Saturday, January 9, 2010
I love long, lazy lunches – preferably on Sundays, and definitely with wine. There’s something about them that appeals to me in the nicest way, and it sure makes a good change from scoffing down a sandwich at my desk! One of my favourite places for lunch that never disappoints is Gazebo Wine Garden in Elizabeth Bay, the original of the “Gazebos” after the recent addition of the Winery in Surry Hills and the soon-to-open Manly Wine.
I decided to treat my Mum to a nice lunch for her birthday back in December. It was meant to be a surprise, but I couldn’t keep it a secret and hinted like crazy until I eventually told her. Every Sunday, Gazebo has $15 jugs of sangria, as well as a Sunday Roast special. We had the red wine sangria, which is infused for a week with cognac, oranges, apples, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and topped with lemonade. It tasted like mulled wine, complex with spices yet ice cold, refreshing and completely moreish.
Our meals came out soon after, my sister went for the delicious sounding Confit Duck salad with watercress, orange and warm hazelnut dressing. We’re still not sure what the crispy ribbons on top were, but they added a satisfying crunch to the salad. The orange was a zingy contrast to the tender duck meat, which just melted in your mouth.
My Mum had the Pine Nut & Mint Lamb Burger with onion jam, roasted veggies and crinkle cut fries, which I liked so much on my first visit to Gazebo. Mum loved it as well, especially the presentation. The tender lamb patty was served on a lightly toasted panini and served with a little bucket of crunchy crinkle cut chips. It’s not the easiest thing to eat – there are far too many fillings for it to be picked up and bitten into like a normal burger, and it’s also quite difficult to portion up and share, but it is still absolutely delicious.
I couldn’t go past the grilled sirloin, with café de Paris butter and shoestring fries. These days, I don’t often order the same thing at a restaurant twice but after I had it at The Winery and loved it, I had to have it again. Served rare, it was perfectly cooked and I was very happy with my carnivorous meal, though the serving is large and I couldn’t finish it by myself.
While it was tempting to order dessert, we settled for coffee instead because Mum was contemplating gelato and I was about to head off to the Food Bloggers’ Picnic in Hyde Park. It’s always amusing to dine at my work’s venues because I see my work design all over the place, including the little comment cards that came with the bill at Gazebo. Happy Birthday Mummy!