|Aria Catering launch party|
"People have been asking us for ages to cater for special events and private functions, but we’ve been blown away by the increase in these sorts of requests over the last twelve months," said Moran, Aria co-owner.
|Strickland House, Vaucluse Road, Vaucluse|
|View from Strickland House|
|Back view of Strickland House|
|Crispy scampi with aioli|
Grabbed by the real scampi tails, these explosively crunchy and delicately encased scampi were a cracking start to the night, the shellfish maintaining some natural sweetness though less firm than a prawn (but I still prefer my scampi raw). The micro coriander furthered the Asian touch.
|Smoked salmon and cream cheese terrine|
|Lobster tail with artichoke|
|Duck and pea pithiviers|
|Quail ballotine with foie gras|
|Cherry tomatoes with cream cheese and pesto|
I found the ideal way to eat these was whole and without the slightly tough tomato skin, though they were still a little juicy and drippy – keep away from white tops and dresses.
|Seared scallop with chorizo and tomato|
|Lamb croquettes with sauce gribiche|
|The balcony and garden|
|Matt Moran says a few words|
|Oysters, Alaskan crab and salmon - oh my|
|Oysters, crab legs and more|
|Cured meats set-up|
|Biltong, salami, jamon and more|
|Slicing the jamon|
|Slicer for the capocollo|
|Cheese, figs and breadsticks|
|Asparagus and French mushrooms risotto|
|Adding cheese to the risotto|
|View from inside Strickland House|
|Beetroot salad with Old Telegraph Road cheese|
|Seared tuna with seaweed salad|
The barely seared tuna was served with a dab of a ponzu gel; the citrus flavour made for the red raw tuna. The thin circle of daikon beneath was acting more like a suction cap on my portion while the salad was eaten with some difficulty given the toothpick-like cutlery.
|DJ and pianist|
|Chocolate coated ice cream pops|
The vanilla was definitely an ice cream of quality, as too the chocolate while the strawberry tasted a little more artificial despite being my childhood favourite.
|Pineapple tarte tatin|
The little cheesecake and chocolate ganache squares were decadent and thankfully small, while two types of mini macarons - strawberry and something purple - were a little softer than I'm used to but easy enough in two mouthfuls.
|The aftermath of the seafood display|
|Snaps with Matt Moran (centre)|
|Jamon - it's time to go|
Many thanks to Aria Catering and Starr Public Relations for the invite to the launch party - hope it all goes as well as the launch.