J and I were lucky enough to score tickets ($200/head!) through his work for the Heart Foundation's annual gala ball at Wrest Point Casino in the last weekend on June. The theme of the night was 'Dreaming under the Southern Stars' so everything had a very Aussie feel to it, from the food to the decorations to the entertainment (James Blundell!). We dressed up in our finest clothes, and had a great time!
Before we were seated, canapés were served, though we didn't get to try any. The menu listed chermoula-spiced prawn skewers with soy dipping sauce, tempura vegetables with mint yoghurt, and sweet potato tartlets with wilted spinach and pecans.
The appetiser was a "Bushman's Platter", consisting of cured wallaby with Tasmanian berry chutney, gumleaf smoked atlantic salmon tartare, and sweet potato panna cotta with micro herb salad. The wallaby (hiding at the back-right of the pic below) was fantastic, a lovely flavour with a nicely chewy texture. The sweet potato panna cotta was a bit strange at first, but I ended up enjoying it.
Our entrée was consommé of roasted tomatoes with smoked chicken, fresh basil and savoury snow eggs. The soup itself was nice but the snow egg was very strange indeed! Reading the menu I'd had visions of a fantastical Peter Gilmore-style snow egg, but it was basically just a sweet, soft meringue. On its own it was far too sweet but I found that having a tiny bit in a spoonful of soup was not so bad tasting... but still odd!
We were also served a damper-like bread with butter.
Main courses were alternate service. I had the seared lemon myrtle ocean trout with pickled cucumber, steamed wild rice, light tomato and curry leaf sauce. The trout was sublime - I was impressed at how perfectly it was cooked considering how many people they were catering for. The other elements of the dish were fine.
J had the plum glazed pork ribs with herb crushed potato, red cabbage and port jus.
The table set up was quite nice.
Dessert was also alternate service. J had the wild rosella flower and coconut cream mousse, with wattle seed shortbread and orange pepper berry sauce.
I had a very lovely chocolate and wattle seed pudding with vanilla ice cream and rosella compote. A delicious end to the night!
After dessert we were offered tea and coffee, which came with casino-branded plain chocolates that were quite awful - they tasted like compound chocolate.
During the dinner we thoroughly enjoyed the wines from northern Tassie's Holm Oak Vineyard. I tried the sparkling rose, 2009 riesling, 2010 sauvignon blanc, 2009 pinot noir and the 2010 botrytis riesling, all of which were very drinkable indeed! I'll be looking out for their wines in future.