Jan 13, 2011

Thank You Donna, Nigella, the AWW and Jo. Those Assembled For Dinner Endorse The Only Way Is Essex.

The sourcing of fresh produce for The Dinner Party started early yesterday morning.  Our guests H, H2 and E are all expat Aussies returning from England after 4 years away so the food theme was 'Foods You May Miss From Australia'.  Excluding Vegemite, Violet Crumbles and Tim Tams.

I was one of the only people not driving a large white van into the market that day.

My first stop was the Pyrmont Fish Market.  At 7.30am on a weekday, the business is mainly from the food and restaurant industries.

Seagulls working hard for their keep.

And the seagulls.  They looked hungry.  Everyone was there for work so there were no stray chips or bits of battered fish going the way of the seagulls.

The lady at the oyster bar was really lovely.  She kept picking and choosing the best oysters for my trays.  Thank you!

I bought 2 dozen Sydney Rock Oysters and some sashimi for dinner.  Other buys included some beautiful fresh fruit and veg from the market's greengrocer.

Then on to Woolies for other provisions.

I loved this sign in the frozen food section.

I started cooking Nigella's Tomato Curry first.  The trick with the frozen peas is to add them at the end after pre cooking them in salted water.  It helps the peas stay green.

That trick about sprinkling sea salt over the onions really works.  It does help them sweat and gloss up really well.
 I saw and felt fresh Shitake mushrooms for the first time!  These beauties are from Tasmania.

Much easier to use than the dried ones I normal use in my Chinese cooking.

I pottered around a bit, chopping, grating and rinsing until Mr SSG and H arrived home.  Together.  H had caught a taxi from the airport and flagged down Mr SSG as he was getting off his bus.  Apparently H needed someone to direct his taxi to SSG Manor.

And then it was party time.  H2 & E arrived and we had the oysters,

Tetsuya's Oyster Dressing is the bomb!  I also love lemon, sea salt and good old Tabasco on my oysters.
Three cheers for Ikea candles by the way.  Their floating candles really work and burn for hours!  The Jo Malone candles smelled just as good burning as they did at the shop.

The salmon and tuna sashimi.  Dodgy presentation of the wasabi, oops!

 More Ikea floating candles.

It's San Choy Bow day in Blogland today because Mez just posted a how to guide on her blog here.

I've just got a photo of mine.  I used pork mince and a recipe from the AWW Guide To Modern Entertaining.

Iceberg lettuce is the best for San Choy Bow.

For mains, we had a Thai / Indian theme going.  Coconut rice and chilli jam prawns from Donna Hay's 'No Time to Cook' and Nigella's recipe from 'Kitchen'.

After a break for the cricket (of course), we returned for dessert.

Those brownie brandy truffles.

The gelatieria - SSG Style.

And good old gelati and fresh berries.

We'd already had a few glasses of bubbles each by this stage so decided to opt out of the original plan of prosecco poured over the fruit and gelati.

Have you heard about The Only Way Is Essex?

We talked about it over dinner and I was so surprised but all 3 of our guests can't get enough of it.  It debuts here on Foxtel January 24 but the whole first season has been aired in the UK.  What's not to like?  There's trashiness, brazeness, a lovable nan, fake tan all over the shop and the idea that everyone involved knows exactly why they're there.


  1. Yummmmm!!!!!!
    Looks fantastic!
    I especially like the mini gelati tub presentation efforts and the glass bowls with pebbles and candles. Looks very stylish!

  2. Being a TV tragic (the trashier the better, even the theme for my 30th coming up is TV characters) I can't wait for The Only Way is Essex! Your dinner party looks amazing, loving the prawns and mini gelati tubs!

  3. That looks like an absolute cracker of a dinner party! Well done SSG.

    I hope you enjoyed it as much as your guests must have.

    Take care.

    PS - Thanks to your blog have discovered the joys of Victoria's Secrets swimwear. Have spent so much they owe you commission. Or at the very least a new pair of bathers.

  4. OMG, that made me SO hungry! Sounds like it went swimmingly.

  5. Your blog is a pleasant distraction from listening to the coverage of flooding up here in Brissy. I'm sure your dinner guests enjoyed every beautiful mouthful that was so lovingly prepared SSG.

  6. I have a confession...I'm not a foodie and I am definitely not a fashion plate, but I live vicariously through your blog as if I were. As an interior designer I enjoy the decorating aspects of a party & styling of the food to look pretty - as your party did SSG. I am so disappointed that I don't have Foxtel...lovin' 'the Hills with bad accents'!

  7. YUM YUM YUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!! How AWESOME is San Choi Bao!! Thank you so much for the tag lady :) I've actually been planning a truffle post for the past few days... we must have psychic minds haahaha How great are Sydney Rock Oysters? We had them for Chrissy/NYE. YUM!!!

  8. SSG - just love reading your blog!! You're an inspiration, girl!!!!

  9. I love it! Awesome decor and plating. I think the attention to detail comes from your job!!
    You are very clever.

  10. OMG, it seems you're a fantastic dinner party hostess! The food... is...just... WOW... I have no words to describe how good everything looked!

  11. Thanks everyone!

    boomerang jane: high praise indeed.

    SSG xxx


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