I arrive at the lounge on one of Sydney’s rainiest days. Its pouring with rain and I battle my through the terminal to get to one of my favourite airline lounges in the world.
I settle into a lovely table by the side of the restaurant and get ready for a lunch to escape the chill that is the Sydney winter.
Given the weather, I peruse the menu and ask the staff for any additional wines which have fallen of the list. They inform me of a GSZ from the Barossa Valley and immediately I glance outside and can’t think of a better wine to suit the conditions.
Hentley Farm “The Stray Mongrel” Grenache, Shiraz, Zinfandel (2014), Barossa Valley, South Australia
Its an interesting wine, the aromas of raspberries dominate with some sweet spice notes evident (not unexpected for a Grenache). On the palate, the wine is all about the strong red fruit flavours with some dusty earthy tannins which are then balanced quite nicely with sweet spice hints in the finish. A very enjoyable wine indeed and the perfect winter warmer.
For the entrée I opt for a lovely spicy Moroccan dish to start proceedings.
Neil Perry’s “Food I Love” – Fish Tagine
The beautiful rich flavours of Moroccan spice flows effortlessly through the roasted vegetables and tender soft white fleshed fish. The grainy couscous adds lovely texture to the dish and the infusion of flavours leaves behind a mix of sour and spicy aftertaste for a well-integrated dish which is perfect for the winter weather.
Red braised lamb shoulder with chilli bean paste and shanghai noodles
Its a hearty dish with the thickness of noodles and the beautiful rich sweet succulent fall-apart lamb (typical of any braise). The lamb’s natural juices intermingle well with the spice in the dish. It is a hearty, filling dish which just warms one up. The crunch of the cashews also adds a nice streak of texture to the dish.
Instead of a dessert wine I opt for a cocktail. The cocktail is beautiful and has the refreshing clean taste of the Sake, the tropical flow of the pineapple and the rich jammy candy taste of citrus imbued in the Orange Marmalade and the Vodka was quite indiscernible…. but I definitely felt the hit a little later.
Warm chocolate brioche pudding with vanilla pouring cream
The pudding is moist, rich and warm. Similar to a bread and butter pudding (they did a really good one in their Winter Menu two years ago – review here), there is the flakey texture of the brioche (the bits that aren’t quite soaked in the chocolate), the gooey chocolate custard and the sweet chocolate swirls which is then tempered with a lovely vanilla cream on the side. The epitome of comfort food.
Later in the afternoon I booked out one of the private rooms to sort out some errands and after a while I am feeling little peckish, so I have a cheeseburger.
Grass Fed Beef Cheeseburger
The juicy beef is the star of the dish with its rich natural flavours oozing from every bite. The soft plush bun holds it well together and the creamy cheese is a delight. The crunch of the lettuce is a break from the softness of the rest of the burger. It is signed-off with a tangy tomato dressing and is just the touch for a satisfying burger experience.
These golden crunchy chips hit the spot.
Finally I book in a Spa Treatment and there is a special Sydney Signature massage on offer which I accept. The massage really hits the spot very nicely and leaves me super relaxed before I board the flight.