Monday, June 23, 2008

Gloriouser and Gloriouser!

What a fabulous winter weekend I've just had - both days were clear and sunny and saw me eat only one meal at home (and that was last night).

Yesterday we picked up husby's niece and her boyfriend, who are staying with us for a week from Brisbane, while they are on university holidays. We took them into the city, walked around Circular Quay to the Opera House and then had pizza and a beer for lunch at one of the cafes along East Circular Quay - sitting in the warm sun, in winter, drinking a cold beer, just like a tourist - fabulous!

But the really big fun took place on Saturday. This year is the year of the 40th birthdays for husby and most of his uni friends. This week is the turn of Snoozen and since it is a special birthday we went to Berowra Waters Inn, which is just out of Sydney, on the northern side. You are picked up from the nearby wharf by a private little ferry/taxi boat to be taken to the restaurant, which is right on the water.
Upon arriving we had champagne and a little complimentary starter, while we perused (heh!) the lengthy menu - they do degustation style, where you can choose 4, 5 or 6 courses (or more if you want) plus you have the option of having the matched wines. So we choose away, and I was very glad I'd had no breakfast that morning.

So I started with grilled sea scallops with cous cous and baby zucchini:This was the best course, for me.
Then spinach and buffalo ricotta ravioli, fresh chantarelle mushrooms and sage butter:
Wow! The mushrooms were so fabulous, not really meaty like normal mushies but really good flavour and picked up the ravioli immensely!

Then braised lamb shank with bone marrow dumpling wrapped around it:
Look at the presentation of the food - so gorgeous - I guess they thought we were nutters taking pictures of all of our food! Braised lamb shank is one of my favourite winter meals - all tender but slightly gelatinous and just delicious.

And the mains ended with fillet of wagyu beef with grain mustard shallots and potato gnocchi:
Everyone at our table except one had this! (there were 7 of us all together).

And then! We did a selection of each of the four desserts - granny smith apple jelly with cream and a doughnut - the jelly was just amazing - just like eating an apple, but squishy - I think it was my favourite. Pecan and date pudding with vanilla bean icecream and caramel sauce - yum!Rhubarb and hazelnut crumble with yoghurt sorbet - I didn't have this - I don't care for rhubarb or yoghurt - but I was happy to leave it for others, as it also meant more room for the white chocolate panna cotta with poached pear. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
And as if all that wasn't enough, we finished with coffee and petit fours...we couldn't eat them all. Actually, I think it was the petit fours that tipped me over the edge!
Lest you think we ate all this in short time, we arrived at the restaurant at about 12.20 and we left at 5.30pm, just as the sun was setting. I almost had to be rolled down the jetty to the boat. I did have a little nap on the way home, and we did not have any dinner that night (or breakfast the next morning!)

It really was one of those "once in a blue moon" experiences. Husby and I hardly go out any more (you can't get much knitting done at a fancy restaurant!!) so it was a great treat. Especially as we could see how the other half lived - this couple was being picked up by seaplane to fly back to Sydney!
And the people on the boat you can see behind the plane had their desserts taken back to the boat so they could eat on board, rather than in the restaurant!

But the scenery was free!
A little bit of luxury with great food and great service, great weather, great company - one of the best days I've had in ages. Happy Birthday Snoozen!!


kms said...

ooooh looxury! i would have liked to see you take out your knitting tho!

PrincessPea said...

Yummy- my mouth is watering just looking at all your fabulous photographs! Sounds like a great occasion!

Bells said...

that sounds every bit as wonderful as you could hope for. How completely spectacular. God I love a degustation menu - it's really good for people like me who always want everything on the menu.

Snoozen chose really, really well for her 40th. If you must turn 40, you must do it in style, i think. I know I intend to.


amy said...

You're making me hungry, especially for the desserts. Maybe I'll just go out for a dessert buffet for my upcoming 35th... :)

Em said...

I think you should've posted a warning before this blog post, for anyone who may be hungry out there. The local takeout place providing me with my dinner just doesn't measure up, somehow! What a glorious trip for you folks, and what a way to turn forty. I'm with Bells, I think Snoozen had the right idea here.

MadMad said...

Oh, yummy, yummy and some more yummy! And I love the tour, too! It's so awesome getting to see these bits of your world!

Georgie said...

Unspeakably, muderously, jealous doesnt even come close! I have a long-held ambition to eat there (perfereably with the Bilsons cooking, but anytime will do!). It looks simply divine.

A very classy way to celebrate!

TinkingBell said...

Oh -now I've dribbled all over the damn keyboard - that is so not fair! Especially when I'm trying to lose weight!!

Miss Fi said...

Was absolutely, undeniably delicious were the views .. and the company.

Favourite - the quail and the custard(?) apricot dessert served in a liquer glass.

Fellow readers of Rose Red's blog - wait until you see the birthday gifts she gave. Spot on gifts for Snoozen.

Thanks again for the lift. After you dropped me off I got changed into my flanette pjs, picked out a favourite book and snuggled into bed.

The perfect ending to a lovely day.

(and I got to sleep in the next morning. Bliss)

Sarah said...

Oh wow! Sounds and looks like my idea of a perfect celebration

Snoozen said...

Thanks RoseRed for helping me celebrate and making it such a wonderful experience and the presents WOW my blog will soon display them in all there glory.

As you said on my blog Fabulous Day and I agree a big DITTO!

Diana said...

That's a meal of a lifetime! I can't even imagine. It's breakfast time here and nothing will be good now!!

Alwen said...

Well, wow. That's all I can say. Just wow.

BettyBoop53 said...

Oh lovely!

Jenny said...

Oh, this reminds me of living in Sydney!!
I moved to NZ eleven year ago and this does make me a little home sick. I really love this area of Sydney.
Glad to see that there are others who love the dessert as much as I do!

Nellie said...

Hmmmmmmm, divine. My mouth is watering. What a sensational meal!