Q Station 
Boilerhouse Restaurant
North Head Scenic Drive
Manly, Sydney

The Boilerhouse Culinary Dinner Series is an impressive group of culinary experiences. The good news is that even though two have already been held, a third is on its way (Thursday 24 September). It's something well worth going to for the food, the wine and the venue. Each event is sold separately too so you haven't missed out - yet!

We were fortunate to attend the second event - The Winter Wine Feast. It again featured the food of enigmatic Ambassador Chef Matt Kemp. Paired with this was the tasty offerings from Ross Hill Wines in Orange and their laconic James Robson. Of course the idea of a six course menu with matching wines wasn't exactly a hard concept to deal with, especially with what was on offer.

We started with bubbles. The 2010 Ross Hill Vintage Brut that was in abundance was a tasty drop and a nice way to start a wet Sydney evening.

Our first course for the night was under the heading of bouchee - which is really just a very small starter.

It was simply described in the menu for the evening as braised duck leg croustillant with beetroot. Croustillant means crispy - and this dish certainly lived up to its name. Now we both love a good duck dish if the truth be told - and this was good!

Course two was our very decent sized starter. It was Jerusalem artichoke and chestnut pithivier. A pithivier is basically a pie made from two pieces of pastry pressed together. This was very good - and getting to watch Matt Kemp walk us through how to make it was even better. The delicious 2014 Ross Hill 'Pinacle Series' Pinot Gris was a great match for the dish too.

Next was our "Fish Course". It was baked fillet of Palmers' Island Mulloway with savoy cabbage, smoked pork belly and celeriac. Again, we saw it being created and plated and then it arrived at our tables as a sharing plate to be served individually by us all. It was a fun way to enjoy great food. The lovely pairing of a tasty 2014 Ross Hill 'Pinacle Series' Chardonnay capped off this dish nicely too. 

Slow cooked meat really works doesn't it. Done well, the meat just falls off the bone, it's that tender. The 48 hour short rib of pasture-fed beef, creamed onions, charred leeks and parsnip fondants did just this - and the flavours that came with it only added to the taste. The full flavoured 2014 Ross Hill 'Pinacle Series' Cabernet Sauvignon again went well.

Our "Pre Dessert" was poached quince jelly with lemon posset. Whats posset - it's a milky, spiced, alcohol infused liquid - a bit like an eggnog in a way. This was a refreshing tangy palate freshener.

Then it was time for the finale - dessert. It was baked Eve's pudding with rum and raisin ice cream. For Sir it had everything needed, pudding, rum and ice cream! Even though it was again a sharing dish - he had seconds!

A fruity and sweet 2011 Ross Hill Late Harvest Riesling was a lovely dessert wine that combined well.

Q Station is an impressive, historic, in fact heritage, venue. It's on 36 hectares and was Australia's first Quarantine Station - from 1833 till 1984.

Now under the Accor brand, it offers accommodation, events, weddings, food, tours - right on the harbours edge. This culinary dinner was great - and Matt Kemp and James Robson were very entertaining.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Q Station. Special thanks to Matt Kemp and James Robson - love your work guys! Big thanks to Candice Teo from Espoir PR and Communications for arranging our visit.

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