After our day out foraging, what we’d originally viewed as the main event – dinner at Noma Australia – felt instead more like the highly anticipated second act of a very enjoyable theatre production.
We regrouped as old friends after out shared experience earlier in the day, and eagerly awaited the discovery of who we had been seated with. With tables allocated in groups of up to 8, it wasn’t a night for a romantic dinner-a-deux, but the mutual discovery of the courses and the identification of ingredients we’d encountered on the beach earlier in the day added enormously to the experience. Much hilarity ensued as introductions quickly uncovered that our table of 6 included 3 pharmacists in its mix, and the hours that it takes to work your way through a 13 course degustation passed in a flash.
It’s always a challenge when you go into a dining experience, or for that matter any experience, with incredibly high expectations as the chance that the reality won’t live up is amplified. I’m very happy to report that despite a level of excitement and expectation that had only been increased by our enjoyment of the ‘first act’, the second act definitely didn’t disappoint.
The relatively simple descriptions on the menu don’t even come close to illustrating the amazing flavours of the food we ate, and it was even more special knowing that every dish had been constructed as a tribute to the uniquely Australian ingredients it contained.
We all had different personal favorites, I was hard pressed to choose between this incredibly delicate chilled spanner crab broth with unripe macadamia nuts, and its light rose flavour,
and the BBQ’d milk dumpling of marron and Magpie goose.
The black lip abalone schnitzel with beach and bush condiments provided the most recognisable ingredients from our day out foraging, and a lot of friendly competition ensued as we all tried to identify the different foods on the plate.
Needless to say as a longtime lover of desserts, the rum lamington has ruined me for the next time the kids bring home a form for a lamington drive!
The accompanying wines were not only delicious in taste but delightful in name, with Yetti & the Kokonut and Floppy Giggle Day very well received.
My personal favorite was Brian, I just found it incredibly amusing and very Australian to name a wine Brian and loved the way it tasted too.
Despite our full bellies no one wanted to leave at the end of the night, as conversations with the group and the noma team, all of whom had incredibly interesting stories about how their careers had led them to noma and it’s Sydney installation, continued on.
Finally it was time to head home, feeling so incredibly fortunate to have enjoyed not just a great meal but an amazing experience, and one that had definitely left many of us feeling a little sheepish that it had taken this extraordinarily talented international team and their Danish leader to open our eyes to the potential of the Australian ingredients that exist quite literally in our own backyards.