Almost a year ago (I have a somewhat tenuous relationship with time on this blog), my grandparents celebrated sixty gorgeous years of marriage and togetherness. Sixty years spanning multiple states and houses, sixty years that have taken them from the days of fresh milk dropped off at the door by a man with a horse and cart to today’s world in which a myriad different soy milks can be ordered over the Internet.
Sixty years, three children, three grand-children, laughter, tears, games of Cribbage and Five Hundred, dinners, lunches, breakfasts, and, above all, love.
As our anniversary gift, E.TeacherLord and I secretly planned two pieces to perform at the restaurant. To this end, we all arrived smack-bang on opening time, hoping that the vast formal dining would therefore be empty. We didn’t want to make a ruckus, you see.
And that is how E.TeacherLord and I came to serenade our grandparents, immediate family, quite a few strangers, and some rather attractive waitstaff in the middle of one of Canberra’s fanciest restaurants, performing Moon River and Taylor Swift’s Love Story then, after calls for an encore, With A Little Help From My Friends.
The above just-baked bread roll was heady with truffle, and blew my mind. This was the first time I really understood the truffle thing. Scrumptious.
I’m an oysters natural devotee, but acquiesced to have three of my nine Coffin Bay oysters served as per the menu, with Jamon Iberico, balsamic, goats cheese, and semi-dried tomatoes. Not bad, Boathouse, not bad.
My brother started with the Seared Hervey Bay scallops on cauliflower puree with black pudding, red onion jam and pinenut brittle, baby leaf salad. He generously let me try this and, golly, the flavours popped.
Next up for me was the Alaskan King crab, fennel, basil and Yarra Valley salmon caviar tian, with tropical lobster and cognac bisque. Who says Canberra has to suffer for being landlocked with only an algae-infested man-made lake for water?
Of course, with ten people at the table each having three courses, there was more deliciousness involved here than I can show you. So let’s skip ahead to the best part: dessert.
When I saw the pistachio ice cream and pashmak belonging to my brother’s molten chocolate fondant, I experienced what is commonly known as “envy” but which I call “aren’t you a lovely brother for letting me have your fairy floss”.
And then I spotted spun toffee across the table and realised that life isn’t fair.