the new and shiny, a visit to LuxBite always rewards. There are some savoury items on the menu like the incredibly decadent cheese fondue ($15) with its melted, gooey round of brie and fruit toast for dipping, but really it’s all about the sweet stuff here.
Perhaps the most famous LuxBite creation is the lolly bag cake. No, not that kind of lolly bag. It’s based on the lollies you used to eat when you are a little kid so is sweetly nostalgic with its pastel coloured layers. Each layer brings a different taste sensation from spearmint leafs to jaffas and it’s such a complex dessert that it’s even featured as a MasterChef challenge.
LuxBite also does a cracking afternoon tea. Don’t even think about tackling this one on your own, take a friend and share it or you will be in a serious sugar coma. The afternoon tea comes with a choice of whatever hot drink you want. I opted for the Earl Grey tea which is limited to one cup (with an offer of a water top up).
The key feature of the LuxBite afternoon tea is the choice you get over its contents. You receive two toasted sandwiches and then can choose two cakes and four macarons from the entire selection at LuxBite. The Meringue Monster is a good choice because despite the size of this cake creation it’s incredibly light with a fluffy green tea sponge and strawberry mousse filling covered in meringue.
LuxBite chef Bernard Chu told me the Opera Banoffee is his favourite cake, so it’s one I had to try with rich layers of hazelenut sponge and salted toffee buttercream. It’s an amazing creation, smooth and decadent with chocolate crunch adding some texture. The macarons are always a treat at LuxBite, delicate with creative flavours. Of those I’ve tried my favourite flavours are the creme brulée which really does taste exactly like a creme brulée and the bamboo oolong tea which gives a hit of savoury amongst the sweet.
Don’t expect a traditional afternoon tea at LuxBite (there are no scones with jam and cream) but if you are after something quirky and creative it’s hard to go past Chu’s dessert genius.
Gourmet Chick has visited LuxBite twice for this review, once as an anonymous paying customer and once on an invitation to review.
Details: LuxBite, 38 Toorak Road, South Yarra, 3141 (Ph 03 9867 5888)
Damage: Reasonable. Afternoon tea costs $48 for two.