Last week I sat alongside foodie glitterati including Angus Fontaine, John Newtown, Joanna Savill and Lyndey Milan at a twilight dinner put on by the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. This is the amuse-bouche of Bluefin Tuna Tartare on Parmesan Panna Cotta and Alto Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
The highlight of my evening was chatting to the building's architect Philip Cox about the difference between his sensitive low-rise, maritime themed buildings set under the “grand verandah” of expressways, versus the eyesore planned over the way at Barangaroo. Phillip by the way is one of the only architects in Sydney that insists clients have an arts budget at the inception of the building!
Our Entree Tasting Plate began with Macadamia Nut-Filled Mirrool Creek Lamb Loin with Fig and Thyme Custard. Both my dining companion Phillip Cox and I kind of wished the little blob was the mustard we first anticipated it would be.
Lemon and Lime Ocean Trout Fillet with Yabby Tail and Green Mango Ceviche.
Cardamom and Star Anise-Spiced Macleay Valley Duck Breast on Pickled Gammon. It was all washed down with a lovely Logan Hannah Rose 2010 from Orange NSW which I enjoyed for its savoury edge.
After a not-so-palate-cleansing palate cleanser of Lavender and Cranberry Gelato, we had a main was a Hereford Beef Tenderloin with Butter-Poached White Aspargus Parcel, Rosemary Fondant and Horseradish Mousseline.
For dessert we were offered a Noble One Expresso Martini (not really my cup of tea, I tend to prefer my dessert wine and coffee in separate receptacles), and a Dessert Tasting Plate. It featured New Guinea Cacao Creme Brulee, Red Wine and Cinnamon Parfait and Mango and Fromage Blanc Cigar with Raspberry Compote.
The evening was a nice reminder that that this often overlooked venue has a spectacular collection of the biggest paintings in Australia - the Brett Whitley weighs 300kg and needs a small army to move it! It's also right on the glittering waterside with great city views and a massive functions menu. Perhaps some little Lamb Shank Confit Pies with Blackberry Relish, and a few wines chosen by Chief Sommelier William Wilson might be just the ticket for your next function?
Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Drive, Darling Harbour
Ph: (02) 9282 5000