Meet Fresh has been a run away success in Sydney. Located in the Chinatown mall near the pagoda, the queue is legendary, night and day. Seems like every other Sydney-sider has been, I’m still a Meet Fresh virgin. I haven’t been because I won’t queue.
Kat, a contributor to noodlies and a friend, also happens to be marketing manager of both Easyway and Meet Fresh. She’s been trying to get me to review Meet Fresh for ages, which perplexes me ’cause they obviously don’t need the promotion.
We finally decided we’d do an special, VIP bloggers Meet Fresh tasting, more people means more fun and I can sample a bit of everything, as long as it’s still a small, intimate group. And the night was a hoot, thanks to my good humoured, cheeky and very, very funny fellow Sydney based food bloggers Simon (the Heart of Food), Betty (sugarpuffi), Julie (I Dream of Chocolate), Rafael (ramenraff) and of course Kat (noodlies contributor). You’ll see in the noodlies Sydney food blog video post, we laughed and laughed, several times I had to hold back the stitches.
Our table was quickly full of food and drinks, 11 different delicious, colourful, intriguing Chinese desserts and drinks, both hot and cold (see full list at the end of this post).
For those not familiar with Chinese dessert, the ingredients range from the plain through to interesting to outright weird, red and honey beans, herbal jelly, sweet potato, lotus seeds, tofu… and more. The main binding ingredient is sugar and lots of it, which somehow makes everything perfect. These Chinese desserts have made their way across Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Taiwan, where Meet Fresh comes from. Sometimes the whole thing can be too sweet, filling you with contentment in the hot Asian climate, but rendering you instantly thirsty again. Meet Fresh’s secret is finding that balance between satisfying sweetness without the side-effect of sugar induced thirst.
Take the Taro Balls No 7 above is a typical smorgasbord of flavour, texture and colour, from black pearls, brown honey beans, purple taro mash, sweet potato balls and crushed iced, all bound together in a sweet syrup, with milk on the side in case you needed more texture. It sounds crazy, but each mouthful is a different but complimentary sensation, it’s more-ish, addictive, the servings are very, very generous. The large servings are an immediate ‘romantic’ hit with couples using it as an excuse to share.
Meet Fresh signature herbal jelly above contains a Chinese dessert favourite – herbal (grass) jelly that’s the dark jelly bed with taro and sweet potato balls. Eating this dessert always makes me think of my late mother, who used to spoon feed me herbal jelly dessert with syrup as a child.
Tofu pudding with lotus seeds is about contrasting the silky smooth, tofu with crunchy, nutty lotus seeds.
Taro Balls No 3 by contrast is a hot dessert, and lurking underneath the red beans syrup you’ll find peanuts, pearls, taro and sweet potato balls.
Supreme Mango with milky crushed ice is wrong on soooo many levels yet so right; ice cream with ice, mango with milk? Yet somehow the mango pieces and this bazaar mish-mash works, the ice cutting some of the sweetness. My favourite dessert of the night.
And there’s also a range of teas both hot and cold (check out the vide0)… all in all, we had 11 different types of desserts, which sent me home buzzing.
VIP Bloggers Meet Fresh Tasting
– Camelia Tea (Hot) – Newly launched
– Lemon Wintermelon Tea (Cold)
– Herbal Ice with Whipped Cream
– Honey Lemonade (Cold)
– Mountain Green Tea (Cold)
– Soda Tea Float Series – Mango and Yaleto
– Taro Ball No. 7 (Taro mash+Honey Beans +Pearls) Cold
– Taro Balls No. 3 (Red Beans+ Peanuts+Pearls) Hot
– Signature Herbal Jelly (Taro Balls) Cold
– Tofu Pudding with Lotus Seeds (Cold)
– Supreme Mango with Milky Crushed Ice
That’s my whirlwind adventure through the world of Chinese desserts. What’s your experience? Have you been to Meet Fresh? What do you think of the mish-mash of flavours, textures and colours?
Meet Fresh Dessert
13 Goulburn St, Haymarket, Sydney
(02) 8339 1031