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    Monday, March 29, 2010

    Rick Stein At Bannisters-Worth a Visit

    Time to sing Praises about Rick Stein At Bannisters. Mollymook, South Coast, New South Wales.
    Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend JT, to join her and a few other people to meet and dine with Rick Stein, at his first venture into Oz, Rick Stein at Bannisters.
    JT and I, popped on a big bird, flew to Sydney, picked up a hire car and drove 200kms south of Sydney, to Bannisters Point Lodge in Mollymook...Mollymook you say. Yes that's right, no mistake. A lovely little coastal town on the South Coast, obviously somewhere Sydneysiders would go for the weekend or a summer holiday.
    The Meet and Greet Rick Stein Event was organised by Melinda Gregor along with her brother Stuart and sister-in-law Sally from Gregor and Lewis Bespoke Travel
    Melinda had planned the venture and Stuart was along, to make sure we drank excellent wines and plenty of them. And we did.
    It was an easy drive down, we checked in.

    Went to the room. Nice view.
    We had arrived in time for lunch and tasty pizzas, plus a glass of wine at the Pool Bar, served us very nicely before we had our first appointment at the Spa.
    Very attractive Pool, but guess what. I brought the bad weather with us again. Fine, but chilly, no swims for these Pensioners On Tour.
    We walked over to the Spa and amidst divine aromas we were pampered by the Lovely Ladies.
    It was wonderful.
    Bought product, as you do, and back to the room to prepare for Drinks and Dinner.
    Waiting on our beds, were a copy each of Rick's latest Book. That beautiful bottle on the books was sparkling water from Switzerland ( bought from the Pool Bar not a freebie).
    Off to drinks. JT is not a big drinker but she is a Bolly girl.
    Enter our Hero Rick and his partner Sarah Burns. He certainly lived up to our expectations. Charming, funny and happy to be there. We were seated and first Rick explained what we were about to eat.
    Stuart gave us a quick run down on the wines he had lined up for us.
    The anticipation was almost too much for us.
    First course was little Fried Hawkesbury River Prawns, all crispy served with Aioli
    Course number two
    Marinated Tuna with Passionfruit, Lime and Coriander
    This was superb
    Potato Gnocchi with King Prawns. Hermit Crab, Tomato and Basil
    Very silky

    Then we dined on Grilled Blue Eye Trevalla on a Spring Onion Mash and Morel Mushroom Sauce.
    Wonderful Crispy Skin. This fish is reminiscent of Blue Nose, the NZ version.
    A cheese course, then a well earned break.
    These were my wine glasses God, no shortage of wine I did finally finish them I think!.
    How about these little biscuits to have with the cheese. Personal little Rick biscuits.
    JT, Sarah  Burns and I awaiting our cheese,

    Then accompanied by a nice Sticky little number,
    Chocolate Fondant with Coffee Ice Cream
    It was excellent, but I was so full. Couldn't even finish it.
    We farewelled our new friends and waddled back to the room.
    Couldn't wait to crawl into bed.
    After breakfast our group were invited to Rick and Sarah's beach house, where Rick proceeded to demonstrate several dishes for us.
    First he made the beautiful Marinated Tuna with the Passion-fruit, Lime and Coriander Dressing.
    Luckily for us, we were supplied with recipes of all the demo food.
    Then he prepared Roasted Fish with Hot Sweet and Sour Sauce
    He used John Dory but you could use Gurnard, maybe Snapper.
    It was delicious, the sauce had shallots, garlic, tamarind paste, chilies and palm sugar.
    We all got to taste these delights
    He finished off with Goujons of Lemon Sole with Parmesan Breadcrumbs served with Sauce Tartare.
    Lots of samples, Very Yummy, almost nothing better than fried food
    Then Rick kindly signed all of our recipe books
    and answered questions
    JT with Rick
    So after a fun morning we were in for more treats
    Stuart had a wine tasting for us.
    7 wines in all,
    You will be pleased to know I didn't spit.
    Stuart is a great storyteller. Amongst his credentials, he's a very knowledgeable wine buff...he also has his own wine label and has been a judge in many important wine challenges.
    And very funny to boot.
    JT and I more massages booked in and we slid over to the Spa.
    Once again it was so relaxing. God, if only one could have a massage every day.
    Wonder if they could massage fat away?
    As we missed lunch, JT bought us a treat from the Pool Bar.
    Rhubarb Crumble Pizza. Yes Yum. Will have to make one of those I think.
    Before long, it was time to eat.  We had booked ourselves in the restaurant again.
    No Rick or Sarah this time but we had the pleasure of dining with Jackie Bacon.
    A delightful woman from Ireland. We met her on day one and immediately clicked. Her son Peter is the Manager of this Lodge and she was spending a couple of weeks with her family.
    So our dinner
    First course for me
    Lobster Ravioli
    I think the sauce was a lemon tarragon... I forgot to write it down and its too far away for my memory.
    Scallops for JT
    Warm Duck Breast Salad for JT (The only meat dish on the Menu)
    It is a seafood restaurant after all and there is a wonderful array of superb dishes. I could  eat there for many days and not eat the same thing twice.

    My main course and Indonesian Fish Curry with Monkfish Prawns and Crab
    Apparently Rick also serves this in this Padstow Restaurant.
    Came with Crunchy Green Beans and Rice
    And of course The Cheese with Birthday Wishes
    Below : JT, Moi and Jackie enjoying our wine. What a wonderful birthday...What great gifts, JT and her husband John, gave me the Event, Jackie paid for our drinks. I can't tell you how spoilt I felt.
    In the morning, as you can see the weather wasn't much better. That ship rolling around out there in the bay was fishing. Glad I wasn't aboard. Seasick country I feel. There a real swell coming into the bay.
    So in the morning Breakfast, Continental which is part of the deal. Excellent fresh fruit, juices and the very good yogurt, plus toast, banana loaf, cereal etc. Of course if you want a cooked one you pay.
    We had a farewell breakfast with Jackie and also Helen who was part of the group then packed the car and back to the city. It's an easy drive and for a couple of days away, for a little luxury, getting your body looked after, inside and out. The Spa - The Restaurant. Go to Bannisters, Mollymook it's great. fun.
    Wonder what we will do next year?

    1 comment:

    Two fit and fun gals said...

    great post! i am coming here this weekend so im very excited the place looks beautiful!