Sugar Hit: Glass Brasserie & Azuma Kushiyaki, 1 Oct 2010

October means for Monsieur Poisson and I what used to be known as Good Food Month. For the past couple of years revamped as Sydney International Food Festival, it remains our favourite way to indulge our sweet tooths in special Sugar Hit dessert menus and it also happens to be how we started dating. Our shared love of food is one of the things which brought us together and, well, when first dating you don’t have to worry about not having anything to say if you’re simultaneously stuffing your faces with food!

As per previous years, Sugar Hit desserts are offered at participating venues throughout October with a glass of dessert wine for $20 from 9-11pm. This year’s program sees the disappearance of quite a few hotels which have featured in the past, which is a shame because it’s always nice to sit in a hotel and indulge in the pretend notion that you’re away on holidays.

Worried about missing out, we jump in early this year and book last year’s two most popular venues – Glass Brasserie and Azuma Kushiyaki – as our starting point.

Glass Brasserie
We are running half an hour late whilst trying to secure parking in the vicinity of Hilton Hotel in which Glass is located. Monsieur Poisson is getting irritated (something which almost never happens) and I decide to cancel the reservation out of courtesy and so as not to run late for our next stop at Azuma Kushiyaki. Of course as soon as I do this we all manage to find parking spaces and score a table at Glass post-cancellation. Such is the cruel conspiracy of nature.

Described simply as ‘Alcazar chocolate and coffee cake’, we are presented with a rich multilayered cake with texture somewhere between mud cake and fudge. The cake is sitting on a slick of melted chocolate – not chocolate sauce as per our initial impressions – with a small pile of pistachio crumbs at the opposite end of the rectangular plate. There is an after-note of bitterness which we attribute to the darkness of the chocolate rather than the coffee which is not very obvious at all. Paired with a slightly sticky Brown Brothers Cienna & Cabernet, you get a wonderful chocolate berry flavour – the husband likens the wine to an alcoholic Ribena! And for those shying away from alcohol, Glass will happily swap this for coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Azuma Kushiyaki
Due to our delayed start at Glass, we call Azuma Kushiyaki to push back our reservation and are very kindly accommodated. Their Sugar Hit last year was booked out by mid-month and was extended to run into November on accord of its popularity. Sharing its name with last year’s Sugar Hit, the ‘East meets West – Dessert Tasting Plate’ is a neatly-presented affair comprised of several components.

Monsieur Poisson chooses the Brown Brothers Orange Muscat & Flora which has featured heavily in Sugar Hits past, while I go for a cleansing cup of green tea. There is also Hennessy XO on offer for those a little more hardcore, or perhaps with more refined tastes.

The dessert tasting plate is brought out in two stacked Japanese-style boxes. In one there is ‘Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis’ and ‘Belgian Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberry Coulis centre & freeze-dried Raspberry Flakes’ in the other. I start with the smooth soft-set panna cotta flecked with the occasional vanilla seed with tart berry coulis on top – it reminds me of strawberries and cream but requires no chewing. I move onto the other box of goodies before finishing with the chocolate mousse which has a tiny hidden sponge and berry coulis centre, but the highlight for me is the fluffy berry mousse layer on top and the dried berry bits. And I’m not even a person who normally enjoys eating mousse!

The other box is a bit heavier with a ‘Green Tea Ganache Tart’, ‘Petit Almond Financier’, ‘Wasabi Ganache Tart’ and ‘macaroon’ [sic]. The flavours of the macarons change daily and are decorated with different smiley face expressions – a cute Japanese touch to your dessert. There is only one macaron per dessert plate but we receive two flavours between us – orange with an orange zesty filling, and coconut (I think) with a yuzu-like centre. These and the financier are polished off quite easily while the tarts have me defeated. I was going into sugar overload by this point and with both tarts being crust heavy, although a buttery crumbly one at that, it means there is more shortbread-like pastry than filling. The matcha tart is obvious in flavour while the wasabi ganache has us divided – at least three of us can’t taste the wasabi and I was really hoping for an after-kick as you do with chilli chocolate.

Overall a fun and very sugar-filled evening, but I’m afraid attempting two Sugar Hits is no longer recommended for this small Asian female!

Level 2, Hilton Hotel, 488 George St, Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9265 6068

Ground floor of Regent Place, 501 George St, Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9267 7775

happy eating!


  1. Awesome little boxes there :)

  2. Wow, you've already started the SIFF right from the getgo! I didn't even realise it had already started, shame on me. A chocolate ribena sounds like something I want to try!

  3. Oooo... chocolate ribena sounds bloody awesome!

    WOW! Two sugar hits in one night! My hat off to you and being so quick to post. The choc cake looks divine

  4. haha two sugar hits! love it

    they look like present boxes hehehe

  5. I was hoping that you'd post this soon! The Azuma one looks good, but you're right, it doesn't look as fancy as last years! I'm definitely going to book it though. The Glass one looks really rich, I loved last year's chocolate assiette.

  6. Yummmm! I had not heard of this part of the festival till now.. thanks for sharing :D

  7. These look great. I like the winking macaron. I must get to a sugar hit or two this Oct.

  8. arent u fast on the SIFF coverage! seems like Glass doesnt have as many elements compared to last year and so is Azuma.

    I like how they drew little faces on the macarons. very cute touch.

  9. how cute are the smileys on the macarons! Wonder if there's a similar event down here in Melbourne... a sugar hit or two sounds like a fab idea!

  10. I think you're the first person to post up a Sugar Hit review this SIFF 2010! The SH at Glass I must admit does not look as good as last years. I have Azuma on my to-do list :)

  11. Maybe it's just me but Azuma's sugar hit seems the better value of the two.

    Wasabi ganaches sounds interesting.

  12. I was thinking you must have had a MASSIVE sugar hit going to two places in one night!!

    The dessert at Azuma looks like better value!

  13. You are a brave woman attempting two sugar hits in one evening. Azuma would be the winner for me, yum. Shame the wasabi ganache didn't have a bit of kick.

  14. I too get annoyed at myself if I'm running late for a booking. And it is almost always the parkings fault!! At least you managed to score a park and get into both restaurants! Good luck was on your side.

  15. It is so sad to see all the dessert on Sugar Hit is downsizing for the same price. They are really losing it. But the Glass' chocolate cake pairing with Ribena alcohol sounds amazing!

  16. it's only a couple of days into october and you've already made it to two sugar hits!! am definitely getting my booking at azuma kushiyaki - so many desserts on the one plate!!

  17. Hey Fiona, similiar presentation to last years, although some boxes had handles - cute!

    Hey Retrodaze, gotta get in early with these things especially with my husband's work schedule!

    Hey Phuoc, haha, everyone's going mad for the choc-Ribena combination! But not likely to do two Sugar Hits in the one evening again =(

    Hey Grace, Azuma's keeping it similar to last year's and with a Japanese touch.

    Hey missklicious, Azuma's this year is still good but last year's seem to have more Japanese influence? I'm afraid I missed out of Glass last year =(

    Hey Ladybird, no?! This is the only thing I ever seem to do that's part of SIFF =p

    Hey Mark, the macarons were definitely the attention-getter once the boxes were presented.

    Hey sugarpuffi, have to be quick coz I'm otherwise rather busy lately =p Azuma still has lots of components like last year, but Glass has gone for a simpler affair this year.

    Hey Celeste, the smiley faces definitely add a childlike touch to the dessert platters. Melbourne has more regular food events, but not sure if there is anything month-long like this.

    Hey D, it's always appealing when a dessert is comprised of many components and Azuma's was quite filling too!

    Hey Simon, perhaps it's the illusion of there being lots of little desserts? Wanted more wasabi in my ganache.

    Hey April, I was buzzing afterwards and the next morning, I tell you!

    Hey Sara, I used to do two in one evening all the time! But age has got the better of me now =(

    Hey Gastronomy Gal, we thought we'd have to miss out on one of them for sure but then it all fell into place =) Bit rushed with the eating though!

    Hey Billy, I wish every place did a tasting plate like how they used to =(

    Hey Panda, lots of sugary fun on Azuma's platter definitely!

  18. Two hits in one night, thats my kind of evening! well done and the Azuma macarons make me smile! ahh which reminds me, im running out of time to book! october is one fun month indeed :)

  19. Hey Gianna, no more double-hits scheduled and not something we'll be trying again in future, I don't think! And the macarons really are just so cute =)

  20. Thanks for the Glass Sugar Hit preview.

    That's a pretty big servings from Azuma - wasabi ganache?! Crazy..!

  21. Hey Tina, other people who've been say they can taste the wasabi in the ganache so either mine was from a lightly-flavoured batched or my tastebuds are immune!


Thanks for leaving a comment!


Related Posts with Thumbnails