Seeing the Australian Open in style in the Emirates Suite

How was your Australia Day long weekend? I woke up on Australia Day in a tent as we were camping for the long weekend in the High Country near Howqua.  Then I ended the day in a tent as well, but a very different sort of tent, the Emirates Suite at the Australian Open.

Pimms Cup at the Emirates Suite

Pimms Cup at the Emirates Suite

Emirates is sponsoring the Australian Open for the first time this year and is putting on serious hospitality for its frequent flyers and partners.  I was lucky enough to be invited to experience the Emirates suite which is located just outside Centre Court.  The temporary structure is decked out in Emirates signature red and white with a tennis twist.  There are rows of white racquets lining the entrance and the balcony is decorated with hand painted red tennis balls.  

Inside the Emirates Suite - including the bar replica

Inside the Emirates Suite – including the bar replica

Inside there’s a spa suite and a version of the bar on Emirates A380 complete with seat buckles to strap you in. Emirates tennis guests are served a Pimms Cup on arrival before sitting down to a full dinner menu which recreates the Dine on Demand service for First and Business Class passengers in flight.

Canapés at the Emirates Suite

Canapés at the Emirates Suite

For Australia Day head chef Markus Werner had put together a suitably patriotic menu starting with an Aussie seafood trio of tender marinated calamari, super fresh oysters and a chilled gazpacho like soup of Queensland blue swimmer crab.  

Seafood trio in the Emirates Suite

Seafood trio in the Emirates Suite

Werner also served up Emirates take on the Aussie BBQ.  Rather than throwing a prawn on the BBQ there were dozens along with fat, juicy scallops and squat little Barramundi burgers.  Of course there were lamb cutlets – served medium rare and slightly gummy, along tiny gourmet sausages.  Slice of beef rib eye were given a summery touch with an accompaniment of paw paw salsa. 

Scallops, prawns and Barramundi burgers at the Emirates Suite

Scallops, prawns and Barramundi burgers at the Emirates Suite

To finish what could be more Australian than a mini pavlova and perfectly proportioned lamington (complete with oozing jam filling) along with a tangy yoghurt sorbet.  

Australia Day BBQ Emirates style

Australia Day BBQ Emirates style

It was difficult to leave the Emirates suite even with the lure of the excellent tennis (Venus Williams v Radwanska and Muller v Djokovic) happening just outside.  The evening was a envy inducing peek into what life is like when you turn left at the cabin door.  

Aussie dessert spectacular with a mini pav and lamington in the Emirates Suite

Aussie dessert spectacular with a mini pav and lamington in the Emirates Suite

Big thanks to Emirates for having me as a guest.

Essentials
Details: The Emirates Suite, The Australian Open, Melbourne Park, Melbourne 
Damage: Priceless: Money cannot buy this experience. 
9/10

And what it was all really for the tennis: great seats to see Venus Williams play

And what it was all really for the tennis: great seats to see Venus Williams play

Posted by: on January 27th, 2015     No Comments »

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The Royal Croquet Club: making croquet ok

My mother in law is a crack croquet player and for years had a bumper sticker on the back of her car which said “croquet is ok”. She was ahead of her time as croquet has suddenly become cool this year with the advent of The Royal Croquet Club popping up for two weeks at Birrarung Marr on the banks of the Yarra river.

Pimms at the Royal Croquet Club

Pimms at the Royal Croquet Club

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Posted by: on January 21st, 2015     No Comments »

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Charcoal Lane: Chewing the fat over possum sausage and wallaby

Ever eaten possum sausage? What about wallaby sirloin or emu fillet? All these dishes are on the menu at Fitzroy’s Charcoal Lane a social enterprise which serves up distinctly Australian food. When I lived in London people always used to ask me what Australian food was.  It’s hard to answer as Australian food is hard to define.  I would usually mumble something about great produce and influences from all over the world.  One thing that doesn’t happen enough in Australian cooking is the use of native ingredients.  I believe this is something that is gradually changing and restaurants like Charcoal Lane, which champion the use of native produce, are really leading the charge.

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Tasting plate at Charcoal Lane

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Posted by: on January 19th, 2015     4 Comments »

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How to make cinnamon and ricotta pancakes

Fragrant, sweet and earthy; cinnamon is one of my favourite spices.  It’s also incredibly good for you with the highest anti-oxidant properties you can find in nature.  I’m not the sort of person who likes to cut back so you won’t find any New Year diets here on Gourmet Chick. But what I can advocate heartily is more, particularly when it’s more of something like cinnamon which is so delicious and good for you as well.

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Posted by: on January 15th, 2015     3 Comments »

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The Grounds of Alexandria: Gourmet Chick in Sydney

It’s back to work for me today but I did manage to finish off my summer holiday with a quick trip to Sydney.  I had a fabulous wedding (thanks Marney and Frank) and on the way back to the airport met friends at The Grounds of Alexandria.  This cafe has been on my radar for a while partly because of the food and partly because of its fantastic setting which is industrial warehouse meet farmyard complete with expansive gardens housing Kevin Bacon the pig, a vegie garden and cubby house for kids.  

ALEXANDRIA

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Posted by: on January 12th, 2015     2 Comments »

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