As the cold weather came rolling in, we thought it was time we made A Visit To Grandma's for some warmth, comfort and delicious food, made with love.
Grandma's house for the night was in fact Food Society on Riley Street in Darlinghurst. The restaurant recently went through a transformation, from a dark and moody basement space to a light, breezy beach-house style of restaurant. They've also updated the menu but it still has an exciting Eastern European comfort food twist. It was the perfect spot to host A Visit To Grandma's.
As guests arrived, they were welcomed by "Grandma," our host Ms Darlinghurst, dressed up in her finest granny chic! They were then treated to "Grandma's world class punch" before being led to their spot at the family dinner table. The boozy punch was the perfect way to start us off, a concotion of gin, elderflower liqueur, muddled cucumber, fresh lime and French bubbly.
Tables were decorated with board games, cards and lots of antiques trinkets and knick-knacks. As guests sat down, they were offered a selection of delicious hor a d'oeuvres. These included sourdough croutons of confit duck, mushroom butter and white truffle oil and roasted freerange chicken wrapped in sage leaves and prosciutto with smoked tomato and fennel jam.
Throughout the night, we were treated to a great range of wines: 2014 Bibliotheque ‘Travel Writing’ Shiraz, (Mclaren Vale, SA) 2012 Geoff Merrill Pimpala Road Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, (SA) and 2015 L’altro Vermentino Bianco. (Central Ranges, NSW)
The dinner included a wide selection of Eastern European style tapas, brought out one-by-one in quick succession. The great feast began with Czech steam buns filled with brisket goulash and sour cabbage, a Czech take on the popular bao buns taking over Sydney right now. Up next was Food Society's signature fried cauliflower with parsley, watercress and reduced red wine vinegar, a clever little dish, that tastes like Chinese style fried chicken.
Following that, we enjoyed plates of cured meats, featuring the spicy truffle salami, char grilled csabi, nduja and chilli pistachio mortadella with chive cottage cheese, pickled vegetables and soft rye bread. And finally, a crunchy octopus and calamari salad with mixed grains, crisp black rice and chard.
One of our favourites at Food Society is their take on Polish dumplings, known as pierogis. So we were excited to try the popular potato and bacon pierogi with pickled mushrooms, with buttermilk and red wine vinegar.
We were given a bit of time to digest the food, before the next series of dishes came charging from the kitchen. In this time, guests engaged in intense games of intense of go fish, Jenga and more.
Mains included fresh spatzle with sautéed local prawns, dill and warm egg yolk dressing made for a really warm comforting dish. But the piece de resistance was their slow roasted pork knuckle with pickled apples, horseradish cream and mustards, paired beautifully with their classic potato salad with polish pickles. As we cut through that enormous piece of pork, aromatic steam wafted out. It smelled and tasted delicious. Grandma did well!
At the conclusion of the evening, Brendan Lloyd, co-owner of Food Society got up to speak, and answered questions from the crowd, about food, his experiences and of course, his grandma!
Dessert was last, but certainly not least. Toasty housemade ricotta doughnuts with plum sugar, berries and amaretto honey, and the moist and delicious orange and almond cake were the perfect way to end, with cups of T2 Gourmet Selection and a cheeky shot of Carvo Caramel Vodka for good measure.
And with that, the grandchildren left the house, with full bellies, sure to make another visit soon to their beloved granny.