After a bottle of Mumm we were treated to a remarkable meal, leaning towards Spanish flavours.
A coarse textured guacamole was irresistible, its flavour enhanced by just the right amount of lime juice and chopped ripe tomato and coriander. This was accompanied by a very light pork crackling and corn chips. Like magic it disappeared at about the same time as the champagne, only to be replaced by another course.
This was a special version of paella, arrosa a la banda in Spanish,
using a short Spanish rice with saffron, cooked in a home made fish stock in a pan and garnished with lightly cooked calamari and herbs. The stock was especially flavoursome and suffused the dish with a gentle, mouth watering taste of the sea.
If you do not know the word moorish, which here does not refer to an Othello like North African, but to a condition which can only be satisfied by experiencing more of what you have only just had, this dish would make it's meaning quite clear. It simply cannot be bettered.
A tomato, Marengo cheese, scorched almonds, peppers and anchovie stuffed olive salad was so attractive it was a shame to eat it but we over came our reluctance and again could hardly stop.
It was beautifully dressed with a light olive oil and a sherry vinegar which combined to bring the best out of the other ingredients, especially the cheese.
What might have been the piece de resistance, had everything else not been so very good, was fresh, line caught, King George whiting fillets from Westernport Bay. These were lightly cooked in butter.
Almost sweet and moist, they were a fine end to the main courses, I could have eaten a dozen of them!
Two more bottles of light white wines, one Spanish and one Portuguese matched the food, making it even better.
Dorothy put together a mixture of berries which we had with lashings of lightly beaten sweetened cream,
coffee and a fantastic, slightly soft, hazelnut nougat.
Here are the links to the recipes for the dishes we had
Neil and Dorothy demonstrated a lightness of touch, and provided a visual pleasure for us with a meal to make many a chef jealous.
I wish we could have seen Neil on Masterchef!