Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.
~ Michael Caine
“Duck” is one of my favourite words in the world. Is there anything so happy as a rubber duckie, or a duck pond in a garden, or ducking quickly behind a pillar to surprise someone as they unknowingly stroll past? Oh, and of course… needless to say… duck, you are sooooo delicious!
Mmmm. I am, tonight, close to quacking with happiness following a delightful catch up/dinner with my friend Cam who has recently made (the most excellent) choice of moving to Auckland!
Following a quick perusal of the Entertainment Book, we decided on St Tropez since it was close by, and, more importantly, the menu sounded too good to pass up.
What was even better than reading the menu was eating the food off that menu. The garlic bread was superb – warm and crisp and flavourful, with just the right amount of sweet tomato bits on top… and for mains, Cam ordered the lamb with caramelised onion, mushroom and bacon with a potato mash. I got to try a piece of the lamb – one which required both knife and fork and some skill to transport to my lips, so tender it was! I could not decide between the “Char Grilled Fish, Lemon Beurre Noisette Sauce w Capers & Tomato, Jasmine Almond Rice” and “Duck Leg Confit, Haricots White Bean Casserolette, Red Wine Plum Sauce” – thankfully, the charming maître d’ came to my rescue – I went with her recommendation.
I do not regret taking her advice – my dinner was beautifully cooked and plated. When it arrived, I saw a bouquet of green beans tied in a carrot ribbon; white beans bubbling merrily in a ramekin; and the prize duck confit, bless its soul, standing proudly on the right, lightly bathed in sauce. Wonderful. I stared at it for a while, trying to commit the sight of it to memory… I can still see it now. The flavours met and embraced on my tongue…
And, Cam treated me to dinner this evening – which was really so generous (thank you Cam!)… and sparked a mini idea…
If you have been reading my most recent blog posts, you may have read that for nearly no reason at all, various friends have lately decided to bless me with meals fit for a King. My cup runneth over! I have wined and dined at three top Auckland establishments in two weeks – and had my meals paid for, and my heart filled with their friendship and conversation.
So – I’d like to offer you the chance to win a $50 voucher for any New Zealand restaurant/café of your choice ($60 if they only sell vouchers in $20 instalments), as long as they offer vouchers for sale.
What’s the catch, you ask? Ah, yes, there is a catch.
You will do the work, and the voucher will go to someone else. No, don’t go away… read on, you’ll see why in a minute.
I thought of offering the voucher to readers directly, but I’m going to draw inspiration from Oxfam and UNICEF – and give you the gift of giving.
It’s easy –
1. Close your eyes and think of a beautiful meal you’ve eaten, and how much you smiled eating it.
2. Now think about giving a bit of that smile to someone… in the form of a voucher for a nice place they might not ordinarily visit?
3. Then leave a comment on this post, writing a sentence (or two) using the word “delicious”. Please type your email address in carefully, because I will need a valid way to reach you if you win!
The winner will be drawn at random – I will email you and get the name and postal address of your “giftee”, and the restaurant/café of your choice – and then I will purchase the voucher and send it on to your giftee anonymously. And, alright, I’ll sweeten the deal – you get a batch of homemade chocolate truffles (if in Auckland) or something equally nice/less fragile than truffles which will survive a courier ride (if elsewhere in NZ) from me. (By the way, I can’t guarantee you’ll love my baking, but I’ll try to make it loveable).
Questions, sing out… otherwise, thank you for reading – and good luck!
Please note that this is open to readers residing in New Zealand only – comments must be in by 11pm (NZ time), Wednesday 10 August.
PS. Visit St Tropez.
St Tropez Restaurant – 149 Parnell Road, Parnell, Auckland – Phone: 09 309 0996