For a couple of years now Australia has been working its way to becoming a culinary destination. The melting pot of cultures that is Sydney has birthed many fine chefs who have gone on to showcase a blend of these cultures in their food. Most Australian cities are by the sea so the abundance of fish and other marine life has made it easy for chefs to craft wonderful dishes around seafood. To top this off, the beef farms scattered around the country have taken meat production to a whole other level. Depending on what each farmer feeds their cow or how long they age the meat once it is cut, you can get a variety of flavours and textures.
The Gourmet Australia team has made an effort to compress all this skill and diversity into a simple 5-course meal, packed it up and brought it to multiple countries in Africa. At the helm of this culinary adventure is Chef Wade, dubbed the steak maestro, who is known for putting together strong noncomplimentary flavours and producing savoury, delectable meals as well as grilling up his restaurant’s signature Tomahawk steak.
I had the privilege of attending one of the dinners they hosted in Kenya at Captial Club East Africa. From the beginning, I was met with a glass of Wolf Blass Sparkling Brut and five different starters. I am not a fan of champagne but this Australian Brut may just have converted me. It was light enough that it did not distract from the tasty staters which consisted of Australian Wagyu tataki with Yuzu and coriander, lamb ribs covered in a tequila and rosemary sauce, seared scallops with Australian bush tomato liquid caviar and micro herbs, Australian Wagyu tartare with smoked salt freeze dried raspberry and finally full blood Wagyu mini burger with caramelised onions, spiced tomato and arugula.
To quote one of our hosts, Mr Kym Fullgrave, it was a marathon and not a race. The presentation of each starter made them almost too pretty to eat but that was just a small preview of what was about to be placed on our table.
The first main was a crispy-skinned pan-roasted halibut with fennel, lobster and mustard cress paired expertly with Celestial Bay Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
This was followed by a steakmaestro native wattleseed seared wagyu beef lime-cured sirloin with radish textures of beetroot in Australian olive oil paired with Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay.
An Australian lamb cutlet with native lemon myrtle, smoked goat’s cheese and olives was paired with Celestial Bay Cabernet Sauvignon was so generously portioned that I almost did not finish the full blood Australian wagyu beef with slow-cooked porterhouse, celeriac pickled onions, charcoal potato, native mountain pepper and Australian Shiraz jus that followed. The Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet paired with this final dish was a table favourite.
To finish off this decadence, an Aussie modern banana split was presented. It featured salted caramel banana, vanilla bean strawberry, smoked chocolate, freeze-dried strawberries and raspberries. The final twist in this dish was the Noble One dessert with that was mixed into the dessert with some liquid caviar.
I left my table stuffed with Aussie goodness and ready to fill my pantry with all the wine and condiments I tried. I might just attempt to make my own wagyu steak just to recreate this succulent feast.