So here I am again – I feel like I almost just live on a plane these days. Anyway – I am jetsetting again and I find myself in the place which I love to call home – the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney Airport. Qantas has a new menu for Spring and I am delighted to have a little taste…
Crisp fried Mirrool Creek lamb ribs with pickled cabbage and nuoc cham
The dish is defined by its texture and richness. The lamb has this crispy puffy outer portion which is a treat to start with and then one ventures into the “fall apart” meat of the ribs which is buttery and oh so tender with the fullness of flavour one expects. The tang of the pickled vegetables battle with the lamb’s pureness while the sour, salty, spicy kick of the nuoc cham provides a flavour streak to round out the lamb.
Hentley Farm Shiraz (2014) Barossa Valley, South Australia
I pair this with the Hentley Farm Shiraz. The wine has beautiful red and dark fruit aromas (primarily cherry and blackcurrants) with touches of light chocolate and vanilla. On the palate the wine has beautiful flavours of cherry with a unique raspberry jam like note with a beautiful streak of sharp acidity and long tannins in the finish to accompany the fruit intensity. It is a well rounded wine indeed. Although I do find it a little too young at the moment.
The kingfish is smooth and oily with a rich succulent texture and a taste to match. The saltiness of the soy adds a little swish at the back of the tongue on first taste.
I pair this with a refreshing glass of Veuve Cliquot.
Chicken with crispy eggplant salad, mustard greens and shallot sauce
This dish is built around the succulent chicken which is front and centre. The chicken is quite well done in terms of culinary finish. The crispy eggplant chips offer a lovely texture contrast to the rest of the dish, while the mustard (almost intensely pickled) greens provide a zesty tang to liven up the dish. Probably a little too much zest for my liking. The shallot topping is “hot on the tongue” and provides some lovely bite to wake you up to enjoy this beautiful spring afternoon in Sydney. A lovely dish.
Reschke ‘Vitulus’ Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) Coonawarra, South Australia
I switch wines to the Reschke. A wonderful full bodied wine with strong aromas of berries and hints of vanilla on the nose. The wine oozes the richness of dark fruits (with notable tingle of blackberry goodness) with a wonderful introduction of dark chocolate hints and a tannin grip paired with smooth acidity on the finish to match.
Fig and hazelnut tart with honey and ricotta whey sorbet
This dish is sweet indeed (and not in the NZ turn of phrase mind you). The sweetness of the figs and honey just jump at you on the first bite. This is dish built around textures, lovely crispy “messy” tart base with the sticky sweetness of the honey, the crunch of toasted hazelnuts and the juicy sweetness of the figs and of course the cold icy sorbet which dances through the dish as a cheerleader at a major football match. It is light in flavours, but heavy in content – a lovely gentle signature to finish the afternoon dining.
Always love dining in the Qantas First Lounge and this is no exception!