Lunch 16 September 2014
A few weeks ago, it was father and son in the kitchen: this week, it was brothers, as Steve and Frank Liebeskind joined forces to produce a great lunch.
First off was Frank on canapes, with a well- made terrine made on pork touched up with Chinese sausage and topped by Frank's own pineapple chutney on brown rice crackers. Even better were some nicely done slices of pork neck under a spicy Asian dressing with green bits of coriander and shallots on a terrific freshly made pork bun piece with softness that caressed the mouth. Steve challenged with an Asian-inspired soup in a cup, made on carrot, pumpkin and onion with coconut milk, stock and just a hint of chili. Across all this was a 2006 Delatite Riesling from upland Victoria, still young under stelvin caps with a bright floral nose and a long soft palate which matched the food well.
Then it was the duck: truly lovely breasts from Game Farm, well handled, tender and moist on the plate. Seared with a crust of cinnamon and star anise, they came to the table drenched in a reduction sauce heavy on orange and zest and a little (totally inoffensive) hit of chili, sweet to balance a slightly acidic side of chopped red cabbage, a luscious field mushroom baked and some steamed bok choy for greens. Great colour combination on the plate, not to mention the flavours. To go with it, a 1999 Lindemans sparkling shiraz which, despite Ray Kidd's entreaty that it should have been served as an aperitif, actually matched the exotic sweetness of the dish, especially once the carbonation dropped; and a 2009 Guigal Cotes du Rhone, good in its own terms but a bit hard and thin for the intensity of the food.
It was back to the West with the cheese, a young but still delicious Pont- L'Eveque washed rind from Normandy, with so far soft rind but a lingering nutty and stinky character which deepens with age. A mixed green salad featuring pomegranate seeds and baked chili walnuts was sweetly dressed with a white balsamic mix, all very interesting with a choice of SA shiraz's from 2002: Burton McLaren Vale and Saltrams Pepperjack Barossa. Nigel Burton was on hand to receive the accolades, the eponymous wine being rich, smooth and a delight to drink next to a slightly tannic and hard, though stylish, Barossa past its best.
A rich cup of medium roast Brazilian coffee topped off a top lunch, with woody chocolate characters on the palate and a bracing but rather short finish