Fisherman’s Wharf Seafood Restaurant, Sydney Fish Markets, Pyrmont, Wednesday 2 May 2018

The May lunch menu was a combination of fresh seafood and all time Chinese favourites. Numbers were down a little with 20 members and 3 guests attending the lunch.
We were fortunate to have our own room in the restaurant, with carpet on the floor and padded panels on the walls, made for easy conversation. The room faced the marina, so we had a pleasant view outside as well.
We were greeted on arrival with a 2016 Saint Roche Le Rose. This rose was dry and elegant and made for a good start to the lunch.
The entrees were :

Seafood San Choy Bow
Stuffed Squid with minced Prawn in spicy salt and pepper

Prawn San Choy Bow

Stuffed Squid with minced Prawn, with spicy salt & Pepper

Even though both dishes contained Prawns, they were cooked very differently and the double-up on ingredients was not noticeable.
Both dishes rated highly and the Squid, being a little different, rated the better of the two.

The matching white wine was a 2016 Domaine Jean-Pierre et Alexandre Ellevin Chablis. This Chablis, whilst young, was drinking well with the seafood.

The main dishes were :

Sauteed fresh Scallop with greens, garlic chive and ginger
Queensland King Prawn with Taiwanese special sauce
Diced Beef and Mushroom with black pepper sauce
Crispy skin Chicken
BBQ meat combination

Sauted Scallops with greens

King Prawns with Taiwanese Sauce

Diced Beef with Mushrooms

Crispy Skin Chicken

Serving Crispy Skin Chicken

BBQ Meat combination

These main dishes were served with Baby Bok Choy with two kinds of mushrooms and a combination fried rice.

The sauteed fresh scallops was the favoured dish – scoring a good number of 10’s. The mix of green vegetables and ginger complemented the scallops perfectly.
The Taiwanese sauce over-shadowed the flavour of the prawns and the Beef and Mushrooms was a tasty dish. The Crispy skin chicken was ordinary and the quality on the plate depended upon the cut of the chicken you were served. The Pork Belly in the BBQ meat combination was tender and well flavoured and the pick of the BBQ meat on the platter.

2 Kinds of Mushrooms with greens

The baby bok choy and mushrooms was a great accompaniment to the main dishes.

The red wine on the day was : 2015 Tritium Rioja Alta Tempranillo. This wine was mellow with a sweet finish and matched well with the Chinese food.
Green tea was served throughout the lunch and we finished off with a fresh fruit platter of watermelon and mandarins.

Notable comments were “excellent menu choice with plenty of variety”, “best pork I have had – could not fault any dish”.

The service was prompt and flowed with all food presented on platters and then plated on individual plates.

This entry was posted on May 13, 2018.

Ahgora, Glebe, Wednesday 4 April 2018

Our April lunch, well attended by 32 ladies, was at a Greek and mediterranean inspired cuisine restaurant in the heart of Glebe.
The aperitif was a French sparkling blend from Barton & Guestier in Bordeaux.
The lunch consisted of three courses and entrees presented were :

Taramsalata tzatziki and mixed olives with smoked paprika seasoned pita bread.
Charred Octopus on a bed of black lentils mixed with green herbs salsa and yoghurt. Sweet potato chips on top.
Ricotta Gnocchi on pumpkin puree, pepitas and parmesan cheese.

Cold Mezze Plate

Charred Octopus

Ricotta Gnocchi

The pita bread was very thin and fresh making for a great start to the lunch.
The charred octopus was very tender and it was felt the dish would have been better without the yoghurt mixed in with the lentils. This was a dish of unusual food combinations.
The Ricotta Gnocchi was a dish of contrasting flavours and the pumpkin puree was a smooth, flavoursome bed for the gnocchi.

The main was Slow Roasted Lamb shoulder from the Murray Valley served on eggplant puree with a spiced chickpea crunch on top.
The salads accompanying the lamb were Roasted Cauliflower on a tahini yoghurt with pepitas and the other salad being Red Cabbage, granny smith apple, red capsicum, mint, sesame seeds and citrus dressing.

Slow Roasted Lamb

Roasted Cauliflower

Some platters did not have the same amount of eggplant puree, but the lamb was very moist and full of flavour.
Both salads were well presented and added good textural contrast to the main meal. The cauliflower was highly favoured.

Desserts at the lunch were :
Lemon strudel – lemon curd, green apple sorbet
Dark Chocolate Volcano, strawberry jam ice cream
Baklava – date syrup, nuts and salted caramel swirl ice cream

Lemon Strudel & Baklava

Dark Chocolate Volcano

All three desserts were delicious and very different.

The wines served at the lunch were :
Fteri, Moschofilero, 2016 Arcadia, Greece. This white wine is dry as the grapes are grown in the mountainous region.
Produced and bottled in Tripoli, the capital city. This wine presents with a floral nose but surprisingly dry on the palate.

Kir Yanni Paranga, Merlot, Xinomavro, Syrah 20145 Macedonia, Greece. This red is a mellow blend of Merlot, Syrah and a Greek grape variety Xinomavro which is mostly grown in the north.

This restaurant scored a lot of 10’s for the food and comments ranged from “the best meal for many months” to “excellent and congratulations to the chefs”.
The chefs were brothers and came out of the kitchen to say hello.

The service was excellent and the only downside was with the hard surfaces, and number of ladies in the restaurant, it was hard to hear each other speak.

This entry was posted on April 23, 2018.

Efendy Turkish Restaurant, Rozelle, Wednesday 7 March 2018

The March lunch was held in the popular Turkish restaurant ‘Efendy’ in Rozelle. We were an intimate group of 20 but this did not stop us all from enjoying a delicious lunch with matching Turkish wines.

We were greeted with a typical non-alcoholic drink from Turkey – a Mastika made with Mastic Soda, seasonal fruits and lime juice. As this is a sweet drink, was not to everyone’s taste but a number of the ladies enjoyed it.

The menu consisted of a cold Meze and a hot Meze, Mains and side dishes as well as a dessert.

We started off with lavash bread and zahter butter.
The cold meze were two dips :

Pomegranate humus
Smoked Eggplant, tahini, pistachio

Pomegranate Humus

Smoked Eggplant,tahini, pistachio

The Smoked Eggplant Meze was by far considered the favourite as was full of delicious flavours.

The Kadayif Prawns served with capsicum muhammara were cooked to retain moisture in the prawns and the capsicum was a flavourful accompaniment.

Kadayif Prawns, capsicum muhammara

Mains were :

Cop sis, mini chicken skewers on lavash bread, sweet peppers, cherry tomato

Mini chicken skewers

The chicken on the skewers was very tender and cooked to the correct timing.

Lamb shoulder Tandir, heirloom tomatoes, green olives, wild thyme.
The lamb shoulder was cooked in a tagine earthenware pot and consequently slow cooked and a little dry. This dish does not lend itself to those who prefer their lamb cooked pink !

Lamb Shoulder Tandir

There was a salad of cucumber, walnut and ancient grains to accompany the lamb shoulder.

Tomato, cucumber, walnut salad

The dessert was Kunefe with apple tea.
The shredded pastry of the Kunefe was delicious and the apple tea was a little too sweet for most tastes.

The matching Turkish wines were :

2015 Chardonnay Isabey Servilentepe – matched the meze and prawns.
2 Red wines were offered :
2013 Syrah, Sevilen, Guney Denizi
2014 Merlot, 2nd parcel, Sevilen Guney Denizli

The Syrah was the favourite of the two reds as having an extra year of age helped the wine.

All who attended agreed the food tasted fresh and was full of different flavours and textures.
The menu was well balanced with a delicious combination of flavours.

The 2015 Chardonnay

This entry was posted on April 8, 2018.

Bistro Moncur, Mosman, Wednesday 7 February 2018

The first lunch for the Society for 2018 was held at the popular Bistro Moncur in Mosman. There was a large attendance of just over 40 ladies who enjoyed the elegant surroundings of the room.

The ladies were greeted with an aperitif of Sieur d’Arques Grande Cuvee 1531 de Aimery

The entrees were served as a choice from the menu whereas the mains were served as alternate serve.

Entrees being :
Sydney Rock Oysters with Cabernet Vinaigrette
Buffalo Mozzarella, fig, witlof, basil, vin cotto
French Onion Souffle gratin
Barossa Chicken Liver Pate, Onion jam, cornichons and brioche
Bistro Moncur Salmon marinated in Sauvignon blanc, aromatics and herbs

The most popular choice was the French Onion Souffle Gratin – comments being matched well with the white wine but was considered a large sized entree.

French Onion Souffle Gratin

The Sydney Rock Oysters were the next favoured entree :

Sydney Rock Oysters

The mains served as alternate serve were :

Pan Fried Barramundi, mashed peas, creme fraiche and confit spring onion, sunflower seed and caper beurre noisette

Pan Fried Barramundi

Grilled Sirloin, Cafe de Paris
and a vegetarian option of Saute Potato and Ricotta Gnocchi, Zucchini, Oyster mushrooms and sage butter

Vegetarian Option

Comments on the Barramundi – a very strong taste and on one plate the fish was a little dry. The smashed peas were a great accompaniment to the fish.
The grilled sirloin was perfectly cooked and tender on most plates.
The accompanying wines on the day were :
White : 2014 Louis Latour Macon-Villages Chameroy
Red : 2012 Guigal Cotes du Rhone

Both wines matched the Barramundi and the Sirloin Steak rather well.
As expected, a few members were not happy with the alternate serve of the main courses.
The service was excellent in elegant surroundings and some will return to the Bistro.

This entry was posted on March 25, 2018.

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYC) Rushcutters Bay, Sydney, Wednesday 6 December 2017

Our end of year lunch was held in a room on the ground floor of the club with plenty of activity going on in the background in preparation for the Sydney to Hobart sailing race to take place later on in the month.
There was also a king tide which explained the water lapping up onto the decking.
There were 28 ladies at the lunch, which included 3 guests who have previously attended lunches.
As it was the Christmas lunch, members donated gifts to children and food parcels to families which were to be distributed by the Manly branch of the Salvation Army. One of our members kindly co-ordinates and forwards the gifts to the charity.

We were served a 3 course meal and 4 wines to match.

The aperitif wine was a Taltarni NV and started the afternoon off well.

Entree :
An individual seafood plate with Sydney Rock Oysters (mignonette sauce) Tiger Prawns (cocktail sauce) Smoked Tasmanian Salmon,
Balmain Bug (tartare sauce) and lemon and Japanese seaweed salad.

This seafood plate was a very generous serving of fresh local seafood and presented on the plates beautifully.

Seafood Platter

The choice of main dishes were :
Seared fillet of Huon River Salmon with shaved fennel, coriander and sesame
Herb roasted Chicken Breast with pumpkin puree and green beans
Grass fed 300 gr Northern Rivers Sirloin on the bone, with chips and sauce Diane

Sirloin on the bone

The main courses were large sized portions and the salmon was the most favoured dish and went well with the fennel, coriander and sesame salad.
Some of the steak dishes did not arrive as to the length of cooking required. The steak was superb but needed more sauce.

The accompanying wines were :

Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc
Mt Adam Chardonnay
Mr Riggs, Gaffer Shiraz

The desserts were plates of canapes.
Lemon curd tartlets
Strawberry cheesecake pots with white chocolate crumb
Chocolate mousse with popping candy and beetroot cress
Pistachio macarons

Portion of the dessert canapes

We had bottles of wine to give away which required answers to food and wine related questions.
Some thought a casual atmosphere, good position and a fun relaxing day with ok food.
The servings were generous, the service was adequate and there was something for everyone.
One expression was that the food was ‘club food’ and not a good choice for a wine and food society.

Some of the gifts

View of the marina

This entry was posted on February 14, 2018.

Mr Chow’s Peking Restaurant, Kent Street, The Rocks, Sydney, Wednesday 1 November 2017

We had a good attendance for a return visit to this long standing Chinese restaurant. It was interesting in that the society had a lunch at the same restaurant 25 years ago, a good reason for a celebration for those few members who were at the restaurant 25 years ago and who also came to the lunch today. 27 members and 5 guests attended and were greeted with a glass of 2015 Ca’Bolani Friuli Pinot Grigio on arrival.

The menu was shared plates and we started with Vegetarian Egg Roll and Shallot Pancakes.

Vegetarian Egg Roll

Shallot Pancakes

The slices of Egg Roll were rated highly, the shallot pancakes, whilst enjoyable, were considered a little dry.

The 2nd course was the perennial favourite of Tea Smoked Duck

Tea Smoked Duck

The duck was cooked to retain moisture and was served with dumpling style pockets. This dish rated highly by all of the ladies.

The main courses were :
Sizzling Beef Fillets with Black Pepper Sauce
Stir fried King Prawns with scrambled eggs
Pan fried Beans with Minced Pork and chilli
Salt and Pepper Eggplant
Sweet and Sour Pork
Snow Peas with mixed vegetables
Shanghai style noodles

Sizzling Beef Fillets

King Prawns Scrambled Eggs

Beans with Minced Pork and Chilli

Salt and Pepper Eggplant

The comments were variable but the Beef Fillets with Black Pepper was a disappointing dish as it could have had more flavour. The eggs were not blended through the King Prawns and was considered a weak dish. A few comments were that the Sweet and Sour Pork was too fatty and too sweet and had MSG added to the dish, a disappointment. The eggplant was light and well cooked and one of the favourite dishes.

The dessert was a battered toffee apple and banana

The wines were :
2016 Amelia Park Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc, Margaret River, WA
2016 Les Soeurs de Bonpas Cotes de Rhone, France
2014 Chapoutier Cotes du Roussillon Bila Haut, France

There was a discussion between the style of the two red wines and the Cotes de Rhone was the favoured red.
It was considered the restaurant servings were generous and most dishes were well cooked.
The service was adequate given there were only two staff on the floor.
Unfortunately, the order of delivery did not flow to match the order on the menu.

This entry was posted on November 26, 2017.

Tullochs Wines and Bistro Molines, Mount View, Hunter Valley – Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The annual trip this year to a regional restaurant was to the Hunter Valley. We departed early from Artarmon and travelled to Tulloch Wines for a cross section of mainly their current range of white wines and a couple of reds. Back onto the bus and a short drive to Mount View to the French Bistro Molines situated on a hill with outstanding views of vine planted rolling hills.
We were greeted in the courtyard to three delicious canapes and a white blend of local wine generously supplied by Robert Molines, our host.

Flowers dotted throughout the restaurant

Wine and flowers

We sat down in the charming, quirky country styled restaurant to a three course meal.

Entrees :
New season Leek and Gruyere Tarte with Baby Leeks
Crumbed Zucchini flowers filled with goats cheese

Leek and Gruyere tart

The entree was rated highly, with no adverse comments, and enjoyed by all.

The selected wine was a 2016 Tinkler Poppy Chardonnay that matched well with the cheese and rich zucchini.
Mains :
Bouillabaisse with fish of the day, king prawns, mussels and shellfish bisque
Twice roasted Hunter Duckling on braised cabbage, sauteed speck and peas, orange glaze
Fillet Mignon, confit garlic croquette, sauteed spinach, red wine jus, bernaise sauce


Twice roasted duck

Fillet Mignon

It was unusual to see spring vegetables in the bouillabaisse – squash and green beans – although they were very tasty.
The duckling was the favoured main meal. Mostly served tender, but with one comment that the duck was somewhat dry and ordinary.
Fillet Mignon was not chosen by many who attended the lunch.

The wines offered were a 2015 Frogmore Pinot Noir which suited the duck very well and a 2014 Keith Tulloch Kester Shiraz, being a more full bodied wine, matched the fillet mignon and the chocolate fondant dessert.

Desserts :
Dark Chocolate Fondant with Stracciatella Ice Cream
Fig Brulee with marinated berries and langue de chat
Selection of 3 cheeses with fruits, nuts and crackers

Chocolate fondant

Fig Brulee

Selection of cheeses

The fig brulee was chosen by most and rated highly.
The chocolate fondant was very rich and the ice cream with the flecks of chocolate matched well.
The cheese plate was a generous serve.

Following the meal tea/coffee and petit fours were served.

Macaroon Petit Fours

The service was seamless, friendly and attentive. We were well looked after.
All agreed a restaurant in a beautiful setting with food of outstanding quality.

Tasting wines at Tullochs

This entry was posted on October 14, 2017.