Tasting by the Lake

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Training Day 3 81 Days to the Six Foot Track

Well, I had planned to do a morning run, but night sweats and the resultant morning fatigue conspired against me. Instead, I busied myself, somewhat groggily in starting to make batches of Almond Bread and Char Grill and Roast Vegetables for my signature Terrine.

Despite feeling like crawling back into bed for a restorative snooze, Bob and I left home on our bikes and cycled down the bike paths through Acton to “The Boathouse on the Lake” restaurant – a frequent site visited for the start of various Cross Country races and on the East Basin running route.

We had only had a little finger food at the meeting last night (fine for me, although Bob missing a meal is a biennial event). He went into Civic for a pre-Christmas breakfast with former/current work colleagues, however seemed to have mixed up the venue and came home rather frustrated and very hungry!

We changed into casual gear (an advantage of warm weather is the ease of carrying clothes), and we first in for our midday booking. We were offered a table outside, and despite there being a somewhat gusty wind off the lake from the southwest, opted for this scenic, and rather exclusive option!

All alone on the deck outside, it was if we were on our private beach, with attentive staff topping up water and bringing a procession of food as part of their lunchtime ‘tapas’ style menu. Dual portions of three or four dishes were presented on platters and presented; to begin with:

  • one large pacific oyster natural with rock salt and lemon;
  • a small demi-tasse of warm vichyssoise (almost a contradiction there) with a poached oyster in the cup;
  • a tiny ramekin of an intensely flavoured tomato and basil consommé.

An ordinary white fluff breadroll was served with this course, which was the lowlight of the meal.

  • Next came a dish with lightly tempura battered reef fish on sliced potatoes (stated to be kipfler, but more like desiree), accompanied by a mass of salad leaves with prosciutto. There was a zig zag of a creamy saffron sauce providing more style than flavour.
  • A couple of large Prawns were on a platter with another salad of small arugula, thin slices of chorizo and mildly melted buffalo mozzarella. This was also good.
  • Two final plates rounded out the tasting lunch menu – one had two moderate sized tarts of a light puff pastry and a (rather too eggy for me, but fine by Bob) filling of feta with a side of stunning caramelised onions.
  • A dish shaved sweet potato chips accompanied two small medallions of kangaroo, on segments of pink grapefruit. Although described as a ‘rocket and soft herb salsa’, the attendant sauce had the consistency and taste of a sophisticated guacamole – certainly avocado was a star ingredient.
  • On the other side of this platter was the other red meat – similarly small medallions of beef, with a flavourful mash of potatoes and capers, and a stunning jus of red wine and sage butter.

Bob had a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with the food, while I stuck to water. We were busy watching a young family of ducks enjoying the day, in the water, out in the shade, back to the waters edge again. A group of lunchtime runners, many familiar bods from Customs, ran along the back of the restaurant in a large pack. We hoped to see them return in front of us, but alas did not see them again.

Onto dessert!

Another single large platter with an assortment of tiny delights.

  • Taking centre stage was a fan of finely sliced pear, roasted with vanilla and saffron with 2 melon ball sized scoops of a rose scented semi freddo.
  • In the East corner were two gems of chocolate and chassis pudding, the blackcurrent flavour coming through the fudgey chocolate orb.
  • To the south were the same tiny handled ramekins used to serve the vichyssoise. This looked somewhat like a raw egg had been cracked into it ~~ a slightly opaque clear liquid surrounded a yolk coloured ball. This dish was amazing! Intoxicating and intense in flavour, much more would have been too much. The ‘ýolk’ was a seedless passionfruit sorbet, suspended in a albumin of a White Port and champagne Soup, still with the slow rise of bubbles rising in the mouth. Stunning.
  • Pots of Crème Brulee were not caramelised on top, and had an orange liqueur escaping through to the base, served with small wedges of dark chocolate wafer.
  • The western edge of the plate was the chocolate fix – although my decision to leave it to last was perhaps a mistake as it was (an originally) frozen terrine of lush valhrona chocolate. Napped in a toffee sauce, it stood better on it’s own, and should have been eaten earlier rather than melted. The intensity of the flavour was fantastic though!

Bob had a generous glass of sticky with this, and then excellent coffee to follow. A great meal to celebrate.

As I changed to cycle home, I knew that if I had the option of crawling into a vehicle then and there I would have weakened, and was very slow and labourious as I started. Bob stayed with though, and let me have a ride on his wheel for most of the trip. Not long home though, I crawled into bed again with the cricket on the radio and slept for another 2 ½ hours or so. I keep thinking of the John Lennon song with the lines transposed to ‘sleeping my life away’.

Left over pumpkin and tofu curry with soba noodles for Bob’s dinner – I had an apple and finished the grilling and roasting of zucchini, eggplant and red and yellow capsicum.

No running (dash it), but a lovely day!

2 Responses to “Tasting by the Lake”

  1. Anonymous speedygeoff 

    Congratulations to you and Mr Duck on your 13 years of marriage.

  2. Anonymous Tesso 

    UsualIy when I read your blog I am inspired to get out there and train harder. But this time its made me want to eat, and I've just had a huge brekky!

    Hope you and Bob have a great Christmas.

    All the best for a wonderful 2006.

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