Welcome to Clare Valley

My Clare Valley Degustation luncheon was a resounding success. Enjoy this little photo essay.

This is where I stayed, in a lovely guest cottage adjoining the house.

view of the valley:

My mis-en-place started the day before.

in the kitchen:

I started off folding hundreds of Jiao Zi Dumplings. Alright, I lie. They were all folded by local chef and assistant Kim Bleeker, from Hillsview Estate. I just posed for this picture after Kim spent 3 hours doing the folding. That’s show biz!

starting off cool:

Here’s the ingredients for the Malaysian Hot and Sour Laksa.


The event started at noon on Sunday. Our entree was Crispy Flat-Rice, Dried Fruit and Nuts Appetizer (Gujarati Chidwa), served cocktail-party style on the verandah overlooking the 50 acres of grape plantations.

my chidwa:

I had spent hours the day before making this famous appetizer, and it tasted as good as it looked.

Everyone was seated, and the event began.

the luncheon begins:

The first seated course was my famous Soft, Cashew-studded South-Indian Steamed Semolina Breads (Rawa Idli), accompanied by Tamarind-infused Hot-and-Sour Toor Dal (Sambar) and Fresh Coconut Chutney.

idli sambar:

The Gingered Shitake, Tofu and fresh Coriander Jiao Zi Dumplings Chili Lime Dipping Sauce were soft and moist with a crispy pan-fried base.

Jiao Zi Dumplings:

Here’s our waitress Lisa, about to head off with the Laksa course, and my other assistant who never stood still, Graham Richards. Hence the blur.

plating up at Mt Surmon:

The Laksa course was spectacular.

the mt surmon laksa:

This was our most popular course –

Karnataka Chili & Tomato Rice
Cream-infused Delhi-style Panir Croquettes (Malai Kofta)
Fresh Mango Chutney
Cucumber Raita
Flame-toasted Pappadams


Hours later the guests were jolly and full, licking up the saffron syrup from their wonderful dessert.


Mission accomplished! My thanks to Bert and Jeni Surmon for a great weekend!
Posted by Kurma on 18/10/06; 10:08:43 AM

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