Matcha Maiden

My Account

OM NOM'S MATCHA MAIDEN MENU!

A luxurious, sumptuously decorated bar... Desserts that look like pieces of art and taste unimaginably delicious.... Sounds like pure heaven, doesn't it?? WELL, we are delighted to inform you that such a place actually exists in real life - Om Nom Dessert Kitchen + Bar. With Head Chef/MasterChef Judge/all-round legend, Christy Tania, leading the way, Om Nom is a foodie miracle!

Matcha Maiden loves hunting down fabulous foodie finds all around the world and this hidden treasure in one of Melbourne's famous alleyways is up there with the best! Situated in the iconic Adelphi Hotel, Om Nom is one of a kind - a stunningly designed intimate space boasting an extraordinary menu of exquisite desserts (but also covering the full savoury spectrum). With swings for seats and world class chefs, mixologists and dessert artists, we were absolutely blown away when Om Nom designed a full Matcha Maiden menu!! We couldn't help but share each of their incredible creations with a few words from each of the talented designers behind them. Enjoy! 

++++++++++++++++++++++

THE MATCHA MAIDEN MENU

Scampi ceviche with Matcha Bisque, popped rice and tomato granita
Lamb ribs with sweet potato and matcha puree
Sabayon mascarpone matcha with black sesame cremeux and vanilla tonka cremeux. Black sesame sable, burnt almond ice cream, burnt almond financier and apricot cheesecake (all paste is house made)
Cocktail: matcha, coconut, avocado, gin, lillet blanc
Mocktail: matcha, coconut, avocado and orange blossoms

++++++++++++++++++++++

DARREN - The Savoury Superstar

Matcha masterpieces:

  • Scampi ceviche with Matcha Bisque, popped rice and tomato granita
  • Lamb ribs with sweet potato and matcha puree

Snap from Madeleine Gill Photography 

Tell us about yourself.

I have a two-year-old daughter who is the centre of my life. I’ve always been passionate about cooking and love being in the kitchen. I did my apprenticeship in NZ, then moved to Sydney and started working my way to the chef I am today.

What are your favourite savoury dishes to cook?

I think I would say fish, particularly with the skin on, because it is very delicate, and there needs to be a balance between heat and time to ensure a crispy skin without overcooking the fish.

What was your inspiration behind this dish? 

Ceviche – When I first tried Matcha, it was obvious it needed some sweetness to go with it so I thought it might go well with seafood. I mixed some dashi with my tea and continued to drink. That wasn’t very nice – I think there was too much dashi. So I decided to make Bisque, and while I was thinking of what shells to use I decided I would do a scampi dish.

Lamb – growing up in New Zealand I ate a lot of lamb, and loved eating it with a mash/puree. Thinking that the Matcha needed something sweet to go with it I decided to use sweet potato (or Kumura in New Zealand).

What is involved in creating a new dish from scratch?

Failure – just like my Dashi Matcha – you don’t know until you try. I’m sure with more time, trials and the right item to serve with it, it could eventually be a nice combination. But the first thing to think about is what produce you want the dish to feature, what’s in season, what’s within the budget, and what flavours work with each other. Then we start looking at texture, colour, smells, plating, etc, and all of that means trial and error.

How do you stay on top of the new food trends? 

I guess with social media today it is easier than ever to see what people all over the world are doing, but I also rely on family and friends who have recently eaten out, travelled or experienced something new.

One quirky thing about being a chef that most people wouldn’t know?

It can become quite difficult to watch friends or family cook at home as you sometimes just want to jump in and show them a much better or easier way of doing it. (Come live with us please??)

++++++++++++++++++++++

CHRISTY - Dessert Designer Extraordinaire

Matcha masterpiece

  • Sabayon mascarpone matcha with black sesame cremeux and vanilla tonka cremeux. Black sesame sable, burnt almond ice cream, burnt almond financier and apricot cheesecake (all paste is house made)

Snap from Madeleine Gill Photography

A little bit about Christy...

Christy is an internationally acclaimed pastry and dessert chef. Classically trained in France for advanced Pastry Art at L'Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie under tutelage of renowned chefs Alan Ducasse and Yves Thuries, she has worked in numerous fine dining restaurants such as the two Michelin star L’Espadon in the famous Ritz Hotel in Paris and Guy Savoy in Singapore.

In Australia, Christy has graced the kitchens at the coveted three hat restaurants Vue de Monde and Jacques Raymond and was the opening chef for the pastry section of the Melbourne branch of Sake where she combined French flavour with Asian, particularly Japanese. In 2013, Christy became the opening Head Chef of Om Nom, the only Dessert-themed 5 star Boutique Hotel in Australia. The establishment received its first hat, Australia’s equivalent to a Michelin star, within 2 months of opening.

In 2014 Christy was the youngest Pastry Chef Judge to appear on the highly appraised MasterChef Australia TV series. The show cemented her position in Australia as a force to be reckoned with in the future of Australia’s gastronomy field. She was invited to return to MasterChef Australia for the 2015 series and she will also feature as a guest judge on MasterChef Indonesia 2015.

Christy’s recent stints in Australia’s pastry world continues as she joins the advisory board for William Angliss Institute Pastry division, the biggest culinary institute in Victoria. She is also the presenting guest chef at the Victorian Culinary Institute’s Woman In Leadership chef’s society event in June 2015.

I’ve heard you say that dessert is multifaceted – what do you mean by this?

There are many different ways to enjoy dessert. A lot of people think that a cake after a meal or something sweet would be considered dessert. It has to come in the form of cake and be pretty like a lady. Hence, the reason why many think that dessert is such a feminine thing. Having worked in France and drilled military style in the kitchen; I have seen it all work the other way around. It doesn’t matter what your gender is, it is a very serious industry to get into. However, I have also seen so many ways one can enjoy dessert.

I believe, you can have dessert as it is, a sweet cake or gateaux or as plated desserts. There are also movements for a la minute desserts; imagine pastry chefs behind the bar instead of bartenders. When you order an espresso martini, he/she will grab the martini glass and instead of whipping up a cocktail, you'll get a dessert version out of it. Collaborations with different suppliers could result in an interesting twist as well; for example, ice cream with cheese, booze and condiments. The opportunities in the pastry world are endless.

How do you find new flavour inspiration?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes mistakes could be the beginning of new flavour. For example, the burnt almond ice cream that I pair with the matcha dessert... Ideas never sleep.

Snap from Madeleine Gill Photography

Why do love cooking with matcha?

Matcha has a very distinctive flavour and it has been known for ages as the ‘asian’ go-to flavour. When people think about creating a dish with matcha, they would think of dessert. Because of its earthy, bitter attribute, people thought the only way to cook with it to ensure it wouldn't be too much in your face, would be to add sugar, milk and make it subtle. I personally always think of matcha as a very earthy component and it could be used in any cooking. It is actually a very versatile ingredient! That’s why we created not just dessert, but also savoury dishes, cocktail and mocktail!

What inspired this matcha dessert creation?

I wanted to take the matcha out of the usual expected mixture. I want it to have a balance of earthiness, acidity and sweet aroma. A little accident I had a while ago brought me back to the smell of nutty caramel and pop corn that came out when I accidentally burnt almond paste. So I thought, that is a good balance to the earthiness attribute of the matcha. I also wanted to throw a fresh, sour flavour to the palate. Not too sour since it would overcome the mild burnt almond flavour. Apricot it is then! It is very much a fun combination.

One quirky thing about being a dessert creator that most people wouldn’t know?

So many people and a lot of my friends told me they are so afraid of serving me desserts they made or bought. There is a belief that because I created these mythical desserts (in their words), that I would judge their creations. Being a judge in MasterChef doesn’t really help with this conception either. HOWEVER…. When my chef jacket is off, I am not a chef. I am not the same person as the crazy chef who created Mango Alphonso dessert. I am as normal as Aunt Julie. As plain as Jane and as easy to satisfy as a puppy. Talking to my colleagues, it seems they feel the same way. When we all sit together, sure, we talk about food (because we just love food too much). But with other friends and family? Serve me a wedge of warm chocolate brownies and a scoop of vanilla ice cream and I would love you for life.

++++++++++++++++++++++

 DANIEL - Cocktail Creator

Matcha masterpiece

  • Cocktail: matcha, coconut, avocado, gin, lillet blanc
  • Mocktail: matcha, coconut, avocado and orange blossoms

Tell us about yourself...

I was very fortunate in life. I grew up by the river where my family and I grew all kinds of vegetables; we had pigs, chickens, rabbits, goats, olive trees, corn… We used to make our own wine and grappa. My dad had a car garage where he would fix the bodywork of a car, so I can pull a car apart and put it back together. I was also building my house at the same time. All of that made me very very very good at DYI. Better than most builders these days!

Then I went to London for 10 years where, again, I had the good fortune to work for a year in a team that was called by everyone, “the best bartenders team in all of the UK”. I learnt more in that year that in the previous 6 years of bartending. I've learned the best from the best. Then I got offered a job in Kuala Lumpur to open a new bar/restaurant for one of the royal family members of Malaysia.

Where do you get your inspiration for different flavours and textures?

From everywhere I’ve travelled, from when I was growing up and watching my mom and grandmother cooking, from other bars and bartenders, bartenders blogs, books, chefs, anywhere really. Sometimes, all it takes is just walking by a garden and smelling certain scents together. Always try to work close to chefs as they have an amazing palate and create new things.

Snap from Madeleine Gill Photography

Do you prefer traditional cocktails or experimenting?

Both; when I go out, I always stick to simple things like a beer and a shot, rum and ginger beer or a nice glass of wine :) But I like to experiment with new things when I’m behind the bar, just so I know whether combinations would work or not with the guests I’m serving. I'm always looking to learn and develop more. Knowledge is a great thing in life. I always want to learn anything from anyone. 

What’s your all-time favourite cocktail?

Airmail or Dark and Stormy 

One quirky thing about being a bartender that most people wouldn’t know?

I like to watch at people's body language, their watches, their shoes, the way they dress… Are they on a first date or just cheating on their partner, on a business meeting or just friends meeting for a couple of drinks? After working in bars for so many years, you learn what's fake, what's real, how to read people's behaviour, who has the real money and who hasn't (you would be surprised how many 'American Express' holders can wait at the bar for at least 30 minutes for a drink and not complain, while the random 'Visa Debit' complaint comes after 10 minutes of waiting). You also learn when to chat and when to be quiet and keep secrets, when they are being nice to you just to achieve something or when they really meant it.

I see it as a real gift in life – it's one of the reasons I felt in love with this job.

Snap from Madeleine Gill Photography

++++++++++++++++++++++

 

 Head to Om Nom's website to read more: http://omnom.kitchen/