Eucalypt Restaurant, Leura

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.