A very special meal indeed at nel., a fundraiser for the Lyme Disease Association of Australian, and in honour of one of nel.’s chefs, Kirk Haworth, who has Lyme Disease.
I was lucky to get into this sold-out dinner; I think it was Nel on the phone himself who let me replace a cancellation. With nine chefs and nine dishes, all using lime as one of the elements of the dish, a charity auction and awareness raising, this was quite a night. I’d been to nel. for lunch before (and plan to go back to dinner) but this was special, and nice to share it with my fellow foodie and friend, Lai Heng.
At multi-course dinners, I usually try to take only a few photos these days, so there is just a selection here. But all of the courses were delicious, full of flavour and inventive. How did Kirk shave the squid so finally, it looked like thin rice noodles? Was that lime oil in the test tube of lime mojito, swallowed after a delicate salmon samosa (by Nelly)? The snapper ceviche in a lime (pictured) was delicious but on top of a sort of pork and bread mixture in a jar was even better.
The peas were so delicate, obviously freshly shelled. I looked up gurnard on my phone, that is a strange looking fish. Firm flesh, very tasty, wrapped in caul, which I told folks at the table to look up AFTER we’d eaten.
I think my favourite was a very modern take on San Choy Boy, a really perfectly crisp and tender cumin lamb, with a sort of whipped cashew dip, a homemade hoisin sauce, all the be wrapped up in individual lettuce leaves.
The desserts were light and delicate, a bit of cream, a bit of crunch, though I particularly liked the coconut shard (that would be the big triangles here).
Oh, and there were matching wines and champagne as well! I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you to read more about Lyme disease in Australia at their website. There’s not only a lack of awareness and research funding, but there’s a big part of the medical establishment that doesn’t recognise Lyme disease in Australia; they only recognise the American ticks and believe it’s only here when people contract it in the USA and bring it back. We heard from two folks who have Lyme disease, and it sounds terrible indeed. Long and difficult treatment and can be very hard to function day to day. So, well done to nel. and the chefs who volunteered for the night, and the many generous folks their who donated prizes and bought auction items.