Sydney weather can be awful sometimes. The forecast is rain, rain and more rain. Lucky for me I have some respite from the cold Sydney weather; a friend mine is hosting a party. It’s not just any party, it’s a Polish themed one and she is making traditional polish dumplings and a Polish BBQ food. I am super excited!
I get there right on time and get a tour of the place; there is this lovely painting on the wall. It’s quite impressive.
There is a cupboard full of shoes (what is it with girls and shoes – seriously).
Then I get to see the liquor cabinet; I am absolutely impressed with the selection. This is definitely going to be an amazing evening. (Note to self – space your drinks Travel Czar!)
So dinner is a mix of lovely finger food and traditional polish cuisine. We start with an amazing bottle of Zinfandel to get the night going!
First there are some Rustic dips and nibbles.
Then there is haloumi with a light coating of dill. It’s delicious, which shows you that simple food can be so exquisite.
The lovely bruschetta is next with some buffalo mozzarella to add some extra flavour. The richness of the mozzarella cuts through the juicy tomatoes to provide a stunning sensation. The softness of the tomatoes with the crunchiness of the mini baguette biscuit base also provides the ideal offset of textures.
We have some fresh Vietnamese rice paper rolls (one of the girls’ folks owns a cool restaurant in Dulwich Hill and supplies these) – they are sublime. Soft rice paper coating, beautiful crunchy vegetables and succulent prawns and tender meat combined with a lovely oriental sauce.
Then the main courses are served.
The dumplings are divine. They are boiled and then placed on the BBQ to provide them with that crisp taste. The vegetarian (potato) dumplings are really impressive. They are done perfectly with just the right texture. The potatoes have the creamy consistency required for a dumpling but with the right level of soft potato cubes to provide texture and allow one to taste the full potato flavours.
The polish sausages (Kielbasa) are quite a treat. The distinct salt flavours of the sausage with real meaty pieces and the right level of juice retained. The crispness from the BBQ also adds an extra element of texture.
As the night progresses we discuss wines. The Zinfanedel finishes, so we need a top-up. She tells me about her amazing collection of some older wines. We go through the collection, until we come across a bottle of Tyrrells Vat 9 Shiraz (1999). I recall drinking (almost) a bottle of this at a function a few years ago. Alas, I have never been invited to another one of those functions again.
She agrees to open the bottle. We open it and pour it into a brand new wine decanter (it looks amazing!!!). The waft of cherries, new leather and rustic dark fruits weave their way down my nose. I swirl it in a beautiful wine glass and take a mouthful of this medium bodied wine. It’s a typical Hunter Shiraz with a meaty and earthy flavour… it flows on the tongue. There isn’t a lot of oak bite left in this wine, it’s pretty much just the fruit.
I am captivated by this wine, I nurse it in the glass, and I gaze at the beautiful dark crimson colour through the glass. It has my complete attention I stop talking to people for a moment, I am being so antisocial. Nothing else matters, time stops, the minutes on the clock (She has a beautiful clock on the wall) slow to lifeless pulse. I savour every drop, every second… I just don’t want it to end.
Alas as the night draws to a close, the wine level in the gorgeous decanter gets lower and lower until it finishes. It’s heart-breaking! Oh well, it’s always the way with a good bottle of wine – it loves you, then leaves you!
The chatter keeps going and soon the numbers dwindle as people drift off for the night. We finish the night sitting on the plush couches sipping Polish Vodka chatting about our travels. One of the guests travels extensively and shares some travel stories – I am almost jealous. We (agree to) disagree on which is the best airline (I think Qantas is the best).
We discuss why traveling to Europe is the best! It’s all about the flights, the cocker spaniel type service I receive from my regular hotel and of course Claridges (refer here for why Claridges is the definition of London).
Now onto the Polish Vodka. The Bison Grass vodkas have a long history in Poland; it was once the drink of nobility. They grass is dried then used to flavour the bottle with a single blade left in each bottle. It’s aromatic, smooth, with beautiful clean taste. It lacks some of the sting that some Vodka’s have. It’s perfect.
We close out the night reflecting on a rather hilarious moment a few years ago. We both happened to be traveling overseas on the same day. I was flying Qantas, she was flying United. We used a loophole to get us both into the Qantas First Lounge – (for my review of the lounge, please click here). The lounge manager wasn’t happy and alas Qantas has since closed that loophole. All good things come to an end – on that note, the party’s over, the night finishes and I am off home 🙁