The annual bus trip away to a regional restaurant for 2016 was held at Ruby’s in Kembla Heights, south of Sydney. The November lunch was organised by Margaret Teh and Penny Still.
Ruby’s is situated in a restored wooden building on the main street of a historic mining village and the restaurant is owned and run by Scott Woods who has an impressive cv of working in well known restaurants in Sydney, London and Whistler, Canada.
After departing by coach from Central Station we first headed to Hazelhurst Cafe and Art Gallery to view an exhibition of artworks entitled Nganampa Kililpil – Our Stars – curated from art centres in the Central and Western deserts. The art and ceramaics were very impressive and enjoyed after a tea or coffee at the cafe.
The lunch was to be a 5 course degustation with matching wines.
On arrival at Ruby’s leafy courtyard we were served a glass of Chevalier Blanc de Blancs.
This was a refreshing pick-me-up after a lengthy drive to Kembla Heights.
We were seated in the main room with the atmosphere of olde worlde charm with plenty of memorabilia on the walls.
The meal started with :
Butternut Pumpkin Veloute
House made bread
Followed by :
Confit Rabbit Terrine, Proscuitto, Pistachio, Piccalilli
Served with 2016 Wooing Tree Rose from Central Otago NZ
The Veloute was considered to be too salty and the pumpkin flavour not strong enough. The Rabbit Terrine had a great meld of flavours and some considered the Piccalilli, whilst unusual, was too strong a match with the other subtle flavours of a well constructed dish.
The Rose paired well with the Terrine.
Confit Ocean Trout, Kohlrabi, Fennel, Celeriac Puree
Served with 2015 Kilikanoon Morts Block Riesling from the Clare Valley, SA
This was a well constructed visually pleasing dish that had been cooked to perfection with great textures and the contrasting flavours married well.
The Clare Valley Riesling was a perfect match.
Next was the Smoked Duck Breast, Braised Leg, White Turnip, Golden Beetroot, Corn Puree
Served with 2015 Artemis Pinot Noir – Southern Highlands, NSW
This dish was a taste bomb with the smoky emphasis of the rare pink duck breast and the clever cylindrical construction of the braised leg. The glaze atop the braised leg was perfect.
The pinot noir was a very disappointing wine pairing as it had no depth of flavour and consequently not enjoyed.
Chocolate Fondant, White Chocolate Mousse, Strawberry Sorbet, Walnut Soil
Served with 2013 Mitchelton Blackwood Park Botrytis Riesling, Victoria
Chocolate and Strawberries in a dessert dish are always a big winner and this dessert did not disappoint.
This dessert was enjoyed immensely by all at the lunch. The chocolate fondant had been cooked perfectly.
The Botrytis was a good match.
The food lived up to the award from Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat Winner awarded for the 4th year in a row to Scott Woods.
There were numerous 9’s and 10’s on the rating forms – the sign of a well designed menu providing great food.
The comments on the wine were that the the pours of wine were too small and apart from the Pinot Noir, were enjoyable.
The service was slow at times which was evident from the inexperienced floor staff.
A quiet return trip to Sydney.