Ho Ho Ho! Merry Christmas in July!
Here to provide a hefty dose of mid-year Christmas cheer was our annual Christmas in July event, hosted at The Provincial in Rozelle. Opening its doors just shy of seven months ago, this French countryside meets contemporary dining restaurant exudes a subtle opulence, tucked into a quiet fold of Rozelle’s residential neighbourhood. Walk inside and you’ll find recycled timber beams propping white washed and charcoal stained walls. Plush chesterfield lounges make for an alluring pre and post dining pit stop. Look closely to find French antiques scattered around the room, offering the final embellishment to a clean colour palate.
With the space suitably decorated with plenty of festive cheer, text messages were sent out to Secret Foodies guests revealing the ‘secret location’ a mere 2 hours prior to the event. Greeted by Ms Darlinghurst, Aka Alex Adams, at The Provincial, a smorgasbord of delicious food and Mud House wines awaited guests keen to immerse themselves in the Christmas spirit.
Guests arrived in an array of fantastic outfits, donning everything from reindeer jumpers, to full Christmas suits and little red Christmas dresses. Arriving gradually, guests mingled in the restaurants outside dining area under warm radiating heaters.
Before moving into the restaurant for their meal, guests were offered steaming mugs of mulled wine. It made for the perfect hand warmer, the aromas of allspice, orange peel and cinnamon quickly filling the space.
With their taste buds alight from the taste of the mulled wine, it was time for the Christmas feast to truly begin. Moving into the main dining room, guests marveled at the beautiful table setting, complete with bon bon’s, Secret Foodies masks and fresh floral arrangements.
Before long, wine glasses were generously filled with the first delicious vino of the night: Mud House Sauvignon Blanc and NZ by Nature Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
With the clinking of glasses between newly made friends, an array of large share style platters left the pass.The first entrée on offer: salad of Moreton Bay Bugs and beetroot cured salmon gravlax with crispy capers, preserved lemon, chives and crème fraiche. The deep purple hues of the beetroot worked in perfect contrast to the vibrant salmon. A scattering the crispy capers offered a delicious textural element, with the lemon and chives freshening up each mouthful.
The other entrée tantalizing guests was asparagus with burrata, served with Jamon Serrano, croutons and chimichurri. Lightly grilled, the asparagus was well teamed with the saltiness of the Jamon and the oozy burrata. Guests fought for every last mouthful. Paired with the fruity Sauvignon Blanc, guests were suitably impressed with the first course of the event.
With the sound Christmas carols playing joyously in the background, it was time to do Kris Kringle! When purchasing their tickets, guests were advised to bring along a Kris Kringle gift valuing no more than $5. Presents could also be re-gifted or even handmade! At the dining table, guests were advised to pass their present down four people to the right. With new gifts in hands, it was time to open!
Gifts proved to be not only creative but also utterly amazing. From tuna cans to handmade rocky road, beer pong kits, to candles and shot glasses – we saw it all! One lady even received carrot and parsnip seeds, the perfect gift for the avid gardener. Laughter filling the room, it was time main courses.
It wouldn’t be a Christmas feast without some turkey. Thankfully at The Provincial, it was served in abundance! On large share-style dishes came out perfectly cooked turkey roulade, served with mushrooms, prosciutto and chicory. Enveloping the succulent meat was a pool of exceptionally creamy Paris mash. Despite the generous servings, guests quickly gobbled (pun intended) up this incredibly tasty dish.
The other show-stopping main meal of the day was the slow cooked bone in lamb shoulder. Cooked for 2 days in total, the lamb practically melted off the bone, the addition of pine nuts and juicy raisins making for utter perfection with every mouthful. Sides of honey roasted carrots and parsnips on labneh and dukkah and grilled broccolini with almonds, burnt butter and sherry vinegar made for well-suited accompaniments.
The bold and hearty flavours of these two main dishes required a change of wine. Thankfully, The Mud House Pinot Noir and NZ By Nature Marlborough Pinot Noir was poured generously around the room.
With guests’ stomachs full to bursting, it was time for the lovely Ms Darlinghurst to host a Q&A with The Provincial’s Head Chef, Keno. Keno explained his love affair with share-style dishes, something that he grew up with as a child. The notion of sitting around a big table indulging in share-style dishes was something he wanted to recreate in The Provincial.
It was then time for one last hurrah! Dessert was a spectacle in itself. The title itself sounded all too innocent – fruit mince meringue tart. On individual dishes, little mounds of toasted meringue left the pass. Hidden underneath, stewed mince fruit sitting atop a buttery biscuit base. Waiters advised guests not to get stuck into the dish just yet, coming around with little pots of liquid fire, aka Cointreau set alight! With steady hands, the wait staff poured the boozy fire over the dish, partially igniting the meringue itself. Even if guests were full, not many could resist devouring this incredible hybrid dessert. The Provincial crafted a Secret Foodies menu that will no double inspire guests to come back in hoards, or to at least host a Christmas in July event of their own!
Check out our photos from the event here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/secretfoodies/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2088135021220305
Secret Foodies also offer private events for 10+ ppl. Check out our packages here: https://secretfoodies.com.au/private-events/
124 Terry St, Rozelle NSW 2039
(02) 9818 4411
Open for Brunch: Friday – Sunday, Lunch: Tuesday – Sunday, Dinner: Tuesday – Sunday