Sugar Hit: Shangri-La, 15 Oct 2010

I am old enough to remember fashion, hair, make-up and most definitely music from the 80s. The decade was about success, excess and not being afraid to show it across parts of the world which were in economic boom. There has been an obvious revival of that decade’s trends in recent years and the 80s was the first thing that sprung to mind upon being presented with Shangri-La’s Sugar Hit for 2010, replete with miniature gold foil umbrella.

Almost every drink was served with a paper umbrella (one of my favourite kitschy items) back then – from alcoholic cocktails to soft drinks for kids – in a myriad of bright garish colours. So it is fitting that Shangri-La’s interpretation of black forest cake, a most popular dessert choice in the day, in cocktail form be adorned with one and a shiny gold one at that. We were excited to see Brown Brothers Cienna & Cabernet make an appearance again, as we had learnt from Glass’ Sugar Hit that its berry flavours match rather well with chocolate.

The ‘Black Forest cocktail’ itself is made up of a ‘vanilla panna cotta’ at the bottom with visible vanilla seeds. Its taste however is not all that vanilla-y and is not set how I expect a panna cotta to be, with a texture more akin to a whipped thickened cream. There’s also an artificial-tasting flavour which I can’t identify that could be a liqueur of some sort? On top of this sits a thin round of ‘cocoa sponge’ which is on the dry side and a disc of tempered dark chocolate. Balanced atop these layers is a lacy dark chocolate ring which holds a mousse-like ‘chocolate cream, cherries in kirsch and chocolate bonbon’. The cherries are quite intense in their alcoholic flavour while the bonbon has a soft chocolate ganache centre. Spiked into this basket of chocolate cream are three tempered dark chocolate “legs” as well as that umbrella.

The tempered chocolate is a standout with a distinct crack when broken into with a spoon, however it is also this characteristic which makes it a little hard to eat when not on a plate and with soft foundations underneath. The panna cotta leaves us confused with its texture and flavour, but this dessert cocktail’s other components are definitely true to that of a black forest cake.

176 Cumberland St, The Rocks, Sydney NSW
Tel: (02) 9250 6123

happy eating!


  1. Hihihihihihi!! wow you description is perfect! but I think I was already in a sugar coma by that stage haha

  2. LOL that damn umbrella! Overall the dessert was decent enough but I can't over that weird panna cotta. There was kirsch in this but I don't think they used a great quality one.

    But yay for umbrella! :P

  3. That is a piece of art but too bad sometimes they seem to concentrate more on the appearance and the deco rather than the taste and the texture!

  4. A very architecturally interesting dessert and very 80s inspired. A shame it didn't quite hit the mark with taste and texture.

  5. going here on the 23rd! not gonna have great expectations for the taste now ahaha.

    shhh dont say u remember stuff from the 80s!

  6. Yep, it sure does LOOK spectacular!

  7. That is a cocktail? Gosh... how to drink/eat it?

  8. That's such a cool-looking dessert. I think I'd overlook any minuses in the taste department...

  9. The legs make it look too spider-y for me. I wouldn't be able to relax enough to eat it. Eek.

  10. What a work of art! That chocolate basket holding the choc mousse looks wonderful... Still trying to figure out which Sugar Hit to go to...

  11. teehee the umbrella totes made me laugh!

  12. ow...that's a pity, you also got a dry cocoa sponge :( did the golden umbrella made up for the dry sponge ? ^_^

  13. Well, it sure looks how you describe it :-)

  14. The golden umbrella and the beautiful chocolate basket!!

  15. Sugar me up! Your commitment to Sugar Hits this year has been impressive. A shame the taste of this one didn't live up (?) to its over-the-top presentation. lol

  16. Hey FFichiban, hiiiiii! Can't wait for the Sugar Hit crawl post =D

    Hey Karen, ahhh kirsch! But that umbrella had me right from the start.

    Hey Maria, really a beautifully-presented dessert. At least it had great chocolate!

    Hey Sarah, complete embodiment of the 80s! Unusual type of panna cotta though.

    Hey sugarpuffi, it actually tasted nice apart from the panna cotta part - no need to worry!

    Hey YaYa, kitschy but suitably over the top? Haha.

    Hey Penny, presented as a cocktail in a glass but most definitely a dessert designed to be eaten.

    Hey Bel, definitely one of the more interesting presentations this year.

    Hey Conor, glad I'm not the only one who found it spidery in appearance! It's the legs and the cherry eyes and the chocolate body?

    Hey Phuoc, the choc mousse was quite nice, although it was described as a cream.

    Hey chocolatesuze, I took the umbrellas home =p

    Hey Monica, the umbrella made up for the dry sponge but no the runny panna cotta I'm afraid!

    Hey Juliana, not your average dessert presentation!

    Hey Ellie, loved the basket! Actually all the chocolate components were really nicely done.

    Hey Helen, think I'm getting sugared out! The intake is slowing down but I'm glad we fit this one in with its umbrella.

  17. Lady - I'm getting diabetes via your valiant efforts! Love the look of this one - very fun!

  18. Hey Forager, I think I did my last one for the year last night - definitely experiencing sugar overload!


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