Wow, what a night Saturday was! The backstory is that Aileen entered a competition that had something to do with the Bell Shakespeare Company, and out of the blue, a few weeks ago, she got a phone call from them to say she’d won a prize – a restaurant dinner for 8 people worth $2,400! She didn’t believe it at first – and right up until the actual moment, I think we suspected there must be some flaw somewhere. I mean, she couldn’t even remember actually entering!
Anyway, she made up her eight with Michelle and Shaun, Jeanette and Lawrence, Sue and Bob, and me. Here’s the group –
The restaurant was Matt Moran’s Aria, up in the Toaster on Circular Quay, and the special dinner was the dégustation menu. We started at six and went through till eleven thirty – officially eight courses, though with unofficial extras it ended up being more like ten. Selected wines to go with each course – oh boy, it was magnificent! We had a room just big enough for eight that had windows on two sides looking out on the kitchen, and the guy that looked after us (more than just a waiter) gave us an explanation on how everything in the kitchen worked – personnel, organisation, cooking techniques. I’d never have guessed it could be so interesting! Half of everything these days seems to be cri-vac cooked, vacuum sealed then cooked for many, many hours at a low temperature in a water bath. Here’s the view –
Not a single course was less than brilliant. Very small portions, of course, but multiply small portions by eight (or ten) and it turns into a huge meal! Ditto eight glasses of wine. Aileen and I had decided to have a hot chocolate on Sunday – which was just about the only thing we felt like eating all day. What a night!