The Adelphi has sat on Flinders Lane since the early 1930s, when it was an industrial soft-goods warehouse. It was converted into a luxury boutique hotel in the 1980s, and early last year relaunched as the city’s first dessert-themed hotel, with a luxe decor that creates the feeling of being on the inside of a candy wrapper.
Inside the hotel is fine-dining dessert bar Om Nom, which has grown a quiet following since its debut last year. Om Nom has made a name for itself with head pastry chef Christy Tania’s stints on Masterchef Australia, setting pressure-test challenges to recreate pastries from her Signature Dessert range.
Much like the hotel’s rooftop pool, which hangs weightless over the street below, her intricate, gravity-defying sculptures of chocolate, meringue, fruit, and pastry are constructed with methods that seem more appropriate in a laboratory than a kitchen. “It’s like you’re a mad scientist. It’s a combination between culinary art, philosophy and science,” says Tania.
Now Om Nom is bringing a savoury counterpart to its menu with a new lunch and dinner series, Kitchen Collective. Tania has enlisted the help of some friends, and will feature a different chef and menu every three months. The first guest savoury chef to work with Tania is a surprise in the form of Arnold Poernomo, one of the judges on Masterchef Indonesia. Poernomo is bringing a modern Jakartan flavour to Om Nom’s menu.
At the end of the chef’s stint there’ll be a pop-up dinner featuring a five-course degustation showcasing both Poernomo and Tania’s culinary skills with meals that have not been seen on the menu before. There’ll be three savoury courses and two desserts as well as an amuse bouche and petit fours (small treats to please the palate). “It’s inspired by his style as a chef from an Indonesian background, and I have to interpret those flavours my way. It’s just meant to be fun,” says Tania.
You can’t go past Om Nom’s most famous dessert, Raspberry Field. Straight out of a fairy tale, the pink-and-white toadstools are a construction of raspberry, lychee, meringue and rosewater. Complement it with the Adelphi Rose cocktail – with gentle flavours of rose-and-cucumber-scented gin, rosewater and cardamom syrup and lychee and grapefruit juices.
“I’m of the belief that you eat with your eyes,” says Tania. “I found through pastry I could create edible art.”
The Arnold Poernomo pop-up dinner degustations will be held from October 13 to October 20 for $160 per person. To make a booking, call (03) 8080 8827.
187 Flinders Lane, Melbourne