Thursday, September 9, 2010

At Home

A while ago, I was invited to a friend's place for a delicious steamboat dinner, and with a total of three (3!) Frenchmen in attendance, the guests' conversation turned as it often does, to FOOD.  So we made a date there and then to get together for a French Degustation Dinner (with matching wines).

Each person was assigned a dish to prepare, and I must say, everyone's efforts exceeded expectations.  Here is what we had.

Caroline was our lovely hostess, and she provided the gorgeous table setting. 
The menu looks très professionnel, non?

Aperitif: Brown Brothers Moscato. A sweet, refreshing wine, served chilled.
Starter: Huitre (Oysters). Sydney Rock oysters with soy and sesame dressing, and Pacific oysters with pickled ginger and wasabi granita (oysters were from Joe's Seafood in Balmain [picked up by Will], sauces by Bel)
Champagne: Piper Heidsieck Brut

Entree: Steak Tartare (by Teresa)
Using the finest aged eye fillet, Teresa finely hand-diced the meat and combined it with lemon zest, red onion, capers and anchovies before mixing in an organic egg.  Served with toasted bread.
This was one of the best steak tartares I've ever had.

Second entree: Coquille avec le brocoli (Braised Scallops with broccoli sauce) (by Teresa)
Another brilliant dish, the plump fresh scallops were topped with a broccoli, white wine and garlic sauce, then oven-baked.
Sorbet (lemon sorbet with passionfruit) (by Caroline).  Apologies for not getting a photo of this, but rest assured it was a pleasant palate-cleanser in preparation for the main course.

Main: Fillet de barramundi au beurre rouge (barramundi with red wine sauce) (by Serge)
Beautiful fillet of baked fish, with pan-fried potato, pumpkin and onion and a rich, red wine sauce. See the impressive plating-up pic above.

Salad: Salade fenouil (fennel salad) (by Teresa)
Refreshing strips of fennel and celeriac in a mild cream sauce.
Wine: Instinct pinot noir (Marlborough, New Zealand)

Fromage (cheese) (by Emmanuel)
The cheeses were a sublime fromage de Clarines (out of the box) and a soft washed-rind cheese (didn't catch the name, but it was lovely with French bread).
Petits fours (by Bel)
These included cinnamon palmiers, walnut caramel chocolates and Grand Marnier truffles. I will post the recipes later...
Dessert wines: McGuigan botrytis (1994) and Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora.

Feeling totally stuffed satiated after this amazing meal, we made our way into the night with plans for a joint barbeque banquet in a few months' time. It will surely be another meal to remember.


  1. the food looks incredibly awesome. what a dinner party!

  2. What a sensational degustation. There's nothing better than sharing good food with like-minded foodie friends!

    p/s: any chance of sharing the recipe of the broccoli sauce?

  3. Wow, that meal looks extraordinary! Can I come to the next one? ;-)

  4. Food with friends and great conversation (wine optional) is always most welcome in my household =)

  5. This sounds like such a fun concept! What an awesome thing to do with friends. All of the food looks fantastic!

  6. This sounds like fun and you guys even have a designed menu!

  7. What fun but didn't the French guys cook anything, hehe!

  8. C'est magnifique! Je suis assez jaloux! Also quite hungry...

  9. Three Frenchmen? Lucky you! lol. The meal looks amazing, especially the steak tartare and your beautiful petit fours!

  10. Hey Bel, all of the food here looks wonderful and very French. Ooh, and I used to love steak tartare back in the day (yikes!). I might have to make some tuna tartare now to satisfy the craving that is coming on...
    p.s. I used to love Frenchmen too, but I've gotten over that addiction totally (smile)...!

  11. Wow that is such a delicious and impressive looking meal! The menu is so lovely! The steak tartare photo is making my mouth water. Can't wait to see your petit fours recipes :)

  12. I love dinner parties!! All the dishes look amazing!

  13. Ooh I love dinner parties with printed menus, seems a whole lot fancier! What a fantastic feast you had and I love that everyone contributed to the degustation!

  14. Dinner with friends is always so much fun, especially when everyone contributes to making the meal (feast), everything looks so superb, wouldn't have know it was all home cooked ;)

  15. I love dinner parties more so than going out to eat! All dishes look absolutely heavenly! I would've loved to try that steak tartare!

  16. What an amazing feast! And accomplished cooks! Invite me! Invite me!

  17. If you hadn't mentioned that this had taken place in someone's home, I would have had no problem thinking it was a restaurant meal, everything looks very professionally prepared! Well done!

  18. What a feast! All the food look absolutely stylish and delish!

  19. A menu like this would cost you at least 25 Euro in France. Great line up of food!