We recently received an invitation from J. Farren-Price to join them for the Sydney launch of the 260th Anniversary Harmony Collection watches from Vacheron-Constantin. The evening was to be held in the Kent Street Kitchen at The Langham, Sydney. Of course we couldn’t say no!
The Langham, Sydney was formerly The Observatory Hotel, a hotel we had wanted to go to but for some reason never made it down to the Rocks to stay there. Upon walking through the front doors we were suitably impressed. Very luxurious! Cream walls, marble and wood floors, in some areas the rugs were recessed in to the marble. Beautiful soft pastel shades on the furnishings, wood, marble and glass topped tables, consoles and coffee tables abounded and everywhere gorgeous floral displays, polished brass highlighting everything. I miss polishing brass sometimes.
We made our way into the Kent Street Kitchen, where we were met by the staff of J Farren-Price, in a reception area decorated with historical images of some of the vintage watches used as inspiration for the Harmony Collection special editions. A video of the Harmony Collection watches being constructed and designed was playing on a dividing wall. Very fascinating to see the level of craftsmanship and detail that goes into high end luxury watches.
After canapes and a couple of glasses of Dom Perignon, we were taken through to the dining area where a display table with the Vacheron Constantin 260th Anniversary Harmony Collection was set close to the dining table.
A long communal table was dressed elegantly in a crisp black cloth, white linen serviettes, gleaming silver ware and a variety of white flowers and foliage in sparkly crystal.
A relaxed seating/lounging area was also adjacent to the dining area.
Looking at the menu, we saw an interesting and delicious array of food planned for our dinner, with some French wines that we were eager to sample.
First course was smoked ocean trout, escabeche, rocket, lemon pearls, pumpernickel. A very light yet flavoursome entree. The pumpernickel was done as crumbs, rocket presented as a puree with little crispy bits of fish skin served like crackling. This was served with a Domaine Christian Salmon Sancerre from the Loire Valley in France, a nice crisp wine that matched the fish perfectly.
Two main courses were offered, the first being butter poached West Australian marron, burnt onion and shellfish risotto. I was a bit unsure about the risotto as I know that sometimes a seafood stock can be quite strong, however I was very pleasantly surprised as this had quite a delicate seafood flavor. The nasturtium leaves gave a nice peppery hit to the dish. Our wine with this course was Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose from Provence, France. The Bandol Rose was a blend of Mouverdre, Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. Cinsault and Carignan are two varieties that we aren’t too familiar with here in Australia.
Second main course was a twice cooked beef short rib, marrow gelee, parsnip puree, Brussels sprouts. The beef ribs were nice and tender, the parsnip puree very smooth and creamy, and the Brussels sprouts cooked al dente, several of the Brussels sprout leaves were removed, crisped and scattered around, the bone was filled with a herbed crumb. Really a delicious course! Our wine was of course a very nice Bordeaux, Chateau St. Georges, from St. Georges-St. Emilion, France. At 80% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc it was a great pairing with the richness of the rib. Again with liking a high percentage Merlot, sacre bleu!! But still can’t handle an Aussie Merlot, go figure! Must be something in the soil in Bordeaux.
Dessert was apple mousse, honey cremeux and chocolate crumble. Very cute dessert and it was a shame to eat it. Tasted delicious, the green outer glaze concealed the apple mousse, so when you put your spoon in to it, it looked like a Granny Smith apple. The chocolate crumble was presented so that it resembles dirt, the dish looked like an apple had fallen to the ground.
It was a truly wonderful event, in very elegant surroundings, with wonderful people, food and wine. We would like to thank J. Farren-Price and Vacheron Constantin for inviting us to be part of the night.