The other day (or months ago probably) I was out with a friend for lunch and we started talking about how great degustation menus are (and how you are lucky to make the time to do them when you have kids). It got me reminiscing about Mark's birthday lunch, which was all the way back in April. Seriously, I blink at the moment and a month flies by. For Mark's 30th he got spoilt and taken to Cottage Point Inn for lunch, and since I'm his wife I got the privilege of accompanying him. Score....even though I couldn't enjoy the matching wines with degustation menu since Olivia was only three weeks old. However, the rest of the table did, so I had an occasional sip, and I think it is fair to say that we all thought the pairings were great.
|Mark and Olivia|
After reading the menu we were anticipating a delicious lunch, but every course was better than we had imagined. We started off with warm ratatouile salad that was flavoured with lemon thyme, which satisfied my citrus obsession nicely.
The second course of gently grilled scallops, fresh figs roasted in rosemary butter, toasted macadamia milk and charred gem lettuce read like there was going to be too much going on in the dish, but it was perfectly balanced...not to mention that I was stoked to be making up for all the scallops I missed out on when I was pregnant with Olivia.
Second course was cobia, a fish I hadn't consumed before and thoroughly enjoyed. It had a nice firm flesh which I described as eating a fish steak, and it had leek which made me a happy diner.
Lightly charred cobia, hazelnut, anchoiade hollandaise,
persimmon, baby leeks and chard.
Third course was smoked pork belly brushed with black garlic, toasted walnut and pork skin crumb, pink grapefruit. This was my first introduction to black garlic and I loved the slightly new yet familiar flavour, and I couldn't get enough of the walnut and pork skin crumb....despite my unexplainable dislike for pork skin. Yes, I know crackling is the best thing in the world, but it has to be a freaking amazing execution of pork skin for me to even entertain the idea of putting it in my mouth, it is a textural thing for me and it is very rarely done in a way that I enjoy it, although I love the flavour, so this crumb was beyond perfect.
|Grilled Wagyu rump cap, shaved foie gras, |
marinated brown mushroom, roast onion and lemon puree.
Next was grilled Wagyu rump cap, shaved foie gras (which melted in my mouth), marinated brown mushroom, roast onion and lemon puree. This dish did create a discussion about the animal cruelty involved with making foie gras, however, it was saved until after the delicious treat had melted in our mouths. I was surprised to find out that the animal cruelty involved in the production of this delicacy isn't as common knowledge as I had assumed it was. Am I against the practise of making foie gras? Indefinitely YES. Is it bloody delicious? YES! Would I eat it again? The activist in me would like to say no, but let's be honest (like I know how to be anything but), my tastebuds would totally win that argument.
After a perfectly balanced rich red meat course along came dessert, well the first dessert anyway. Blueberry parfait, natural yoghurt sorbet, salted caramel pistachio crumb was as pretty on the eye as it was in the mouth. A few simple flavours perfectly married together with creamy and crumbly textures was perfect, and the little surprise in the middle added to the theatre of the day...did I mention we were at Cottage Point Inn, which provides perfect viewing of Cowan Creek and all the beauty that nature has to offer.
Blueberry parfait, natural yoghurt sorbet,
salted caramel pistachio crumb.
Coffee roasted chocolate mousse,
textures of chocolate, mint ice cream.
|Chocolate sticks served with coffee.|
After this delightful afternoon everyone was stuffed. Except me, I could have easily done it all again, but I am eating enough to fuel two humans. The venue was perfect, the staff were friendly and the food was delicious. When can we go back?
Do you fancy enjoying a degustation lunch at Cottage Point Inn? I highly recommend contacting Off The Map boat charters to get you there....and yes, I am paid (in love) for that recommendation.