The most glamorous Sunday lunch we usually experience involves buying a roast cut of cow or tired bird and chucking it optimistically in the oven, hoping for something edible in the end. Or grabbing a takeaway Sunday roast special, dressed in the previous week’s unwashed laundry and hoping not to run into anyone familiar in such a slovenly state, avoiding eye contact with the equally unwashed masses. This past Sunday proved a little different.
This particular Sunday lunch came with an invite. And a dress code: “Glamorous in white, sparkling with elegance and panache”. In white, as a rule, I usually look muddied and stained of whichever animal I’ve been cuddling against its will, or whatever I’d had for the previous meal. I’m rarely glamorous in any colour, but white proves additionally challenging. So I opted for a safer light gray (better to hide the cat fur with). Expecting me to sparkle of anything is a stretch (unless I roll in glitter) but wanting it to be elegance is impossible. Panache I can do. Flamboyantish, wild abandon (clumsy cow) is my self-deluding disguise for lack of social graces so that’s one out of three. So dressed in our Sunday Lunch best, scrubbed up and even in freshly laundered clothes with minimal pet fur, we went off to celebrate the Beverly Hills’ 50th Anniversary with Moët & Chandon.
Tables were bedecked in gold and glass and beautiful, shiny things. Gold bubbles flanking bottles of Moët were a nice touch. The weather was considerate enough to be utterly spectacular as a backdrop, to match the decor. Clouds were not invited. Each couple had a bottle of bubbly for themselves and corks popped and glasses charged as guests took their seat. The amuse bouche on arrival were freshly shucked Luderitz oysters, with an onion and red wine vinaigrette, which was actually wonderful when schlurped up with the oyster.
The starter plate was a sushi-style dish. Marinated mussels with a lime dressing, prawns coated in a Thai-style mayo and smoked salmon with a horseradish cream.
This was followed by the main course. Chicken medallion served alongside a grapefruit-glazed tranche (fancy word for angled slice of meat) of duck breast with steamed bok choy and orange risotto. The risotto was very creamy and I enjoyed the twist of having a citrus flavour to it. The grapefruit glaze I found was unfortunately a little bitter for me, so had to wash it down with champagne. And then follow it with a little more champagne for good measure.
Live entertainment was provided by a gregarious sultry-voiced singer called Lucia Mthiyane who tried to interact with every table, much to the delight of guests, who participated more enthusiastically the closer they got to the bottom of their bottles of bubbly. I get more enthusiastic the closer I get to the bottom of just a glass.
The afternoon was rounded off with a dessert trio of strawberry jelly, strawberry mousse and what I like to think of as drunken strawberries: marinated in Grand Marnier overnight. Not for the lightweights (like me!).
I noshed it all, even the blooms had no chance.
Last bite and beverage of the day were champagne macaroons and coffees. We really hadn’t expected to enjoy a 4 hour relaxed luncheon like this but what a pleasure it was! Kudos to Chef Tony and his team, as well as Brian the Superstar Waiter!