Royale New Year's Eve

Thursday, January 04, 2018

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'Celebrating your nobility with cuisines of royal influence from around the world' was the New Year's Eve promise of co-hosts Ruth Hussey, managing director of the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel, and her granddaughter Christelle Harris. Retained to handle the culinary obligations was the award-winning caterer Alexa von Strolley, ably assisted by Christina Simonitsch, Rebecca Karram, Simon Levy and Haleem Card. They did not disappoint!

In an exquisite royal blue and gold Ann Marie Wyss-designed Venetian space with the impeccable white-gloved service that maitre d' Frank Gilmore and his team are applauded for, the six-course meal was presented with aplomb accompanied by the Pimento Players string quartet — led by Peter Ashbourne on 1st violin with Darren Young on 2nd, Ann McNamee on viola and Emily Dixon on cello — who introduced each course by way of various melodic strains from the region.

Christelle Harris handled the formalities and, on behalf of her grandmother, wished patrons “an experience with us tonight that will not only be memorable, but one that will set the ideal tone for the year to come”. It was no idle boast!

The gastronomic journey began in France with a Wild Mushroom and Truffle Bisque — with thyme-infused macadamia oil, garlic phyllo stack with mushroom duxelles, truffle shavings and creme fraiche. The poured wine was Kim Crawford Pinot Noir. The Beet Caviar from Russia — topped with edible gold leaf over a stack of tuile, garlic butter-charred tomatoes, olive oil poached lobster, baked goat cheese, mint and basil vinaigrette, balsamic reduction and vodka gelée and paired with Santa Margherita Prosecco — followed. The third of the evening's six courses from Great Britain was the Roasted Cornish Hen. The grapefruit sorbet with mint berries palate cleanser refreshed the mouth for course number four; the hearty crown lamb rack served Ethiopian style — Amarula sous vide Berbere Spiced Lamb Chops, Scotch Bonnet Salt Flakes, Cognac Jus, Carrot Couscous and Minto Gremolata.

Dessert from Monaco, the pear panna cotta with caramel and licorice, caramel blondie, pear, yoghurt rocks and lemon air, paired with the Banrock Station Moscato, closed the meal, leaving diners on a sweet high.

A liqueur trolley circled the Venetian ahead of Blue Mountain Coffee.

Kudos to our young culinary stars who have certainly opened 2018 on a gastronomic high!


Special mention to Director of Service Arlene Wynter and Maitre d' Frank Gilmore


The evening's wine purveyors were Betco Premier Ltd

J Wray & Nephew Ltd

Red Stripe

Select Brands Ltd




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