On Wednesday night Fran the Food Marshall had arranged the Canberra Food Blogger Christmas dinner at the Southern Cross Yacht Club at Yarralumla. The SCYC is on the southwestern bank of Lake Burley Griffin. For readers outside of Australia, LBG is an artificial lake designed along with the rest of Canberra by Walter Burley Griffin. It’s not a magnificent stretch of water by any means and is frequently tested for high levels of cyanobacteria and faecal coliforms. I’m amazed when I see people using the lakes and potentially being exposed to the water.
This was my first time at the Southern Cross Yacht Club. We had a table booked at 7 pm. I arrived at 6.45 pm and found there were cars everywhere, cars were lining the streets and parked on the sidewalks as well as being parked in nondesignated areas. I went into stalking mode and did a few circuits until I saw someone getting ready to leave. She looked at me and proceeded to sit in her late model Mercedes and preened and mucked around in her hand bag and looked around. I kept smiling at her and after 3 and a bit minutes she turned on the ignition and backed out.
Out the back most of the group had already assembled and there were hors d’oeuvres on the table. Nice sized pieces of well seasoned pork belly on potato and sweet potato. Delicious. I got two so I was pretty happy.
It was a great evening with really nice food and fantastic company. There were the odd moments like when Kristy asked to touch my head and she proceeded to stroke my scalp which had a day’s growth. One of the happy happenstances was when Beck said she couldn’t finish her pan seared scallops on black pudding with salmon eggs. I scored a big bonus.
We had agreed on Facebook earlier that we would go with the à la carte menu noting the availability of the lobster double whammy, i.e., lobster bisque and lobster thermidor. The menu items looked so appetising. I was tossing up on whether to go with scallops or oysters for an entrée (that’s a starter for north American readers) and the pork belly or rib eye fillet for the main course. In the end I went with the lobster twin-pack.
I’m glad I didn’t ask for the scallops as an entrée because we got one scallop on black pudding and salmon roe as an amuse bouche.
I really like black pudding. I really like just cooked scallops and I adore salmon roe. This was delicious.
For my entrée I had kept some of the bread and butter because a nice thick bisque needs some dipping bread I reckon. Kristy thought the same. It was funny the three Chinese people at the table all went for the lobster. Alice who is a Girl in a food frenzy also had the lobster and being the smartphone expert in photography and videography that she is, she improved the light with the aid of a white linen napkin being held up by other food bloggers. This is what I love about food bloggers, everyone is interested in bringing out their cameras and shooting the food. Anyway, the bisque had a really nice flavour. It was smooth but not too smooth. It was quite salty and I’d be okay with a little less salt but with enough still water on the table it was all good. My modified lobster bisque with pan seared scallop on black pudding with salmon roe really hit the spot.
Oh look there’s a scallop with black pudding in my lobster bisque! Thank you @insearchofgoldenpudding for your scallop 😃😋. #CanberraFoodBlogger #Christmas #Dinner A photo posted by Yummy Lummy | Gary Lum (@yummylummyblog) on
The main courses came out after what I thought was a good interval. I didn’t time it but it wasn’t too short and when it arrived I was feeling like eating again.
The lobster was nicely cooked, well seasoned and creamy cheesy. The green vegetables were also nicely cooked, crisp and tasty. The mashed potato though wasn’t a highlight. In some ways with the creamy cheesy lobster, having more creamy potatoes may be seen as too much of a good thing. However, these mashed spuds were a little underwhelming. I think a little more seasoning and maybe some more cream or even sour cream would have made them a great match with the lobster. I shouldn’t complain though, it was a delicious meal.
After the main course a few of the party left and so with a smaller crew remaining we set about discussing dessert and the next Canberra Food Blogger get together. I looked through the dessert menu and while everything looked great I was interested in something relatively light and something with a kick. I went with an affogato. This was quite nice. The coffee was nice and strong and the ice cream was generous in serving size and flavour.
#dessert affogato #CanberraFoodBlogger #Christmas #Dinner A photo posted by Yummy Lummy | Gary Lum (@yummylummyblog) on
I really enjoyed the meal at the Southern Cross Yacht Club and I thought the company of my blogging mates was fabulous.
I’m already looking forward to our next get together.
I thought I’d also add some photographs from Thursday when my workplace had a Christmas Fête and market. Now, my only objection to the word fête is that when I think fête I know there will be a stall selling vanilla slices. No such luck I’m afraid.
I got to work at 6.45 am and noted a smoky scent to the air. I went to get a coffee from Urban Bean Espresso Bar and noticed they had a rotisserie spit outside with at first I thought (actually hoping) was a pig but was a lamb. Later in the morning I caught up with a mate and the spit had been moved.
It’s a lamb not a pig 🐑🐏🐖 Smells great A photo posted by Yummy Lummy | Gary Lum (@yummylummyblog) on
At 12 noon I went to the fête and after visiting a friend who makes crafty cards. I then went in search of vanilla slice but there was none to be found. I ended my excursion outside Urban Bean Espresso Bar where there was a stall selling roast lamb rolls, roast pork rolls and nachos. Being cheeky I asked for half and half and ended up with a half lamb and half pork roll with a big ladle of gravy. The lamb was moist, tender and succulent. The pork was a little dry (I didn’t get fatty bits) but the big piece of crackling I got made up for that. It was tremendous.
Workplace fete (although can it be a fete without vanilla slice) I asked for a half pork half lamb roll. The lamb was tender and moist and I got a couple of lovely pieces of pork crackling. I bought cards from a crafty work friend too. Great roll from Urban Bean Espresso Bar. A photo posted by Yummy Lummy | Gary Lum (@yummylummyblog) on
By the end of the day all I wanted was a light dinner.