The Red Lantern dinner at Koomooloo, the Philip Shaw Vineyard was fantastic, even without Luke Nguyen there. I have to admit I was wondering before I arrived how the guests would cope in a big tent in the garden on a cold Orange night but the event certainly surpassed all my expectations.
As our taxi drove up the long driveway there were lantern bags scattered all the way along it, their subtle and orange glow was just beautiful and set the scene for what was to be a perfect evening.
We arrived with our wine friends Mel & Dan and enjoyed a glass of the architect chardonnay and got the chance to meet some of the other guests. We enjoyed delicious Vietnamese fish cakes with a spicy dipping sauce and the freshest duck rice paper rolls with hoi sin sauce that just made you want to double dip it was so delicious!
We moved into the marquee for the main meal and found it was nice and cosy and decorated with red lanterns which gave it a lovely Asian inspired look. We all began scanning through the vast menu to see what would be coming out – there was certainly no lack of food.
We started off with ‘The Dreamer Viognier’ and my favourite the “Number 11 Chardonnay’ matched with a pork and chicken noodle salad and some delicious prawns. Next up was an awesome dish where we had to roll either chicken, pork or beef skewers in some fresh lettuce and mint leaves with another delicious sauce poured over the top. The flavours were all perfectly matched and the taste was sublime.
My favourite course of the night was the goat curry which again was full of flavour and a perfect match to the Philip Shaw reds we drank with it. A real highlight of the evening was when Lucy Yore sang and played the Ukelele for us – she has the most beautiful voice and everyone listened transfixed.
Pauline Nguyen and Mark came and spoke to us all about their lives and books and about the food selected for the dinner which was really interesting and convinced us to buy multiple books before going home.
We finished off the evening with a glass of Philip Shaw Blanc de Blanc sparkling and a banana slice with tapioca. The all too soon it was time to head home after what was a truly fantastic night. The Red Lantern and Philip Shaw team did an amazing job to pull of such an event with style and panache. Mr L’Orange and I agreed that it had been one of our most favourite evenings in Orange since we arrived.