This year has definitely gone by quickly, and I can't believe it's mid October already. Cheesecake Boy knows that when October comes around that he's sure to be taken to some out of the ordinary Crave event that has sparked my interest. This October was no different, and Dan Hong's "Dude Food Deg" was the only event that really caught my eye. What was meant to be a one-off five course degustation has stretched over to three different weekends due to its popularity, and who can blame them when inspiration for this crazy meal comes from Dan Hong's love of junk food and hip hop tunes. This was the perfect lunch for Cheesecake Boy and I as we really do love our junk food, especially Cheesecake Boy who can easily polish off a box of Pizza Shapes in one sitting, if I left him to his own devices.
The degustation to cover the five courses was a reasonable $70, and with matching drinks with each course it would be an additional $50 on top. Unfortunately for Cheesecake Boy he was the designated driver so he played it safe with a couple of beers, and as for me... Well, there was no way I could have been able to finish off all five drinks over lunch. After ordering our drinks the ever bubbly Chocolatesuze arrived, and we ended up enjoying this fun filled lunch together.
Instead of matching wines I started off with the Gold Member, which was an intense orange and creamy concoction of belvedere pomarancza which is a Polish orange vodka, the amaro montenegro really heighten the sweetness but then gave way to a slightly bitter finish, the addition of yuzu curd gave the cocktails its innate creaminess and an intense piece of flamed orange topped off this creation. Cheesecake Boy on the other hand went for a couple of his much loved Asahi's over our 3 hour lunch.
|Gold Member, $18|
We started off with what looked like your standard spring roll and empanada. Cheesecake Boy forgot that we were meant to be eating dude food, so was surprised by the cheeseburger spring roll. I thought it tasted exactly like a Big Mac, but Cheesecake Boy who spent his teens working at Maccas thought it tasted like a cross between a Big Mac and a Quarter Pounder. The spring roll for both of us was a highlight, we could have definitely polished off a couple more of these.
Now onto the empanada doner kebab, it definitely reminder me of a doner kebab due to the juicy chucks of tomatoes and hint of tabouleh coming through. However, a doner kebab is not quite a doner kebab for us without the sauce. My sauce of choice would have been barbeque, whilst Cheesecake Boy's would have loved a hint of garlic and chilli to give it his full seal of approval.
|Cheese burger "spring roll" and Empanada "doner kebab"|
The next course was Indomie with fried quail egg, deep fired eshays and "pulled buffalo wing" sauce. This was a play on Indomie Mi goreng instant noodles. I was definitely surprised to see this on the menu, as instant noodles do not grace the pantry of our household. Although, as a child my favourite were the Nissan chicken flavour instant noodles. However, I was more than pleasantly surprised with this plate of instant noodles that was dished up to us. It was incredibly packed with flavour, thanks to the punchy pulled buffalo wing sauce, and the fried eschallots added a nice crunch and were wonderfully fragrant. We loved the fried quail egg, as the oozy yolk when mixed into the noddles went swimmingly well with the spiciness of the sauce. I'd reconsider bringing back instant noodles into our pantry, if they always taste as good as this.
|Indomie with fried quail egg, deep fired eshays and "pulled buffalo wing" sauce|
The pepperoni pizza wontons with napoletana consomme drew mixed reactions. This was Cheesecake Boy's least favourite dish of the meal. However, I really enjoyed the combination of the rich and sweet napoletana consomme and delicate pepperori pizza wontons, don't get me wrong my brain was like these are wontons, but it tasted subtly like pepperoni pizza, the two things really opposed each other, but I think it really worked. The wontons were beautifully cooked, and the filling was actually textural quite soft like sausage mince, but slightly chunkier.
|Pepperoni pizza wontons with napoletana consomme|
In anticipation of the hot dog tasting plate, I got the matching beer being Coopers Pale Ale, as really is nothing quite like having hot dogs and downing it with a beer at times. This was definitely one of those times.
|Coopers Pale Ale, $8|
We had been waiting patiently for our tasting of hotdogs, this was definitely one of the dishes that we were really looking forward to. We were instructed to eat the foie gras and truffle hotdog first, as it was quite rich. Let me say that the foie gras and truffle hotdog was truly decadent. All that foie gras and creamy truffle sauce was really a force to be reckoned with, and was well complemented against the plain sweet pork sausage. The soft white roll really helped soak up all that delectable creamy richness. This was definitely one of the craziest combinations that I've ate year to date.
The Chicago style hotdog of Frankfurt style sausage, tomato, pickle and mustard was a more traditional combination, and actually helped ease you back in after all the foie gras and truffle goodness. In true Chicago style, there was no ketchup on these hot dogs.
The corndog was actually my favourite, and it's probably the best corn dog that I've ever ate too. If these ever become a regular addition to the menu, I'd definitely be making my way back here soon. My love for this corndog was probably due to the fact that it immediately reminded me of the first pluto pup that I had ever ate. The ratio of batter and sausage was just right in my books, as the simplicity of the fantastic cornmeal batter with a slightly salty sausage topped with just the right amount of tomato sauce and mustard, was more than enough to put me in a blissful state.
|Tasting of hotdogs: foie gras and truffle hotdog, Chicago style hotdog and corndog|
If I thought the foie gras and truffle hotdog was crazy, then our dessert was off the charts bonkers. There aren't many people around who could dream up a creation consisting of donut ice cream with candied bacon, banana fritter, pretzel praline, peanut butter and raspberry jam and make it work. I can honestly say that Cheesecake Boy and I were smiling ear to ear whilst we were savouring each mouth full. The banana fritter was wrapped in kunefe, so it made the fritter much lighter, and I enjoyed the texture of the crispy noodles against the divine donut ice cream. The ice cream reminded me of hot cinnamon donuts and it went so well with the raspberry jam and thick smears of peanut butter. Let's not forget the pretzel bits and crunchy pretzel praline tossed in for good measure as well. Last, but not least was the candied bacon, I only wished that the bacon had been crispier, but the sugary syrup simply glistened on each piece and compelled us to keep indulging.
|Donut ice cream with candied bacon, banana fritter, pretzel praline, peanut butter and raspberry jam|
There's one more Dude Food Deg scheduled for the 29th of this month. It's currently booked out, but keep your eye open for any cancellations if your interested, as it really was a fun meal that played with my mind and delighted the senses. I noticed that Lotus' sunset menu which is only available 6-7pm is finishing up at the end of this month, so here's your last chance to to get two courses for $30 and three courses for $39. The menu is limited, but "the cheeseburger" is on the menu, which may be enough of an incentive to visit soon. By the way, the service here is fantastic, nothing is ever too much trouble and Cheesecake Boy and I couldn't be happier.
Munching away, Dumpling Girl.
LotusPh: (02) 9326 9000
22 Challis Avenue
Potts Point NSW 2011
22 Challis Avenue
Potts Point NSW 2011