I know this post is ridiculously late, but hey, better late than never right?
You’re about to indulge in a multiple course menu cooked by a Japanese chef and plated up beautifully by my parents-in-law Steve and Angela.
We started with glasses of champagne and a massive bowl of prawns complete with lemon scented finger bowls. This was the first time I had ever eaten prawns on Christmas Day.
As an Australian of Hungarian and Lebanese descent I’m used to enjoying a full baked dinner (duck, turkey, pork) and/or banquet meal (Lebanese mezze) for Christmas. Now that I’m married, eating prawns with my in-laws is an Aussie tradition I can definitely get used to. Yum!
This year they decided to get Christmas catered by a Japanese chef who prepared all the food the night before. It was a very organised operation, with dishes and sauces packed separately and identified with coloured stickers, making it much easier to plate up on the night.
Once we’d devoured every last prawn we moved onto the meal…
Mushi Gamo: cold steamed duck breast with sake, mirin and soy sauce
Beef tataki: rare grilled beef marinated in tangy soy sauce
Hot smoked salmon: roasted cocktail potatoes with dill and capers
Sushi rice salad: with poached local prawns, pine nuts, tomato, cucumber, onion, corn and mayonnaise (not pictured)
Baked pumpkin: penne pasta and feta cheese with basil, ginger and garlic dressing
Coconut Agar: with mango sauce
The duck was super juicy and the flavours in the sauce very nicely balanced. I’m very impressed by the plating (in fact, this is true for all the dishes) especially the overlapping slices in a fan shape. Very neat.
The beef slices clearly loved the soy sauce because they sucked it up and were good and juicy for it too. The saltiness of the sauce really complimented the perfectly pink meat. Heavenly.
[Hot smoked salmon: roasted cocktail potatoes with dill and capers]
I haven’t seen potatoes called ‘cocktail’ since flicking through my mums 70’s cookbooks, cute! They were very moreish coupled with the dill and capers and provided starchy relief from the rich salmon.
Oh sushi rice salad, how I love thee! I’m a big fan of Japanese mayo and this had just the right amount. The rice was creamy and chewy like only sushi rice can be. I dare say it was my favourite.
There was another course after this one but we were all so full! So we moved straight onto dessert…
The combination of flavours here was supurb! Coconut, mango and a tiny sprinkling of fresh blueberries was the perfect end to the meal. So light and slippery and fragrant with in-season produce. Gorgeous.
So there you have it. Such a memorable way to celebrate my first year with my in-laws. Hope there’s many more!
Would love a vote if you get a chance. Go on, I’ll be your best friend….