I bring you this blog post today after a lovely weekend celebrating all things French. Even though Bastille day was on the 14th of July and a Monday this year, we were invited to attend a special degustation dinner on Saturday the 12th of July at our favourite little French restaurant here in Albany, Western Australia called Lavender Cottage. The them for our dinner this year was North African, Moroccan and nearly everyone dressed up in costume for it.
We started with three little morsels as an aperitif which I unfortunately forgot to photograph 😦 . They were a brick pastry cigar filled with an avocado, crab meat and goats cheese mousse, a marinated salmon (gravlax) orange and beetroot salad and lastly a bite sized piece of spiced chicken on a skewer with a preserved lemon and quinoa yoghurt. As Jason is a coeliac, they gave him his mousse sans the brick pastry cigar in a little pot with a spoon 🙂
Next was a delightfully spicy prawn and salmon soup. It had all those spicy capsicum, paprika and tomato flavours in it.
This was followed by Grilled lobster tail topped with pistachio and coriander butter and on top of a spiced carrot puree.
Next came a double lamb cutlet crusted with dukah and served with warm Moroccan tomato salad.
We then had a palette cleansing sorbet made from lime and oranges.
Next came some local Saddleback cod filet topped with a scallop and resting on a potato cake with a topinambour sauce (made with Jerusalem artichokes)
We were pretty full by now as you can imagine, but we sacrificed our stomach stretching abilities for the name of gastronomic science by carrying on 😀
We then followed on with a little bowl of Harissa to be added to our next meal of a Tagine of duck leg served with couscous (Jason omitted this), vegetables and the aforementioned Harissa. That Harissa made this a very special and spicy dish.
We then had a cheese plate each with a delicious slice of locally made Denmark Farmhouse Cheese Camembert with a date and lemongrass chutney.
Last, but by no means least was desert! A delectable slice of orange and almond cake drizzled with orange liqueur and cardamom syrup and served with ice cream and candied and chocolate orange and a Crème brulee on the side!
We passed on the tea and coffee as it would have been the “wafer thin mint” that did us in ala Monty Python!
In between these gastronomic delights, the whole restaurant sang a few rounds of Frere Jacques with much gusto and it was brilliant :D. The owners and chefs kept doing the rounds of the restaurant with champagne in hand enjoying the night with us all.
As you can imagine, we slept in and didn’t eat a lot for the next day or so but as a once a year event it was pretty fine.