Saturday night I went along to the Skydeck Longtable with mum, dad, and my sister. How I managed to convince them, I’ll never know. Usually me suggesting a degustation dinner is surrounded by a lot of laughs and one of those ‘oh Tash is being funny again’ looks. Somehow I succeeded, so I booked the tickets without double checking (so no-one could back out) and we made our way into the city.
The Skydeck Longtable is organised by Cole Thomas, someone I’d read a bit about in the past but really didn’t know too much about. After we met him we were soon to find out that he is charismatic, funny, and a really lovely guy. We were introduced, poured our champagne, and then went to stand around the Skydeck balcony.
This was the point in the night where no one knew anyone they hadn’t arrived with. It was a bit like a middle-school dance, with the boys on one end and the girls on the other end. We weren’t separated by sexes, but no one quite had the courage to start up a proper conversation.
After finding out that the two remaining guests would be a no show, we then sat down at the table. The basic concept of any ‘longtable’ is that it is one table for communal dining. There are plenty of restaurants that use this style of dining, and Adelaide’s most famous is probably Mesa Lunga. This is when things started getting interesting. Not only were we about to be served a carrot cocktail that’s measurements were by the bottle rather than ml, but we were also face to face with complete strangers. Soon connections were made, stories were shared, and then came the food.
Anejo Bunny Cocktail, Rum cured salmon with carrot marshmallow, carrot gel, & caper leaf, Blue Swimmer Crab with pea puree & dehydrated popcorn, & Smoked scallops in white tomato broth with wakame.
Forgive me if I can’t quite remember the names of all the dishes. Basically if Stewart Wessen (our fabulous chef for the night) didn’t tweet the names, chances are I didn’t remember them completely. All in all the night consisted of 5 courses + an amuse-bouche + a cocktail + plenty of wine. We all felt a little spoiled for our $90, especially when the company was so great.
It’s hard to pick a favourite dish of the night, but I think mine would have to be the lamb (not pictured). Unfortunately Stewart didn’t tweet the name of this one, so I’m left trying to describe it from memory. It was basically lamb with onion, but it had spring onions, onion puree, pickled onions, and grilled onions, with a dab or garlic aioli. I’m definitely an onion girl, and the flavours and textures were brilliant in your mouth. Also not pictured is the wild hare in pickled beetroot with cucumber granita and shaved duck liver.
I also loved the second dish, as it meant Cole said ‘umami‘ a lot. If there is one word in the food dictionary (this may or may not be a mythical book) that I love, it’s umami.
More drinks were poured, the night went on, and we were back to the balcony to wait for dessert. The scene was far different to when we first arrived. Instead of our 6 different groups we were split evenly in two, mixing and mingling between the two groups. The night had quickly evolved from an awkward first date to a dinner party with old friends.
Our attention was then drawn, and it was time for dessert.
Okay, you’ve got me, another joy I get in life comes from liquid nitrogen. I love science, and when it’s mixed with food it’s even better. We got a fun demo of how liquid nitrogen works, and while this happened dessert was ‘plated up’. It really was a communal table now, we were all eating straight from the table, and there were definitely times when spoons darted across the table to steal from someone else’s dessert.
Dessert? Well it was amazing. Chocolate, honeycomb, peanut butter, caramel. Could you really go wrong? It looked and tasted amazing. As the night continued Cole opened another bottle of wine, the lolly jars were opened, and my iPod was hooked up to the speakers to listen to some Spank Rock. In the car ride home my family couldn’t stop thanking me for one of the best nights out any of them have had.
Not only was it a great night, but I’m also hoping it means next time I suggest an interesting dinner I’m taken a bit more seriously.