Our first dish, Mushroom Risotto with fresh Australian winter black truffles, made for an excellent start. As confirmed by food spokesman Alex Fisken, the truffles were not over-powering, the rice cooked perfectly, and the dish a resounding success; the unexpected pairing with Tongue in Groove Pinot Noir 2015 (Waipara ,NZ) gave us plenty of scope for comments, mostly positive - “Ripe and attractive black-cherry and plum aromas with a neat thread of spicy and earthy, savoury notes” with Tom admitting that Kiwis can make a good Pinot Noir.
There followed New Zealand Ora King Salmon, radish, asparagus tips, and dill butter. Again K. Duandern performed a culinary miracle; the salmon was moist, of course cooked perfectly, and even the garnish attracted deserved praise from Alex. This was my and many others’ favourite dish of the day.
Thomas Boedinger had selected Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2014 (Auckland, NZ) to go with this and both Parker and
Suckling had bestowed compliments on “without a doubt NZ’s finest chardonnay producer”. I really enjoyed this wine with just a hint of oak, correctly described as “succulent and curvaceous; it really offers fleshy impact on first sip and then whips into a taut, long finish”.