Our end of year Christmas lunch was held in a modern, open kitchen restaurant in Neutral Bay. 42 members (including guests) attended the lunch and all were very generous with their donation of gifts for the Manly branch of the Salvation Army church to hand out to disadvantaged children and families on Christmas day.
The December lunch was organised by Pam Callaghan and Sherri Walsh and Pam will ensure the gifts will be passed onto the church for distribution. Both Pam and Sherri had gone to a lot of trouble organising the lunch, setting the tables in a christmas theme and also organised three lucky door prizes of wine.
We celebrated the festive season with an extensive menu :
Entree consisted of 5 shared plates for the tables :
Grilled Ciabatta, Whipped Feta, Marinated Olives
Seared Scallop Salad, Cucumber Ribbons, Chilli
Wood Grilled Asparagus
Woodfire Grilled Haloumi, Rocket and Lemon
Duck Liver Parfait with Croutons
All of the shared entrees rated well. The food was fresh, and a good variety of food types. The whipped feta was unusual and went well spread on the grilled Ciabatta.
Wood Grilled Tasmanian Salmon with pickled beetroot, orange, feta, mint
Spiced Grilled Chick Breast with chorizo, corn salsa, lime creme fraiche
Wood Grilled Pork Loin with puy lentils, spinach, crackling
Sides of Chips and green salad
The favourite main meal of the day was the Grilled Pork Loin and chosen by most of the ladies. Notable comments were that the size of the portions were too big. Some found the pork overcooked and chewy.
The pickled beetroot and feta, whilst unusual, was a good combination with the Salmon.
Burnt Orange Ice Cream – (churned on the day) biscotti
Mascarpone Baseless Cheescake – raspberries, salted caramel, pistachios
Comments on the desserts were – the ice cream was refreshing as had been churned that morning. The cheesecake was a little too sweet.
Another comment was – best desserts ever !
The wines on the day were :
Albert el Fils a French Sparkling – a toasty flavour
Stella Bella 2014 Semillon Sauvignon Blanc
Scarborough 2013 Chardonnay
Robert Oatley 2013 Signature Shiraz
The Chardonnay was by far the better white wine as more people do not drink Sauvignon Blanc, even in a blend, these days.
The general comments from the ladies were – an enjoyable lunch, generous portions of food. Friendly attentive service with water glasses replenished repeatedly.
A number will return to the restaurant sometime in the future.
The chef talked on his technique of getting the pork crackling so crunchy. It seemed quite a lengthy process and doubt if too many would remember what to do on christmas day !