Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toast Martinborough- 21 November 2010

The buzz of Ata Rangi
Pinot Noir 2009 was the best!
Ruth Pretty's West Coast whitebait fritter with asparagus and Hollandaise sauce
Prawn martini and Kim Chi dressing
The drinking vessel!
Pinot marinated strawberries topped with vanilla mascarpone and shaved macadamia nuts
Fresh Pacific oysters. YUM!
Mark with his oysters
Mark's second helping
The young crowd at Alana Estate
Spot Shazza
The remains of good food and drink at Alana Estate

Martinborough Vineyeard
If you drink don't drive...just bike!
Tempura prawns with zesty pepper at Te Kairanga
Entertainment at Vynfields by The Shenanigans
Through the trees at Alana Estate
It doesn't get better than this!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Annual Potluck Xmas Dinner at Le Canard

Amuse bouche

Creamy crayfish consomme, seared prawns and scampi, shellfish 'a la mariniere' and garlic royale

Seared scallops with homemade black pudding, asparagus and chestnut dressing

Snails 3 ways

Terrine of foie gras and fig on homemade gingerbread, air-dried duck breast stuffed with foie gras

Seasonal fresh oysters shucked to order

Grilled duck breast with spiced orange sauce and kumara mash

Line-caught seared fish of the day with 'beurre blanc', herbs coulis and lemon foam, seasonal vegetables

Lamb fillet with red capsicum coulis, couscous and ratatouille

Beef fillet roti, forest mushroom and veal sweetbread crepine with truffled veal jus

Assortiment de desserts

Choux pastries, vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce

Potluck group 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Masterchef Food Tour of Sydney Part 3: ARIA

Day 3

The meal

Roasted, shaved Brussel sprout salad, pumpkin puree and a raisin and caper dressing

Kurobuta pork belly with pickled watermelon and crackling

Roasted fillet and cheek of beef with celeriac puree, roasted onions and Bordelaise sauce

Steamed broccolini with anchovy and chilli vinaigrette

Seared fillet of Murray Cod, sauteed razor clams with sweet corn, parsley and grilled pancetta

Custard tart with poached pears, nutmeg and ginger bread ice cream

Tempered Manjari chocolate with raspberries, brownie and cacao ice cream

Orange and Grand Marnier with chocolate ice cream

Mango pavlova with passionfruit, saffron cream, and lime and basil sorbet

The verdict
The Masterchefs with special guest Gumph aka the suspended AB's hooker
Masterchef Braz: "Pre-dinner highlight: Trip across the Harbour Bridge. The food was uncomplicated and delicious. The beef was cooked to perfection. Loved the broccolini. Waterfront views were awesome. Overall: 8/10"

Masterchef C: "Great food and service but lacked some atmosphere and table arrangement. View from window made up for this. A la carte was on the cards tonight, different from the other nights. Food was well presented. The dish of the night: Crispy skin Murray Cod. Overall: 7/10"

Masterchef Ralph: "Pricy but the food was substantial compared to the other night e.g. finally I was full!" 

Masterchef Chicken: "Food highlight: The steak...cooked perfectly. Atmosphere: Not as good as Bennelong but good lighting so we could discreetly view the hotties in the restaurant that night. Service: Best of the tour...coming from an ex pat Kiwi...who liked Central Otago Pinot! Entertainment: Watching the BP's heading to the ARIA show at the Opera House. Low point: Being late to the restaurant after an unscheduled trip across the Harbour Bridge and getting the worst seat to capture the "views"...and not meeting Matt Moran in person! Rating: A strong 7.5/10 from me...it may have been upgraded if we had got there earlier and if I had got a better seat!"

Masterchef Food Tour of Sydney Part 2: Guillaume at Bennelong

Day 2
Guilluame at Bennelong

The meal
Amuse Bouche

King salmon sashimi with a brunoise of cucumber, apple and finger limes on a bed of white peach puree

Royale of asparagus with spanner crab and truffle

Sealed duck foie gras deglazed with jerez vinegar on a date chutney with a salad of fig and endive

Scallops gently sealed and served with cauliflower puree, shiitake mushrooms, spinach and chicken jus

Local John Dory served on a bed of carrots and ginger puree, coriander and pomme allumette

Spring white pyrenees lamb with zucchini puree, zucchini flowers and a "puttanesca reduction"

Soup of seasonal fruit with lime marshmallows and a mango sorbet

Raspberry mille feuille with white chocolate, elderflower and raspberry sorbet

Petit fours

The verdict
The Masterchefs (L-R): Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver, Tetsuya, Ainsley Harriott
Masterchef Braz: "Atmosphere was great with Guy Sebastian in the background. Well balanced menu and great service. I liked the scallops the best. Overall: 8.5/10"

Masterchef C: "Highlight of the trip. Great food and service with an atmosphere and surrounding to match. Best dish of the night was the scallops on the cauliflower puree. Overall: 9/10"

Masterchef Ralph: "Finally something tasty...Must be the Asian in me but this place had gravy and salt in its meals!"

Masterchef Chicken: "Food highlights: the seared scallops with cauliflower puree. Atmosphere: best of the three restaurants, the Saturday evening dinner crowd were dressed accordingly. Entertainment: dress rehearsal of the ARIA awards and the photography skills demonstration by Braz...did I say he has a new camera? Best freebee: the Petit Fours...very generous. Overall rating based on food, service and atmosphere: 8/10. Well deserving of its 2 hat rating."

NEXT - Part 3: ARIA