An Extremely Good Dinner Party

champange and a celeriac

I’ve had bigger, messier, unlikelier, more fractious dinner parties but this one, and Toni will back me up on this, was the best one ever. Not in the world mind, although the cheese board was voted best on globe at 1:30am – in Perth of all places, who would have thought? But the best I’ve ever done. So I’m just basking at the moment and grateful that a shitty, rotten week for a friend gave me this opportunity – so hooray for misfortune.

The deal was a sweet one. I’d come over and cook and bring mains and dessert and she’d provide the nibblies, the seafood for the entree, the cheese and the booze. The resulting menu was this:

Dolmades, stuffed peppers, baba ganoush, marinated artichoke, and pickled onions (really good, from the Boatshed) with Champagne and Lillet (never had it before but it’s quite lovely and looking like number one sunny afternoon refresher-nicer with a bit of lime, is this wrong?)


Tuna and Sashimi Tuna with a Mango Salsa
paired with a Beaujolais which didn’t quite work but was interesting and the Louis Jadot was tasty enough for me not to care less)

Confit of Rabbit in a stack of beetroot wantons/pink pappadams with celeriac and parsnip mash, fried parsnip, and a rabbit paté with a mustard cream sauce.
There was a Chianti there but I can’t remember which one, and a Spanish wine and a local Harewood 2002 Pinot Noir.

20 Minutes of Clubbing and a Double Espresso

quick boogie

Pistachio and Rosewater Crème Brûlée
with a Vasse Felix Semillon Dessert Wine


Cheese Board
I’m struggling here – a blue, a goats cheese, quince jelly, dried grapes, a brie, chocolately pistachio things, a Capel something and bottle of Miranda Golden Botrytis.

messy cheese platter

This was my first real attempt at full blown foot to the floor fancy and it’s rewarding that it worked out, especially after a day moving furniture. The entree and the dessert were pretty straightforward, the mains a little more complex but I’ll post the recipes over the week.


  1. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    Sounds like you did quite well and it all sounds really delicious. I’d be interested in hearing the recipes. You didn’t use Toby for that rabbit confit did you? =P

  2. Anthony’s avatar

    Ha! (here’s Toby people) No I didn’t but somewhere in Perth there’s a little girl wondering where her bunny has gone.

    Recipes up in a gripping series of installments over three big days in a never before seen food blog spectacle. Don’t be the only one scratching your head at the water coller.

  3. Lord Sedgwick’s avatar

    “beetroot wantons

    Do we have to spell out what we’re going to say next?

    Yes, one would be disappointed if we didn’t.

    “However the pappadams were most ascetic.”

    How predictable we are, but who are we to escoffier at such (apparent) culinary magnificence.

    Looks exactly that. Any 3 hour time delay, (“Just light blue touch paper, pop it in the microwave and retire”) on the next available flight doggy bags on offer?

    You will be interested to know, or very likely not, that we’re off to one of the regular, irregular, regular feasts this Saturday. We drew the very unchallenging petit fours and coffee course.

    (It will be with a heavy heart and stomach that we, next morning board a plane to partake of wall to wall, cheek by jowl, endless pot of menus delights of Tasmanian nosheries for three weeks.

    “How would sir like his Tasmanians devilled?”

  4. Anthony’s avatar

    Your Excellency

    : ) A wanton disregard for spelling, fair cop guv.

    There was some mash and rabbit left in the fridge but I’m hoping they made it into a Sunday morning bubble and squeak. But if I’ve done it once, it can be done again should you make it over here.

    The pick a straw dinner is on again, the cycle of life – wasn’t it trifle last time?

    Enjoy Tasmania it’s an ace place. Will you be dropping ion on the Butlers?

  5. Lord Sedgwick’s avatar

    We shall not be dropping in on the Butlers. We understand that they have yet to recover from that shocking outbreak of footman and mouth off disease.

  6. augustusgloop’s avatar

    Noice. I’m feelin’ a little wantin’ too.

  7. chika’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    sweeeeeet. doh, that much wines, cheeses, and everything else. I quite like the way you jabbed the cheeses with crackers…

  8. Gracianne’s avatar

    Wow, felicitations Anthony, everything looks/sounds so tempting. Especially the rabbit confit and the creme brulee, I can’t wait for the recipes!

  9. J’s avatar

    hi anthony, i too would bask had i put together a bountiful cheese board as spectacular as yours looks…can only imagine it more than made up for an otherwise not so swell week…

  10. Anthony’s avatar

    Your Excellency
    A pity but an excellent trip to you, I only visited the Hobart, Geeveston, Dover area but thought it was fantastic.


    Dude! 8 bottles may seem a lot but that was between four people. Yes, take *that* cheeses.

    Felicitations too and thanks, the recipes will be up soon.

    Lazy buggers, three courses and they expected me to put the cheese platter together as well. I hope it did make up for her week, revenge is a dish best served with lots of wine.

  11. flygirl’s avatar

    you know antony…i’ve been having a sh*t few months, actually…care to visit the ‘Berra?…;-)

    looks magneficent and looking forward to the recipes. more cardamom scented goodies too…

  12. Anthony’s avatar

    A belated Happy Diwali to you. A shite few months is no good at all, things getting better? I couldn’t possibly accept a plane ticket : )

    Nothing cardamomy I’m afraid but I think you’ll like the rosewater and pistachio combo.

  13. flygirl’s avatar

    ta, anthony.

    ah, i see…pistachio and rosewater always implies the automatic imclusion of cardamom.. to me at any rate.

    intrigued by pink pappadums, the desi version of pink lemonade?

  14. Potato’s avatar

    Cucumber sandwich

    Lover wants to show me
    how to make cucumber sandwich
    like the English do.

    – Cucumber and nothing else.
    – Wot? No meat?
    – Darling, that’s how they do!

    – I’m no cook- it’s such a fright.
    – Don’t worry. I’m right behind!
    You Demi, me Patrick.
    (starts humming)
    – Unchained Melody, is it?

  15. Anthony’s avatar

    You would think so but no. All will be explained on the pink.

    Thanks again, I’d be disappoimted if this blog got through the year without a Patrick Swayze reference.

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