Creative, refined desserts in a laneway location makes for a truly Melbourne experience… dessert degustation-style of course.
Tucked away in Flinders Lane, the Adelphi Hotel is home to three wonderful things — the magnificent dessert platter at Ezard, the sparkling diamond-gilded cocktails of Mon Bijoux, and wait for it… the recently-opened Om Nom Dessert Bar. Up a short flight of stairs, you come upon a lounge area scattered with swing seats, ultra-trendy zizag soft furnishings, black cauldron chairs and a well-stocked bar that softly glows in the light reflecting off a sheet of hammered copper-coloured metal suspended from the ceiling. Take a seat, fellow dessert lovers, and cast your beady eyeballs on a dessert menu that numbers nine luscious (solid) dessert, and seven liquid desserts (i.e. sweet cocktails).
Ranging at a slightly over-priced bracket of $22-$26 for an individual, regular-sized dessert, or three miniature desserts for $50, we would advise that you opt for the latter option which is better value, and further that, you either eat a very light dinner or skip it entirely. Over two visits, these Dessert Correspondents managed to sample all nine desserts available at Om Nom. Yes, true diabetes-inducing gluttony. We will feature here our favourites that you simply must try. First up is the “Apple Sphere” ($24), a stunning ball of thin white chocolate enclosing a molten centre of vanilla ice cream infused with ginger, lemongrass, caramel and a citric tinge of yuzu. Sweet yet light. If you are not a white chocolate fan, the chocolate version is the “Avocado Mousse” ball, but for us, we found the avocado and chocolate somewhat mismatched.
We will crown the second dessert that we sampled as one of the prettiest desserts in Melbourne today — the “Raspberry Fields” ($24) was dessert Elysium on a plate. If Brooks’ “Forest Floor“ is a darker, moodier chocolate/hazelnut galore, Om Nom’s “Rasberry Fields” is lighter and girlier…and dare we say, more us. 🙂 The mushroom centrepiece was composed of a head of frozen raspberry sorbet perched on a meringue stem, surrounded by squirts of raspberry and rosewater creameux, syrupy-coated lychees, raspberries and strawberries, unflavoured popcorn crumble, and these amazing pops of lychee and rosewater that burst in your mouth.
After two fabulous desserts, perhaps you are aching for something lighter, yes? Look no further than the “Pineapple Verrine” ($26), a layered trifle-like tower that competed for our love of another similar tower dessert, being The Smith’s Knickerblocker Glory. At Om Nom’s, the dessert tower was lighter with a slight East-meets-West sensibility — it featured pineapple spiced with cardamon and star anise, red pepper jelly, strawberries that were rum-soaked (although we couldn’t discern this), and coconut and lemongrass foam.
If you are starting to think that Om Nom only serves modern fancies, think again. The “Chocolate Souffle” ($22) came rich and gooey with “Guayaquil 64% chocolate” and cocoa nibs, enlivened with a kalamansi sorbet.
And last but not least, the best dessert at Om Nom, in the respectful opinion of these Dessert Correspondents, is the “Basil Garden” ($24). You might have had basil ice cream at Persimmon or Mr Hive or the old Hare & Grace, but Om Nom’s rendition tops it all. Surrounded by chocolate crumble, a flower-shaped dark hocolate pot was filled with a breathtaking concoction of vanilla, olive oil and honey ice cream (yes, you can taste each component!), and orbs of lime, basil and white chocolate creameux.
Absence makes the heart fonder. It’s without irony that these Dessert Correspondents admit that about a year ago, we were starting to feel a little bored with Melbourne’s restaurant/dining/dessert scene. A few months away from home however, and that attitude is starting to change. Even so, Om Nom’s Dessert Bar is truly something special. Here, you will find innovative desserts that bypass the same-old, same-old trends that many restaurants fall over themselves trying to replicate and plagiarise. Not a salted caramel, dainty macaron, gourmet doughnut or hybrid pastry dossant/cronut/cruffin rubbish in sight at Om Nom. Just beautifully presented, fully flavoured yet balanced, refined dessert creativity at its best. Bravo to that, we say.
Dessert adventure checklist
- ☑ Dessert destination: Om Nom Dessert Bar, Adelphi Hotel, Ground Floor, 187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD, Vic 3000.
- ☑ Budget: $$-$$$
- ☑ Sweet irresistibles: Dessert degustation.
- ☑ Must-eat: The “Basil Garden” dessert.
- ☑ The short and sweet story: Creative, refined desserts in a laneway location makes for a truly Melbourne experience… dessert degustation-style of course.