LuxBite

LuxBite @ 38 Toorak Road, South Yarra
1 May 2011

  
The macaron craze hit the streets of Melbourne some time ago, but unlike most fads which are fleeting in nature, these petite French sweets have found a permanent home in many cafes and restaurants across Melbourne. While it took some time for an Adriano Zumbo equivalent to arrive in Melbourne, we have recently seen the emergence of macaron speciality patisseries such as LuxBite and La Belle Miette and I suspect there will be others following suit in the near future.  

LuxBite, the adorable South Yarra café dedicated to desserts has received extensive publicity since its opening for its wide ranging selection of macarons. Given my affection for sweet things, it was inevitable that I would find myself standing before the LuxBite macaron counter at some stage. Struck by indecisiveness and a desire for completeness, I purchased a box of the “Epic Experience” which allowed me to sample each of the 16 flavours available. The flavours included:

Kaya Toast
Rose and Lychee
Salted Caramel
Choc Freckles
Kaffir Lime
Passionfruit
Choc Cherry
Toby’s Mocha
Heilala Vanilla Crème Brulee
White Peach and Jasmine
O-O-Oreo
Strawberry Cream
Sicilian Pistachio
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Raspberry and White Chocolate
Watermelon Yoghurt

 
LuxBite’s macaron flavours sounded appealing and appeared to achieve a nice balance between classic and innovative varieties.  However, presenting attractive flavours on paper is one thing, transforming them into exciting edible form is another. Unfortunately for LuxBite, many of the flavours were lost in translation. While none of the flavours were offensive or unpleasant, they generally lacked character and punch – the insipid and mildly artificial tasting passionfruit, the muted white peach and jasmine and the subdued kaffir lime are just a few examples. However, in the midst of these disappointments there were fortunately a couple of notable highlights including the sweet and tangy watermelon yoghurt and the sticky rich salted caramel.

To produce a first-rate macaron, perfect flavour must be complemented by perfect texture. For me, the texture of a macaron should be light and not dense, the shell should crack but not crunch and the flesh should possess a slightly chewy consistency, with each aspect being equally important. LuxBite’s macarons satisfied the first two requirements but failed miserably at the last hurdle. The lightness of the macarons in conjunction with the absence of the slight chewy texture resulted in an airy product that simply lacked bite; a fatal flaw in my books.

As a result, my highly anticipated “epic” afternoon tea turned out to be more of an epic disappointment. LuxBite’s macarons are middling in quality and fail to live up to the blogger-sphere hype. I suggest that you keep expectations to a minimum if you plan to try them for yourself. For a taste of superior macarons in Melbourne, take a journey down to La Belle Miette on Hardware Lane instead.


Rating: 2.5/5

-PC-


LuxBite on Urbanspoon

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

About time someone shed some light. some of their macarons really lack the flavour, merely just snacks overladden with sugar.

thanh7580 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PiCi said...

They did generally lack bite, but some more so than others. The creme brulee one was less airy from memory.

That being said, none of them came close to what La Belle Miette produces ...

Anonymous said...

I agree, Luxbite is so overrated! I'm quite surprised that it's so popular..

MoMo & Coco said...

Hello again! It is great to see a blogger who doesn't conform to the hype when that hype isn't warranted. We tried LuxBite early this year and totally agree with you, but we didn't write about it, because our blog philosophy is that we don't feature who we don't like.

PS: Did you notice a lot of the bloggers who hype about LuxBite have been invited to their special events or are in some way affiliated? It's interesting, no?

PiCi said...

Hello! Glad you agree with our post!

Based on the above comments, it seems like we're not the only ones that aren't fans of LuxBite. And we had noticed the close knit relationship LuxBite seems to have with certain bloggers ... It does make some blog posts a little sus ...

Btw, are there any particular places that you would recommend for macarons?

thanh7580 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BC said...

Thanh

Thank you for your comment and for providing your version of the “facts”. In relation to each of your points, my response is as follows.

1) I agree that “saying something is nice is not conforming”. However, I disagree that if 9 out of 10 people say that something is good then “chances are, it is”. There are, of course, numerous examples of establishments which are the subject of much hype but which miserably disappoint.

2) Other than PiCi’s comment of 6 June, none of the above comments were directed at you or, indeed, at any other specific bloggers. Consequently, there is no need for you to, as you appear to be doing, take a defensive position. At the end of the day, blog posts, and comments to those posts, are usually statements of belief or opinion and in that regard, there is no concept of “wrong” or “right”. Finally, we are unaware of your writings to date in relation to LuxBite as we do not follow your blog. We did not feel the need to verify your position regarding LuxBite as neither the above post nor the above comments, except for PiCi’s aforementioned comment, were directed at you or your blog.

3) We did not consider giving feedback to LuxBite. As you may or may not have realised, we visit many restaurants and cafes and so it would be an inordinate task for us to perform an extensive due diligence exercise on each and every one to work out whether a particular establishment is “open, communicative and friendly”. We merely visit places and then write about our experiences. I suspect that it would not be appreciated if we wantonly dispensed our feedback to all of the places at which we had bad experiences.

4) I take particular issue with your fourth point, especially given that you seem so rabidly frenzied to provide us with the “facts”. Let me provide you with one pertinent fact. In neither PiCi’s post nor in any of the ensuing comments was it, at any point, even remotely suggested that LuxBite had paid you or any other blogger for a positive blog post or for any other reason. You chose to read that material in that particular way and you are now attacking a point which was never made.

While I cannot speak for MoMo and Coco, I can speak for PiCi who, when she used the phrase “a little sus”, meant that when bloggers are seen to be, as MoMo and CoCo eloquently put it, “invited to ... special events or ... in some way affiliated”, it gives rise to a suspicion of bias – that is all.

PiCi did not mention any “event” and, indeed, MoMo and CoCo’s comment did not refer to any specific event and so for you to immediately assume that your particular gathering was the topic of the day suggests that, when considered in light of all your other points, you are an egotist of the highest order.

Again, I thank you for your comment, which is appreciated. I trust the above resolves your issues.

Regards

BC

Anonymous said...

Thanh

I would echo BC's comments, nobody appeared to suggest you were paid off - not sure where you got that from. But you do admit to having a "close relationship" with LuxBite - which is, in my opinion, inappropriate for a reviewer. This creates a conflict of interest, and I for one am not inclined to pay any attention to the opinion of a person who has a "close relationship" with the manufacturer of an item they are supposed to be impartially reviewing.

Stay objective.

Anonymous said...

thanh7580 said...

"Momo & Coco & PiCi,
Let me give you the facts rather than have you assume things."

Looks like you are the only one who is assuming things. I don't see why you need to get so aggravated, nowhere in the article or any of the previous comments is there a suggestion that your favourable review of luxbite on your blog have been bought.

The closest thing is some reader noting the existence of a relationship between favourable views and luxbite. People are entitled to draw whatever views they wish from that, and definitely don't need another's comments to know that when a person who is purportedly providing unbiased views has a relationship to the provider/subject matter, there may be some room for doubt as to the impartiality of the comments.

If you feel the need to specifically deny this or clarify this, then do so...there's no need to get ultra defensive about it, particularly when you aren't specifically mentioned... chances are, if you didn't rage about about it here like you did, people wouldn't have read your blog and therefore realised that you actually gave a favourable review to luxbite (and draw the link that your are so eager to dispel).

MoMo & Coco said...

Dear Thanh,

We initially felt that we would not dignify your reply with an answer. However, certain recent developments have been brought to our attention by a number of friends.

We concur with BC's articulate and comprehensive reply. We would add the following.

Firstly, we have been alerted by friends who are more adept at social media than us, that you have insinuated several nasty things about us and PiCi/BC in other forums. It is unfortunate that you have resorted to such viciousness by going viral into cyberspace.

Secondly, we would bring something related to your attention. When we visited Burch & Purchese, it garnered a miserable 54% positive rating on Urbanspoon and little mention elsewhere. Now in July, after a Masterchef-induced hype, it is receiving close to 90% positive ratings. Our own related post has since received an influx of visitors. We loved some of the products we sampled, but not all. By contrast, almost all recent blog posts are exuberantly glowing. Contrary to your opinion, this is one example of hype playing an inordinately large role in a place's popularity, whether or not it is actually good. LuxBite is another example. There are many more. Along with numerous commentators, we dissent from the hype surrounding LuxBite. Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Thirdly, no one here directed their comments to you. You are suffering from grandiose delusions of your own self-importance. We had not even heard of your blog’s existence until your above reply. Indeed, as one of the above commentators noted, we are even less likely to become acquainted with your blog knowing full well of your admitted "close relationship" with various restaurant proprietors.

Fourthly, we are not so self-opinionated nor self-deluded as you, that we would even consider personally approaching each and every restaurant, café, specialty sweet boutique and high tea venue that we visit to give them our views about them. Moreover, in full time careers, we do not have the luxury of time that you seem to have.

Fifthly, you have clearly displayed your immaturity and ignorance by thinking that macarons, let alone, food can ever reach “perfection.” There is no such thing as “perfection” in the hospitality industry, there is only consistency.

Finally, like PiCi/BC, we never suggested that you had been “paid” in a monetary sense. It is by your own admission that you have a “close relationship.” A blogger with any sense of integrity should fully and clearly disclose when he/she is invited to events at the behest of restaurants or dining venues, and when that restaurant or dining venue went an extra mile for that blogger that it wouldn’t do for an ordinary non-blogging patron. You yourself brought to everyone’s attention a clear example of the latter conflict-of-interest situation – when LuxBite created “mini versions” of whatever it was, just for your visit. Another example is one that we have learnt from friends recently, being your inclusion of LuxBite into all your vitriolic twittering. Twice over, you have dug your own grave, and that of LuxBite. You have undermined your credibility, authority and integrity.

We think that you would do well to consider this article on impartial vs partial blogging.
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/executive-lifestyle/everyones-a-critic/story-e6frg8jo-1226075861375

Your rapid-fire hysterical defence would suggest that all commentators here have prodded a raw spot of your conscience. Your taking such commentary of LuxBite as a personal critique of yourself merely emphasizes the very close linkage between yourself and LuxBite. Your agitated reply is therefore certainly, most interesting....Indeed, we thank you for reinforcing all of our suspicions. As a new blogger, we also thank you for setting the epitome of everything a blogger should not aspire to.

MoMo & Coco

MoMo & Coco said...

Dear PiCi/BC,
In response to your question in regards to other macaron places - we were never macaron-lovers, but we love La Belle Miette the best. This might sound crazy, but they beat all the macarons we have had in Paris, London, NY and East Asia. We do give some allowance to our samplings in Paris though, we may perhaps have been too "young" in our late teens when we tried those to appreciate. We visit UK quite frequently, but still nothing ever made us like macarons until we had LBM's macarons. Consistent little round beauties, lovely service. Prior to LBM's opening, Lindt, Ganache Chocolate and Laurent was just a bit dry for us, it crunches too much. We hear Le Petit Gateau does macarons recently, but we haven't tried yet. There was a pop-up macaron maker last year, Duncan of Syrup&Tang, that was good in texture, but just a little too sweet for us. Outside of the city, our friends tell us to try La Tropizienne in Hawthorn.

If you have further places that you have tried, let us know too! :)

Just as a side note, we are posting two other macaron places on 8 August, including a recently-opened one, so stay tuned! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanh,

I would just like to say that, as much as you would like to defend for luxbite and yourself (just cuz you think people are talking about you), you just made one hell of a fool of yourself, and not doing luxbite any good.

Anonymous said...

Someone just got served.

Anonymous said...

BC, Pici, Momo and various anon writers -- thank you for enlightening us as to fishy happenings in the new celebrity culture of the food sphere. Much needed thoughts that needed to be said by someone, finally!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey all!
I think you might have been on to something very interesting here.

Not sure if any of you decided to do some further investigation. But, there was actually a recent LuxBite blogger-only event that may or may not be the one that the all-mighty Thanh was referring to. There were 12 bloggers involved (a few of written RAVE reviews since), and they were, I quote, "HEAVILY SUBSIDISED $15 EACH" for "eating our way through almost every single item at the stop."

Who "subsidised" them????

See this blog: http://www.offthespork.com/2011/07/luxbite-a-cake-date/

Thanh and your fellow bloggers - you have officially lost your readership.

LuxBite - you have officially lost any future business of mine.

Anonymous said...

The above quote is a bit wrong in impact. This is a fuller extract from that article. If anything, it is even worse.

"...12 of us attending paying a heavily subsidised $15 each and eating our way through almost every single item available at the shop."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous (16 July),

Wow...$15 dollars for all that...?? Now I wonder if I find a group of non food blogger patrons, would luxbite still do the same charging the same price for everything?

Highly doubt it.

JP said...

Wow, what storm! I had my first visit to LuxBite yesterday and followed it up today. Excellent dessert's, macarons were perhaps not as good lacking my ideal level of chewiness and crispness.
I do think places like LuxBite and Chez Dre seem to be very good at using the blog world to create buzz. The fact that my blog post on Chez Dre was up on their site within a day as a feature piece I think is clever use of Social Media.
While offering subsidized events to bloggers is a good way of getting coverage, I think it is the responsibility of the author to note that the review is based on an event rather than a standard consumer experience.
I was discussing this today and if you look at traditional media such as The Age or Herald Sun, they do 1-2 reviews per week so when there are over 1100 restaurants and cafes in the CBD alone against 150 potential write ups it makes sense as an avenue to tap in to.
I also think it is a bit unfair of traditional media to portray bloggers as unscrupulous and demanding. As for bias, I think if you read enough reviews in The Age and the espresso section it is clear that there is a strong bias towards all things north of the Yarra, in particular Northcote.
Finally, we don't all have to like or dislike a restaurant uniformly. That said, I would recommend that you go back for the desserts which definitely deliver and the excellent coffee.

Anonymous said...

Luxbite's tea set is priced at $42 for 2 people or $21 per person for the following:
3 assorted gourmet finger sandwiches
2 desserts of your choice
4 macarons of your choice
2 beverages

It doesn't really compute to only charge each blogger at $15 for that considerable amount of food and be profitable. So, yes, if it was heavily subsidized, it is definitely a form of payment. Free labour perhaps?

In the end, it is still albeit like a PR event.
Who would you rather have coming to "eat" your products?

People who are spell-bound to say nice things, because they've formed a relationship with the owners? (coincidentally they all have flashy camera gears and blogs)

-or-

Veteran critics such as A.A. Gill who doesn't give a rat's ass even if the owners are closely affiliated. As long as they serve good food I suppose.

On another note:
"OK, to those who haven't got paid by us to visit LuxBite, TRY HARDER! :p @stickifingers @ieatblog @cltyw @smartarsewabbit @ironchefshellie"

Luxbite's post in the twitterverse have been uncalled for. It is petty and foul.

There's a reason why some of their desserts are downright lethargic. Sometimes I wonder, have they eaten their own products. visually presentable is one thing, but damn trying to finish off one dessert and not drinking a gallon of water is a vicious task.

Anonymous said...

I reckon, if they've just ordered the food available in the cabinet and not having the arranged mini versions of their food, it wouldn't have appeared to be like a PR event. it just seemed like luxbite's gone out of their way to cater for the event.

all in all, it is still an opportunity for media coverage, unless it is luxbite's intention to have a test run to cater for a group of people in the future.

eventually they'll be people who would like to have such events organized at their store, we'll see if they'd be able to do it then.

i might do it some day and "report" back.

Anonymous said...

There's is no problem with having a blogger/media only event or subsidised functions, but as JP said above:

I think it is the responsibility of the author to note that the review is based on an event rather than a standard consumer experience.

To not do so, then get pissed off when this potential for a prejudiced review is pointed out (without even being named), is childish in the extreme.

Anonymous said...

Food bloggers are rapidly becoming a parasitic by product of the food industry...shame

Anonymous said...

Impressive that thanh7580 can find so many things which he claims is implied in the original post... give him a few more days and he'll probably find the full text of war & peace hidden in the original post too.

Anonymous said...

I will never take a food blogger's restaurant review seriously if it is based on an event or "sponsored" meal. It may be too different compared to standard consumer experience. Seriously, would those food bloggers who attended special events at restaurants really dare to write really negative things on their blog about that restaurant when it's not that good and maybe risk their relationship they had with people who kindly invited them? And since they are invited, I think the chances of having a bad time/meal is really slim, it so does not portray experiences during normal trading hours.

Anonymous said...

Bloggers write for a number of reasons, they are varied and do it for all sorts of reasons, three of which include (not limited to of course):

1) Blogging to vent/share their thoughts
2) Blogging to review a place - no/little contact with the owners
3) Blogging to review a place - close affiliation with a place.

ALL three add value and for anyone to suggest that a blogger has lost credibility simply because of the approach they have taken in my humble *opinion* is judging too quickly and needs to try to keep an open mind and see it from another perspective.

Be under no illusion folks, a great blog isn't one that simply remains unbiased, or *appears* to be. Quality photos, a well written experience and good humour all add value to a reader's blog experience. For example, I found this post informative and controversial, which is entertaining in itself. However, I found the blog post a little short and for me didn't go into enough detail about the Lux Bite experience. I love photos and appreciate good photography, another aspect I appreciate and consider 'adding value' to my reading experience. This post could improve on their photography to enhance the reader's experience. Some of the Lux Bite posts show a great example of this (Rememember I'm smart enough to know that a great photo doesn't mean a great product, but I will decide) and all else being equal, it adds value.

To try and remain partial is fine, however where you have very social businesses and bloggers that come together and connect well, then it is madness to quickly write off anything they share because they are now suddenly 'too close' and therefore instantly lose credibility.

Another thing is that when a blogger openly states that a particular event is subsidised, than that blogger in my mind has increased their credibility because they have been completely transparent in the arrangement and don't patronise the reader into thinking that everything 'is oh so completely unbiased'. They are professional, up front and love interacting with people!

Customers these days (including me) are smart people, we can see the difference between a sponsored event and a random mystery dining experience. I hope I'm drumming it home to our readers that BOTH scenarios add value to the reader. For example, many of the Lux Bite posts I have found to be entertaining and the photos exquisite. As a customer, I don't give a rats if a blogger got a 50% discount, 100% discount or had to pay twice the amount. I will make the judgement myself, weigh it up against the general sentiment of a place and make a decision from there.

To all readers, just continue to enjoy and read posts that you find entertaining and informative. I, as a customer, find Thanh's blog:
http://ieatthereforeiam.blogspot.com/, very entertaining, and feel I need to put things in perspective.

From reading Thanh's blog I can see he is a very passionate person, quite a talented photographer and like anyone, just human like the rest of us.

The fact that some people are trying to downplay both Lux Bite and Thanh seems to suggest that there is a bit of resentment and/or jealousy towards the hype (this may or may not be true but certainly comes across that way). This is not evident on this post itself but certainly evident in some of the replies. It's a tall-poppy and confirms that both Thanh and Lux Bite are doing something right.

This blog, like Thanh's and others are all fantastic and add value to potential diners/foodies like me.

Just try to lighten up, not take things so seriously. Try not to fall into the foolish trap of trying to question a person, blogger or restaurants' motives, and enjoy ALL blogs (including this one) for what they are: INFORMATION, EDUCATION and most of all LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT.

Anonymous said...

I agree whole heartedly with the last post. To add, Thanh's reply wasn't frenzied. He was merely stating his thoughts. Read it again!

One of the above posts was disgracefully personal and used a lot of attacking language towards some bloggers. Thanh's response didn't attack anyone in particular, it just explained his point of view. This is why Thanh and other bloggers are well respected in Melbourne, they are passionate, enjoy what they do, and most of all remain respectful towards other people. This is something momo and coco could really learn from, instead of attacking.

@momo & coco, if you read back over your comment you will see how calculating and nasty your comments were. You would do well to read these other blogs (I'm sure you have) and notice how professional they are. I, for one, hadn't heard about your blog, but unfortunately, now want absolutely nothing to do with you or your blog after your bitter attack on this post.

I as a customer would never want to meet you as you seem to be very bitter, jealous, nasty and resentful towards a very high quality and successful business! And to write off some fantastic Melbourne bloggers as losing credibility because they happen to be friendly with the owners is an insult to every readers' intelligence including mine.

You have clearly over reacted to thanh's response and if there is anyone who *looks* suspiciously affiliated with a business it is you! You've show some nasty colours on this post and when I weigh things up, the bloggers I believe have highest integrity are those that don't stoop to such personal mud slinging like you have. seriously, read your responses again, and ask yourself, what a random reader like me is supposed to deduce from that about you as a person and your blog. i think your response, despite thinking it is articulate was written with a serious axe to grind. This doesn't motivate me to want to visit your blog and if you are trying to discourage people from visiting your blog and building your own profile than you are doing a fantastic job. This is what other bloggers understand, and where you will learn a lot from *listening*, instead of formulating articulate (albeit very damaging) and nasty responses which only serve to dig your own grave.

Looks like your 'articulate' and 'reasoned' response is simply tall poppy to the extreme.

@Thanh and other great bloggers in Melbourne. If you're still following this post keep doing what you're doing. You are certainly providing me with useful information and I congratulate you for some fantastic blog posts!

@Melbourne Culinary Journal, great post I loved it - sorry my reply was a bit long-winded, but I feel I needed to share this, and hopefully get some of your readers reflecting on their comments.

Keep up with great work :)

Anonymous said...

To the last Anonoymous commentator, why is it that I as a true "customer" read your post and think you are one of Thanh's happy little fellow bloggers or Twitter followers, rather than a purported "random reader"?

I have followed this post since the start, and it is you who would do well to read over all the posts and their chronology...and stop your own mud-slinging.

For starters, it was not momo & coco that started the mud slinging. It was in fact Thanh who did so on Twitter. And how brave of him to take it there instead of here! I think that kills your argument that Thanh is a "blogger I believe have highest integrity are those that don't stoop to such personal mud slinging." If you have nothing better to do, check the Twitter archives, and note that Thanh also involved a number of other high-profile bloggers who articulated to Thanh that they would defend him here. None have since had the courage to post their thoughts here and/or under their blog names. Or perhaps they have? By chronology, it was BiCi who first called Thanh "an egotist of the highest order" and then various other anonymous posts replied and only later did momo reply subsequenty.

I also didn't know of momo until this incident (they said somewhere that they are new so that would explain it), but I have looked at their blog and rate it highly. It doesn't use the same expert gastro terminology as Melbourne Culinary Joural, but is more poetic in writing. And some photos are quite stunning. And both their blog and this blog can be contrasted to Thanh -- it would seem that in the past 6 months or so, almost all of Thanh's blog posts have been sponsored. What does that say?

So, as a true "random reader," Melbourne Culinary Journal and momo & coco, and other unnamed posters, keep up the great work at showing us great Melbourne places and bringing to light questionable bloggers and events, and ignore "anonymous" posters as the above.

Anonymous said...

Despite the better advice, you continue the mud slinging. reader's won't ignore comments above they will take them on board.

whether or not you are affiliated with momo and coco, you are certainly not doing them any favours.

Instead of responding angrily, won't don't you consider what has been said above, and calmly?

Now you have not only offended some great melbourne based bloggers, but you have also offended me. I am NOT one of Thanh's or anyone else twitter followers, I am a foodie that enjoys many of the melbourne based blogs (including this one) and take great offence to the continued mud slinging and finger pointing.

It feels like we are dealing with someone who has a massive, massive, axe to grind.

instead of continuing to try and plug momo and coco, people would take your views more seriously if you provided a more balanced account of other blogs around Melbourne.

I highly encourage you to read other Melbourne based blogs, get a BALANCED view, as well as the comments. If you want to have a successful blog yourself, you really need to learn the words, 'dignity', 'respect' and 'self restraint'.

MoMo&Coco said...

Dear Anonymous Poster who commented on 13 August 17:20 and 14 August 16:48,

Firstly, in our first post on 12 July at 14:28, we mentioned no blogger at all. Please re-read Thanh's reply of 14 July at 11:50. Contrary to your asserted belief that Thanh "didn't attack anyone," Thanh singled out both us and MCJ in his reply of 14 July. Between 13-15 July, Thanh additionally made personal attacks on us and MCJ on Twitter, which our friends alerted us about. That is the objective fact. If you saw what he wrote on his Twitter pages, Thanh most certainly did not "remain respectful towards other people" as you have attributed to him. Labelling us and MCJ as "idiots," "liars," among other things, and making a disparaging remark to both MCJ and our underlying professional background, is not "respectful." Thanh made these comments BEFORE we had even responded on 15 July at 20:56. We responded only because and after these developments. It is clear that Thanh had no respect when opinions diverged from his own - hence his 14 July reply and his vicious Twittering. You have not taken a "balanced view" in singling us out for condemnation. It cannot be "mudslinging" for one party and "merely stating his thoughts" for another party. The "balanced view" is that we will accept that we are "guilty," but so then is everyone else, including yourself.

Secondly, given that at no point in any of our 12 July and 15 July posts, nor any other forum, did we name or refer to any other blogger (apart from Thanh), we therefore do not see how you can accuse that we have "written off some fantastic Melbourne bloggers." The only blogger we might have "written off" would be Thanh, and that is because of his actions towards us, not because of his opinion on LuxBite. Do not confuse us with other anonymous posters, and what they themselves have commented or decided as to their readership of Thanh's or other blogs.

Thirdly, "being friendly with the owners" as you descvribe Thanh, is one thing. Being involved in an event organised/subsidised by such owners, and/or where that owner went out of its way to appease a blogger that it would not otherwise do for a normal person, not being forthcoming about it, and/or becoming heated and brushing it off and attacking those who raise suspicions as to the impartiality of consequent reviews is entirely a different thing.

MoMo&Coco said...

Fourthly, if a divergence of opinion against hype on LuxBite's products and of the value of sponsored events/blogs, defending that diverging opinion, equates to being "calculating," "bitter," "jealous," "nasty," "resentful," then so be it. If raising a mere suspicion, and (where other anonymous posters) substantianting that suspicion with actual facts, is "tall poppy to the extreme," then so be it.

Fifthly, it is our opinion that a few bloggers have undermined their impartiality with regards to their reviews on LuxBite, however, those other bloggers did not lose their general credibility. Thanh did though, in our opinion, not because of his review or otherwise "being friendly with the owners," but because of his initiated attacks on both us and MCJ. You however use impartiality, credibility and integrity interchangeably. They are vastly different concepts. The Oxford Dictionary is available if in need for further instruction in the subtleties of the English language.

Lastly, whatever your decision in regards to reading this blog or ours, that's up to you. For us, we will continue pleasing the segment of food lovers (specifically sweet-tooths) who appreciate comments that are not sponsored or subsidised by that venue, because we do see these situations as conflicts of interests. Other bloggers, including some of our favourites, may disagree and are certainly entitled to do so. But what distinguishes them, is that they are forthcoming and crystal clear about it, and do not purport to "review" that venue (eg putting their "review" on a user-based system as Urbanspoon), but rather merely write and retell a story. We can't be everything to everyone, and we can't like everything that everyone else does. But at least, we will have the temerity to speak up when (we think) the hype is not warranted, and to defend ourselves and our opinions -- in our own name --- against "balanced comments" such as yours and Thanh's.

Oh, by the way, just for the record, while we cannot and do not speak for other anonymous commentators, we ourselves prefer to carry a pen, rather than an axe. :)

MoMo & Coco.

MoMo&Coco said...

To MCJ and other commentators,

We apologise to MCJ for creating a mess on your blog. In the first place, we should have articulated why we agreed with your refreshingly different opinion on LuxBite. We did not think it pertinent to do so because this is your blog. However, given the side-tracking of the real question at hand, please allow us to do so.

We have sampled twice over and at different times, a full set of their macarons, not just one or two here and there. And though we definitely do not possess any authority as to macarons, we have had the opportunity to sample macarons across Melbourne and overseas.

For us, we are not naive to believe in a "perfect" macaron, rather - consistency is the key.

In terms of appearance, LuxBite are inconsistent in formation. Many of their macarons are undesirably flat, sometimes lopsided, and lack proper and consistent height in feet (the hem of the macaron), the feet are too frilly or protruding, and often contain airpockets in the shells. These faults are often due to uneven cooking temperatures.

In terms of flavours, we give them due credit for being especially creative, however there are more misses than hits in the flavours. The Salted Caramel is desirably salty, the Mocha one is quite true, but we would agree with MCJ that almost all other flavours manifested in mere coloured sugary morsels. We can understand delicate flavours, but an over-dyed almond sweet thing is not a macaron.

In terms of texture, our personal preference is for something with crisp, air and slight chewyness. We found most of LuxBite's macarons soggy, and far too sickly chewy. A macaron should melt in the mouth, there has to be air, with a slight chewyness. And this is perhaps where our experience diverges from MCJ, who above retells that their experience was the macarons were too airy (please correct us if this is the wrong reading of your post). This further demonstrates the inconsistency of LuxBite's products, and is the reason why we diverge with the hype.

We think it would be great to hear from other anonymous posters as to their own experiences in perhaps more detail. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

thanks for for explanation Momo and Coco. I don't follow twitter so i can only base my thoughts on what I've read on these blogs. My reference to 'balance' was in terms of reading different blogs around Melbourne, not in trying to build a case against one blog or another.

I'm not going to do that, I'm not interested. It doesn't mean I don't believe what you've stated above though.

However, as I'm sure you'll agree this wasn't the appropriate place for the attacks to be placed on this post which explains my agitated anonymous post above. Even if the statements are true, it's very bad taste and highly unprofessional to go posting these accusations on a blog. I now feel for you because who wants to be affiliated with a blog that posts such things?

I come to these blogs to be excited and motivated by what Melbourne Culinary Journal has to say, not to read long winded messages from other bloggers vilifying other bloggers. Your responses may seem vindicated and clever, but believe you me, the constant references to other bloggers put you in a very bad light. Twitter messages can be deleted but your harsh comments above remain and are permanently available for everyone to read. (I guess you may not mind who reads it, as long as you defend your case, and that's your choice).

It's just a bit depressing that's all, and I think in hindsight, it's a learning curve for everyone (including myself) to refrain from 'taking the bait' so to speak.

I'm not sure if you will adopt a more respectful route in future (I don't mean that in a bad way) - it just seems that you pride yourself on expressing your thoughts, despite who is bad-mouthed, and the consequences. That approach is completely your own choice. Just be aware it comes with repercussions!

Finally, I want to say, that if I ever go on twitter on read any bad messages from anyone then I will simply not follow them - as one of the posts above states, people are smart, if they receive dodgy twitter messages that don't add value they will stop following them.

All the best.

edward said...

As friendly as Bernard and Yen are from luxbite, I find it really hard to provide them feedback without stepping onto their sensitive toes by accident.

Some of their macarons, from my tongue's opinion, are pretty lackluster. Have tried to communicate with them, but it seems I don't "understand" how some of the desserts and macarons are supposed to taste.

So I gave up, and it seems they're still having a steady flow of customers going through their shop thanks to the hype and that's good for business.

I occasionally head back there to grab macarons as gift packs for mates just cause it is the only decent pastry/dessert shop closer to the S.E. suburbs.

Have also organized a blind tasting with macarons from luxbite and other well known establishments. I'm afraid to say that my mates rated luxbite's as mediocre.

Again, what more do I know?

edward said...

On the issue of food blogging, MCJ I appreciate what you're doing with your transparently written blog posts.

http://deepdishdreams.blogspot.com/2011/08/food-bloggers-as-marketing-puppets-part.html

The link above is a good read.

Austin said...

I attended LuxBite this Saturday morning and had the MeatBite breakfast, which was an absolutely awe-inspiring collection of some of the finest tastes I have ever had the pleasure to experience. On their own the Poached Eggs on La Madre toast were something special, when added to the twice-cooked Pork Belly, maple infused bacon, chorizo and the Chickpea Salsa this became a super delectable dish of life-changing proportions.

We had the pleasure of then purchasing some Macarons with our favourites being:

Salted Caramel
White Peach and Jasmine
Strawberry Cream
Peanut Butter and Jelly

Anonymous said...

wow! juicy post i love it lol

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