Poul and I both have a sweet tooth so when we were in Hong Kong, we were both eager to try Atum Desserant, which is a restaurant that only serves desserts. Their most famous menu item is the Improvisation, priced at 348HKD for 2 persons.
Each Improvisation is a unique piece of edible artwork, based on the chef’s creative thoughts and guided by the preferences of the guests. Before commencing his masterpiece, our chef asked us what kind of sauces we liked, whether we wanted a black or a white canvas and if there were any ingredients we were particularly fond of. Then he started working and the final result, which took about 20 minutes to finish, was marvelous. I eat just as much with my eyes, as with my mouth, and watching this beautiful piece come together was a feast for all senses.
A dominating element in our Improvisation was honeycomb toffee, which is a crisp and airy kind of toffee made from sugar syrup and baking soda. The taste is like slightly burnt toffee with a touch of licorice, and it seems to be very popular among dessert chefs right now. Fruit jelly is a staple in many Asian desserts, and through the years, I’ve learned to appreciate it. Poul is not quite there yet, so I was left with the pleasant task of clearing the plate of wobbly yellow mandarin flavored cubes. The nitrogen ice cream was more his jam, so I let him have that to himself.
348HKD may sound like a lot of money for dessert, but considering how much food you actually get, it’s not unreasonable. It’s a great experience to watch the chef in action right in front of you, and there are many really cool gimmicks along the way such as when the chef made pink candy floss or the grand finale, when a rose was freeze dried and then shattered over our dessert. In the video, you can see how our dessert was created.