As promised yesterday, here’s a blow-by-blow account of our meal at Collins Kitchen in the Grand Hyatt Hotel walking through their a la carte dinner menu. Before I start I should warn you – there is a LOT of food involved. I haven’t eaten that much in a long time!

First up, warm house-made sourdough bread. It’s almost ridiculous how romantic a loaf of bread can look.

A sushi platter with the most melt-in-your-mouth fish matched with the piquancy of freshly grated wasabi.I particularly enjoyed the spicy tuna nori rolls and snuck in a few while others were admiring…

…the antipasto platter. The richly smooth and creamy buffalo mozzarella making up the caprese salad was from Queensland and it was perfectly matched with the ripe tomatoes and basil. You can’t see quite it but the platter also contained slices of rockmelon and San Daniele prosciutto (I know it’s not local, but it really is the best), thinly sliced air-dried wagyu beef, liverwurst paired with crispbread and a moreish slab of freshly baked cheesy garlicky foccacia on the side. To paraphrase Norma Desmond ‘”All right,  we’re ready for our close-up.”

More platters were brought out for the second course – roast duck, roast pork, char siu and soya chicken, accompanied by various dipping sauces.  I remember that the soya chicken was unbelievably tender, as soft as silken tofu. The Chinese barbecue selection came with other items from the wok station – tender Asian greens and a delicious fried rice which was far removed from the haphazard affair I make at home.

Next up, items from the grill menu – a platter of Balmain bugs, Tasmanian salmon, Port Lincoln yellow fin tuna, fat scallops and large prawns and an enormous grain fed 30 day dry-aged porterhouse steak seared to perfection. It is normally served as a dish for two but at 800g I’m thinking it would be better shared between four people if you don’t want to break out into a fat sweat.

The meat was accompanied with two pots of sauce – a red wine reduction and an indulgent béarnaise, as well as broccolini, creamy mash potato and sweet sautéed mushrooms with garlic and hazelnuts. I have to confess I didn’t even bother eating my greens, diving straight for the luxurious mash and buttery mushrooms.

By now we were all groaning in our chairs at the parade of delicious food that we’d eaten. But in the interests of research of course I had to try dessert.

Banana millefeuille, chocolate fondant with chocolate gelato, a selection of sorbets and gelatos (strawberry, super-creamy pistachio, tart passionfruit and vanilla), rhubarb and strawberry crumble with creme anglaise and a peach melba with a redcurrant top layer. My favourite was definitely the gooey fondant and we didn’t have any trouble convincing the table to finish it off. Millefeuille is not normally a dessert that I’d pick but I’d definitely recommend this version as the pastry was featherlight crisp, which matched well with the soft bananas.

After almost four hours of non-stop eating, I felt like Henry VIII and wish I hadn’t worn such a tight dress. The night was immensely enjoyable, not only for the consistently well presented and delicious food, but I shared wonderful conversations (food and non-food related) with many of the other food bloggers on the night. A roll call:

Agnes from Off the Spork
Maria from The Gourmet Challenge
Sarah from Sarah Cooks
Adrian from Food Rehab
Penny from Addictive & Consuming
Thanh from I Eat Therefore I Am
Melissa and Danny from Tummy Rumbles
Shellie from Iron Chef Shellie
Suzanne from EssJay Eats
Billy from Half Eaten
Neil from At My Table

Finally, many thanks to Sarah and Dave from Nuffnang and Lucy and Jason from the Grand Hyatt for organising the evening. You can read Nuffnang’s post about the dinner here.