4.14pm, Tuesday 2nd August, Internet cafe on Darlinghurst Road next to the ‘World famous Love machine’, Kings Cross, Sydney, NSW
I’m in between jobs folks, just finished doing a lunch in the city at The Chophouse for some of David Matters’ ‘Best cellars’ corporate customers, and have arrived at Kings cross early for tonight’s consumer dinner at ‘Smiths on Bayswater’ – in the old Bayswater Brasserie space. So into the nearest internet cafe to update the blog on an absolutely lovely sunny Sydney afternoon. Stilly drove me over from town through Wooloomooloo – there’s 3 navy ships in dock : the Ballarat, the Stuart & the Sydney – and next job on the list will be a really strong coffee!
So lunch folks. The Chophouse is tucked away in the business – financial & legal – part of town, and is decorated in a style all of it’s own. I’d call it timber, wrought iron, cowhide and bone!! The feature piece is a ‘chandelier’ made from meathooks, old globes and cow skulls – but works really well! We started by showing the 2006 Vintage Jansz methode Tasmanoise – looking hot!, and chased that with a choice of Entree’s with the 2009 Virgilius Viognier and 2008 FDW 7C Adelaide Hills Chardonnay. I picked the ‘Spiced Salt King Prawns with Aoli’ because I thought both of those wines would be all over the solid prawn meat and whizzy spices – and it worked. The other dish that a few other people raved about with both wines was the ‘Crisp Ricotta Stuffed Globe Artichokes with reggiano & Grilled Chorizo’.
Into the business ‘big red wine’ part of the day, and again it was choose your favourite time, and I went with the ‘350g Glazed beef Short Rib with House made BBQ Sauce’. The sauce was a sweet brown sugar based number, the short rib meat fibres were barely hanging together they’d been cooked so well – and yes they did a MIGHTY FINE job of working in with the Cabernet Shiraz double act of the 2009 Scribbler and 2006 Signature. This being the 50 year anniversary of The Signature, I did some cameo stories of past signatories – today we featured Rudi Kronberger from the 1967, Colin Hayes from the 1978, Kevin Renshaw & Ralph Dunning from the 2006, and an old favourite of mine – James Wark from the stellar 1996.
Onwards and upwards to the end with 4 cheeses and the 2004 The Reserve Cabernet Shiraz ( barrels that were earmarked for the 2004 Signature, then kept back ‘in reserve’ for an extra six months in barrel, bottled and released as a 7 year old wine) and the 2006 The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz. What a solid flourish of a red wine finish! Most folks along on the day had never seen The Reserve and were seriously impressed – and I’d have to say it’s really getting into it’s stride right now – but still all primary fruit.
So a great start to day 2 in Sydney, and my first trip to The Chophouse – definitely not my last!! Thanks to the boys at Chophouse, David Matters, Stilly, Irish Brian, Freddie, Johnny, Deano and all the team for coming along – days like today, I can see why folks make the move to the big smoke.
OK – almost out of time so I’ll finish here, find a coffee, then it’s around the corner to 32 Bayswater Road and tonight’s event with Lou Midolo. See ya tomorrow.