Once again, I was lucky enough to attend another event at Kingsleys Steak and Crabhouse – The Colonial Beef Club Dinner.
Traditionally speaking, groups of people would congregate at a special location, gorge themselves on quality beef and indulge in copious amounts of port. Kingsleys have adopted this idea from the 1700’s and made it their own, by promoting what their chefs can do with some of the amazing produce available.
My guest and I were greeted at the door, seated at the bar and given a complimentary drink on arrival. As we sat and chatted about life and it’s challenges, our other dinner guests arrived. Friendly waitresses then handed out glasses of a 2007 Clover Hill Vintage Champagne and we were served a single oyster with a champagne and apple jelly. I love fresh oysters. And these were no exception. My guest, who is not a fan of oysters, downed it like a champ. Her facial expression said everything. I asked her what she thought and the only real thing she could say was “the jelly was nice”.
Next up, was another fresh oyster served with Alaskan king crab with a ponzu dressing with another beautifully matched wine.
Last up, on the oyster front, was a quick information session by newly appointed head chef Stewart, on how to (safely) shuck an oyster. He shucked nearly a dozen fresh oysters for the group, to which we all slurped down with delight. Something I do have to mention here is how wonderful I think it is the way Kingsleys source their seafood, especially their oysters. Rather than getting the oysters from the market (in advance) the head chef places an order with a husband-and-wife team who then harvest the oysters in Pambula Lake in southern New South Wales. No middle man. Straight from supplier to your plate. Love it!!
Back to the dinner hey… We were then seated, and within moments, handed our beautifully presented entrée of Hervey Bay scallops topped with a sliver of pork belly, portebello mushrooms and sauce vierge. Our glasses were also filled with a wonderful 2009 Curly Flat Chardonnay, that suited the delicate flavours of the scallops beautifully. I must admit, I was pretty devastated when this meal ended.
We were all waiting eagerly for the main.. Angus beef rib on the bone. OHMYGOD!! EEEEEKKKK
(**wipes drool away from laptop**)
Stewart, the head chef, gave us the run down on how special this type of beef is. I was lucky enough to talk to him later on in detail about how rare and amazing this type of beef is. Let’s start with the fact that it’s Australian. The best beef comes from Australia – (anyone who thinks otherwise I want to fly kick in the head, just kidding, not really). The 100% Black Angus cattle are held in the tablelands of Glen Innes, NSW where at a higher altitude and colder climate aids the production of supreme quality of beef. The cows are also grain-fed for 300days which is slower than usual to aid and assist the natural growth of the animal. Usually Rangers Valley beef is marble scored at 3+, however the rib on the bone we had was 8+ – which according to Stewart is extremely rare for Angus cattle. The beef is then dry aged, in a special cold room for 4-6 weeks which allows good bacteria to develop prime flavour and also acts as a tenderization process, as only a third of the moisture is lost, allowing the meat to stay very moist and juicy.
Whilst Stewart carved thick rustic slices of rare beef, the table “oooohhed” and “ahhhhhhed”. The main was served. Our sides included a fresh salad, a very rich and creamy Gruyère potato gratin and the best, I repeat, the best, onion rings I have ever eaten. Oh, and not to mention a rich bone marrow gravy that was velvety and oh so lovely. This could not have been a better meal. Our main was paired with another fantastic Curly Flat wine, the 2007 Pinot Noir.
After all this food, we were all feeling so full. The talk amongst the table was uniform.. Everyone was very impressed with the main, and it was by far the best beef people had eaten in a long time. I can say, I completely, wholeheartedly agree. The meat practically melted away in your mouth, the gravy coated your taste buds (but wasn’t overpowering) paired with the crunch of the onion rings and the creaminess of the gratin, oh! A meal fit for the Gods. Honestly. WOW!
Dessert soon arrived after – served with a glass of Warres Otima 20-year-old Tawny Port from Portugal. I was dubious about whether or not I had enough room to fit it in, but I gave it a crack. The raspberry and rhubarb souffle was so soft and luxurious – like spoonfuls of warm marshmallow. So yum!
After an evening of indulgent food and beautiful wine, a cheerful atmosphere and outstanding customer service, we departed Kingsleys – with the biggest smile and fullest bellies.
If you are interested in the Colonial Beef Steak Club Dinners, be sure to make a reservation – there are strictly only 20 seats available and tickets are around $90.00.. so get in quick!!
** as stated above, this dinner was complimentary of Kingsleys Steak and Crabhouse. However all thoughts, opinions and images are my own.