Can you believe it? It’s already October and for those who liked horse racing you will know it’s time for Caulfield Cup Carnival :) If you want to go, best to get tickets early! A few weeks ago, I was invited to a preview dinner to try some of the excellent dishes that will be served during Caulfield Cup.
The event was very casual, we all arrived, grabbed a glass of champagne and forgot about the days trouble and relaxed into the night.
As we’re sipping on our drinks, we are handed a canapé, soft goats curd with edible soil which is made out of dehydrated mushrooms and olives garnished with pickled heirloom carrots. I’m not usually a fan of goats curd for the gamey taste, however, this was very subtle and the edible soil had such intense mushroom flavour.
It was quickly followed by the Sashimi grade tuna with green apple salad, green apple caviar, apple and wasabi sorbet finished with sevruga caviar. Such an exquisite canapé using some luxurious items such as the sevruga caviar. I know Mr Bao was so jealous when he saw the photo on Instagram, as he loves raw fish and tuna is one of his favourite. The apple and wasabi sorbet really impressed me as it helped bring out of the flavour of the tuna without being too overpowering.
We then moved into the kitchen were our main meal was going to be served. As this is the Crown Golden Ale preview we were given a range of lagers and ale to try :) Tully Hadley CUB Master Brewer, gave us a brief explanation about Crown Golden Ale the history and production method, I also learnt a few interesting facts. For starters, Australians drink their beer very cold compared to the rest of the world, in some places, they even drink it at room temperature up to 10-12 degrees (celsius).
He taught us how to pour the beer and that it doesn’t really matter if its on an angle or not as it’s a myth it will create too much foam. I’m not generally a Ale sort of girl, however, I found the Crown Golden Ale quite easy to drink, malt flavour wasn’t too strong.
We were then introduced to Ian Curley (Head Chef of Black Caviar Restaurant) and Julian Robertshaw (Melbourne Racing Club’s Executive Chef). You may recognise Ian from a previous blog post of mine, where I met him last year :) He is one of the most candid and nicest chefs I have met. It was also very nice to meet Julian who has recently relocated back to Melbourne, he spent 10 ears working in China, which I found very interesting where he had to learn Chinese simply to communicate with his staff members.
I swear John Dory is Ian’s most favourite fish, he used the same fish at the previous event ~ well can’t blame him the texture of the fish is outstanding when cooked well. On the menu was a Friscassee of John Dory with Oyster and Musseel escabeche. As you can see Ian is stirring the pot with the oyster and mussels, I was getting pretty hungry by then!
Ian and Julian weren’t going to make it easy for us, we were all asked to help including Chris and for those who don’t know he’s a jockey and it was so intriguing to know about what they do to keep themselves so slim which obviously helps with riding :)
After a dollop of mash potato, Julian spreads a generous amount of the oyster and mussel escabeche, wish I could quenelle mash like that!
Even without the John Dory this dish, I think this dish was ready to be eaten :) But then that wouldn’t be fair because Ian had spent so much time filleting the fish and cooking it hehe
And the finished product looks, smells and tastes stunning! The John Dory skins as crispy but the flesh was still delicate, while the escabeche had such lovely flavours especially with the oysters and mussels. We were given the recipe, but don’t think I will be able to replicate this at home anytime soon!
The main was paired with two Crown Ambassodor Reserver Lager, Tally told us that the Crown Ambassador is only made once a year and there is only once chance to make it, hence, they need to make sure the collect the hops on the right day and produce the lager.
We were lucky enough to try both the 2009 and 2012 reserve Lager. I thought I liked the 2012 lager more at first, as the malt flavour was strong but still smooth on the tongue, however, after trying the 2009 that was definitely more suited to my palate much sweeter like a dark burnt caramel.
The last course was a Melbourne racing club signature dessert rhubarb and ginger pudding with mint caramel ice-cream. The ice-cream is made in house and I was a little wary of the mint caramel combination at first, however, it turned out to be quite nice!
I had a delightful evening at the Caulfield Racecourse and it was good to finally go as a guest and not go for exams! Hahaha yes Dear Readers, my University was right next to the racecourse and they would rent out the space for us to do our exams there! I enjoyed all the dishes presented and even though I won’t be going to Caulfield Cup Carnival, I am looking forward to seeing everyone all dressed and having a great time!