Good food is a must for work parties. After all, they can boost office morale and employee camaraderie. With D having escaped the punishing hospital environment for general practice, his workplace held their Christmas dinner at the Eucalypt Resturant in Fairmont Resort in the Blue Mountains.
We have a whole room to ourselves, and it is a room with a spectacular view of sunset in the Blue Mountains.
The Fairmont Resort where the restaurant is located offers a complimentary chilled and refreshing Blue Mountains Apple Juice at its entrance.
Having arrived at for drinks at 6:30PM, dinner was delayed for over an hour from 7PM to 8PM. So by the time we sat down for our bread rolls with pats of butter, we were ravenous!
The dinner was a three-course meal with alternate plating. I’m not fond of alternate plating because one of the two options is always better than the other, so half the table ends up with food envy. Luckily, D agrees to go half-half on each option so we get to try both dishes, and critically the better dish!
The first option for entree was confit of pork belly, apple puree, crackling, apple crisp. The pork was juicy and tender, pairing well with the soft sweetness from the apple puree and the concentrated sweetness from the apple crisps. This was the star of the entrees.
The second, and less preferred, option for entree was a duck and mushroom terrine, rillettes, pear and hazelnut salad. I’m not a fan of cold meats and the terrine here, which was missing the mushrooms, didn’t change my opinion. The salad was fresh with pops of sweetness from the pear and nuttiness from the hazelnut and dressed with a delicious dressing (the rilettes?). We weren’t sure what to do with the piece of toast, though, as there wasn’t liquid left on the plate after the salad.
For mains, the first option was pan fried beef fillet, king brown mushroom, baby cavolo nero bernaise. The beef was medium rare, juicy and tender, while the mashed potatoes added pops of butteriness. The mushroom and spinach retained bite, going well with the hollandaise dressing.
The other option for mains was roast turkey, glazed ham chestnut stuffing, heirloom carrot, pave potato. D and I aren’t fond of turkey — we’re of the ‘why eat turkey when you can eat chicken or duck’ or beef, as in this context, mindset — and the turkey here looked and tasted a like processed ham, with the same toothsome bounce. The carrots were crunchy, although the pave potato was the real highlight — it wasn’t crispy as I thought but it was layered with generous amounts of butter, and I love butter!
So, swap the mashed potato in the beef main with this pave potato and we’d have the perfect main.
First up for dessert is a warm chocolate fondant, strawberries, clotted cream. The chocolate fondant was rich with the perfect gooey centre and the strawberry cut through the sweetness, although the cream wasn’t so much clotted as frozen solid.
Finally, the second option was a vanilla creme brulee, peach sorbet. The portion size for this was huge, served in a soup bowl rather than a more suitably sized ramekin. That said, I enjoyed cracking the caramelised sugar top to get to the smooth custard. The sorbet added a welcome cold element, although a peach sorbet, rather than the raspberry sorbet they swapped it for, would’ve been a better complement to the rich custard.
With such a hearty and friendly dinner to finish 2016, here’s to an awesome 2017 for D!
Eucalypt Restuarant is in Fairmont Resort at 1 Sublime Point Road, Leura NSW 2780.