Om Nom Dessert Bar

Level 2, Adelphi Hotel, 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC
Date visited: 12th August 2014

Om Nom is the newish 40-seat dessert restaurant and bar situated in the artsy Adelphi Hotel.  Famous for its gorgeous edible art desserts, MerlinFan and I had our hearts set on visiting even before Head Chef, pastry artist Christy Tania brought her signature dish, the Mango Alfonso, to the pressure test at the MasterChef kitchen this season.

Our birthday fell on a weekday - all the better, so MerlinFan booked us a table at 8pm for the occasion.  You can choose your own entree, main and dessert(s), or partake in their Tasting Menu with your choice of entree, main and three set desserts for $85.  If you're after desserts, go for the Dessert Degustation where you can choose three desserts for $55.  You can also opt for any dessert for $24-28 per dish, which is pretty steep in my opinion - the Dessert Degustation did seem like the more economical option.

From reviews online, we got the feeling that the desserts were more of their strong point, but MerlinFan was starving so we both decided to go with a main and then the Dessert Degustation.  Now, my photos are ridiculously yellow-stained from the yellow lighting of the bar near where we were seated, so excuse the obnoxiously yellow hue.  

Tonight's entrees and mains featured guest chef, Arnold Poernomo, who is a judge on MasterChef Indonesia.  Naturally, the collection of dishes on offer had an Indonesian flair.  


I chose the Duck Breast.  The sliced duck breast sat atop a bed of celeriac puree, broccolini, surrounded by a ring of sweet, zesty sambal matah.  It was topped off by a generous sprinkling of spiced grated coconut.  The duck skin wasn't particularly crispy but it was deliciously juicy.  It was slightly salty but mostly sweet from the lashings of coconut on top - it reminded me a lot of pulut inti, a Malaysian glutinous rice parcel with sweet shaved coconut which I loved growing up.  Some people might find sweetness and duck odd, but give it a try... the nostalgic familiarity of the coconut appealed greatly to my Malaysian tastebuds - I found this dish intriguing and finished every bite.

Duck Breast $29
MerlinFan went for the Semur, which is Indonesian for stew.  The perfectly seasoned, juicy beef cheek just fell away at the touch of a fork.  It sat neatly on top of creamy potato puree and a moat of delicious thick brown gravy, and was topped off with crispy shallots and king brown mushrooms.  MerlinFan enjoyed it, said it was one of the best beef cheeks she has had.

Semur $29

Now on to the Dessert Degustation.  You can only pick from the seven marked desserts for this option - MerlinFan and chose three each so that we could try six of the seven.  Keep in mind that these desserts are also mini or 'taster' sizes of the originals, which actually isn't a bad idea, because it did get quite sweet even for dessert lovers like me.

First up was the Mont Blanc.  Vanilla and blackberry sat in a cup of feuilletine which added that textural crunch, and was topped by peaks of piped chestnut puree.  A smear of blackberry, a dark chocolate twig and little meringue clouds completed this beauty.  It was one of our favourites of the night.

Mont Blanc
Meringue, dark chocolate, chestnut, vanilla, blackberry, feuilletine
Next, we were brought the Pineapple Verrine, which we unfortunately didn't order.  Our waitress apologised and came back to clarify the dishes we ordered.  Luckily it didn't cause much of a hiccup and our next dessert, the Tarte Tatin arrived after a few minutes.

Tarte Tatin
Granny smith apple, 5 spice, chantilly, vanilla, lemongrass and ginger
This was a fancy version of the classic tarte tatin - very beautifully presented, however probably the least impressive of the night.  The thin slivers of apple were stuck together and actually made it difficult to cut through.  The different components of chantilly, vanilla ice cream, lemongrass, ginger, caramel and chocolate stick (with edible gold) gave the dish a punch of spice.

Our next dessert arrived at the same time.  The Raspberry Field was a half sphere of raspberry and lychee sorbet sitting upside down on a stem of meringue, cleverly constructed into a pretty pink toadstool.  It was surrounded by lychee, raspberry and rosewater pannacotta, a rosewater sphere and raspberries.  Perhaps the most classic pairing of flavours but uniquely presented.

Raspberry Field
Raspberry, lychee, meringue, rosewater
The Basil Garden came presented like a potted plant in a rectangular shell of dark chocolate surrounded by chocolate soil.  Inside was a bed of vanilla, olive oil (didn't pick up on this) and honey ice cream, shards of meringue and lime, basil and white chocolate creameux orbs, dotted with little purple flowers.  Almost too beautiful to eat - this was refreshing and sweet.

Basil Garden
Dark chocolate, vanilla, olive oil, honey, basil, lime, white chocolate and meringue
MerlinFan and I shared all these mini desserts, but being more of a salt tooth, I was starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by the sweetness and was grateful for the smaller sizing of the degustation menu.  MerlinFan, having a much higher tolerance for sweet things than me had no problems in that department.  

The Mango Alfonso was a mini version of the impressive, three layered tower featured on Masterchef.  The choux pastry was light and slightly savoury, filled with mango mousse, topped off with glossy fondant and a disc of dark tempered chocolate.  Its crowning glory was a globe that consisted of mango mousse and shiso cremeux half spheres.  Accompanied by a refreshingly tangy kalamansi sorbet, coconut lemongrass foam and diced poached mango, this dish was a perfect marriage of sweet and sour.  One of my favourites of the night.

Mango Alfonso
Choux pastry, shiso, coconut, kalamansi, lemongrass ginger and caramelised white chocolate
Last but not least was the Cendol.  This well-loved Asian dessert floated in on an adorable paper boat.  This was unlike your traditional cendol - MerlinFan and I were excited by the squares of carefully diced jackfruit - we haven't had jackfruit in a long while!  Love the fragrant, pungent sweetness and the chewy texture, complemented by pandan, coconut cream and little beads of cendol.  Underneath was a fruity jelly and a little chocolate cup with coconut which seemed a little out of place in this tropical dessert.  MerlinFan and I were very taken by this rendition of cendol.

Coconut, mango, gula jawa, jackfruit, pandan
Overall, MerlinFan and I had a great dessert adventure at Om Nom.  Service was efficient and friendly, and although pricey, Om Nom presented us with gorgeous edible pieces of art with impressive care and attention to detail in plating.  I suppose it depends on your sweetness tolerance, but three mini versions for the dessert degustation was just enough without becoming overwhelmingly sweet.  If you're interested, they also do Sunday High Tea, as well as Express Lunch.  Their Dessert Degustation is only available from 6pm, but they also have a rotating selection of four desserts from 12-3pm for those who want to take pretty photos in the daytime >=D

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