Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas lunch, David Jones style

I've always wanted to do the full Christmas table decorations and theming, but large family, outdoor Christmas lunches aren't really conducive to such festive pomp and finery.

Nonetheless, I got to admire a few fabulous examples last night at the preview of David Jones' Christmas Lunch in The Lacquer Room; a fantastic event space on Level 7 of the Elizabeth Street, Sydney store that overlooks lush Hyde Park and onto St Mary's Cathedral.

Christmas table settings on display in The Lacquer Room, Level 7, David Jones, Elizabeth Street, Sydney
For the very first time, the David Jones Sydney store is putting on a Christmas Lunch from 18-23 December 2013.

The Lacquer Room will be open to the public with lunch, morning tea and high tea offerings by Pearl Catering. The bright, airy space will be set for a maximum of 60 diners, serviced by a concealed pop-up kitchen.

The Lacquer Room
With Champagne Pommery on pour for the preview evening (normally $18 per glass; David Jones American Express Platinum Card members receive a complimentary glass on arrival), it was a fantastic opportunity to not only admire the Christmas table settings but also the Hyde Park tree-top views and classic herringbone parquetry floor.

From the lunch menu there are four mains options - vegetarian pumpkin and ricotta tortellini, pan fried snapper, roast turkey breast and a grilled pork cutlet - and three dessert options.

Crisp skin snapper with fennel puree, asparagus, sugar snap peas and sauce vierge
The meaty snapper looked an absolute delight, fragrant with fresh dill and micro herbs. The skin pan fried crisply and the fish gorgeously moist, it was served with an interesting puree of fennel and green vegetables on the side.

Roast turkey breast brushed with herb butter, potato puree and a terrine of macadamia and brioche with Cumberland sauce
The roast turkey was served as two slices of tender breast, juicy even without the fruity Cumberland sauce and melting pat of fresh herb butter.

Rather than traditional stuffing, the turkey was served with a clever bread-y terrine of macadamia nuts and brioche, with potato puree filling up the festive plate. A dressed green salad to share among the table was served on the side.

Summer berries and mascarpone trifle
We got to sample all three desserts on the menu, starting with the very light and subtle trifle of summer berries. Topped with chocolate shavings, I think the light mascarpone cheese made it an airier dessert than traditional custard would be, while there was also minimal cake in the stemless glass.

Dark chocolate tart with Cointreau strawberries and chantilly
On the other end of the dessert scale was the exceedingly rich dark chocolate ganache tart served as a thin wedge with a crumbly, short pastry.

The Cointreau-steeped strawberry segments were a revelatory delight of fruit and booze, while the vanilla bean chantilly cream added even more luxe richness to the silky ganache tart.

Steamed Christmas pudding with brandy anglaise
Just right was the steamed Christmas pudding, packed full with sweet dried fruit. The warm cake itself was light and airy perfection, particularly when drizzled with the thick and creamy crème anglaise with just the tiniest hint of brandy.

Christmas table setting display in The Lacquer Room
The table service was exemplary, but you wouldn't expect any less from David Jones. Combined with the unbeatable view, thoroughly charming surrounds and a live string quartet playing Christmas carols (and oddly, songs from "The Sound of Music"), I feel like I've already had my traditional Christmas dinner for the year.

See more photos on my Facebook page. For full details and tickets for the David Jones Christmas Lunch, see the website.

Food, booze and shoes attended a preview of the David Jones Christmas Lunch in The Lacquer Room as a guest.

The Lacquer Room on Urbanspoon


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Mmm what I wouldn't do for a piece of luscious Christmas cake right no! :D Good to know that I can get my fix of Christmas before then!

Tina @ bitemeshowme said...

OOOOH looks super fancy. I can't wait to have my own place and attempt to do a nice set up for xmas.. or for any occassion really lol

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

I wonder how many other secret spaces David Jones has? lol

Tina said...

Hi Lorraine - Yes, I think it's a great concept, especially for wearied shoppers :)

Hi Tina - Haha, me too! Place cards and all!

Hi Helen - A few more, I'd reckon! This space was just amazing!


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