|Bradley Patrick | SugarLove Weddings|
We got married in June this year. It was the most perfect, happy day and more amazing than I could ever put into words. I was a little hesitant to write about our wedding on the blog because it was such a personal & intimate experience, but since this blog is such a huge part of my life it only seemed fair to share a few snapshots and write about the food! Keep in mind, this is only a tiny glimpse of the day, or this post would be 500 times longer. We had our ceremony with about 50 of our closest family and friends, in the back courtyard marquee of the Sydney Observatory with that wonderful view of the harbour bridge from Observatory Hill. I had a gut feeling that the weather would not be on my side, so I made sure that everything was indoors and that we had supply of cute umbrellas. Sure enough, it POURED with rain the entire day. It was still perfect.
I am not an organised person at all, and had put zero thought into what I might want my wedding to be like prior to this so the whole wedding planning experience was incredibly stressful and slightly excruciating. But it was worth it. I managed to get through the pre-wedding insanity by keeping everything as simple and ahead of time as possible, delegating so that I had hardly anything to do on the actual day and I had the most amazing best friend in the world who worked her butt off to help me in every way possible. She was my planner, my stylist and my main mode of transport. No surprises, there was plenty of purple throughout the decorations. And daisies! And look at my shiny, shiny shoes! My dress was custom made by the lovely Rhonda Hemmingway, I found the crystal waistband clip at a vintage fair, along with my earrings and the vintage mink fur shrug that I wore in the evening. And check out the violin player with an appropriately striking resemblence to Mario, who played the Super Mario Bros. theme song at the end of my ceremony. Heehee.
Our reception was at Quay Restaurant, in the Green Room. Quay is currently sweeping up all the restaurant of the year awards in Sydney and deservedly so. When we first sat down and thought about where our ideal place to eat on our wedding night would be, Quay immediately came to mind (after that spectacular lunch we had). It seemed like an unachievable dream at first, until we started researching and enquiring. As a wedding venue I could not recommend it more highly, it exceeded all of our expectations. The venue coordinators and all the other staff were so lovely, helpful and organised and of course the food was fantastic. I mean, why settle for a run-of-the-mill catered wedding when you can get the full fine dining experience instead? Alongside the best views of the bridge and the Sydney Opera House. We were also lucky enough to have the Vivid Sydney Festival on at the same time, so there were all these amazing light shows going on around us that made the view from the reception even more gorgeous. Yep, totally planned it that way.
The centrepieces didn't really turn out the way I had planned, I had some communication issues with the decorators I hired. But let's not dwell on that part. We hired a photobooth, which was SO MUCH FUN and helped to make our guestbook so hilarious and pretty much the best wedding keepsake ever. And the most important part for us was that everyone had so much fun, and you can really tell when you look through all the photos. Our photographer got loads of fantastic candid shots of all the guests. It just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, like getting a giant group hug from my nearest and dearest.
On to the food! I can't really 'review' the meal we were served on the actual night, honestly I was running on so much adrenaline that I don't remember how anything tasted . But I do remember the tasting that we did a few weeks before the wedding. As part of a winter package (one of the benefits of picking a wedding date on the second official day of winter), we opted for the three course alternate-serve dinner with complimentary canapés before the meal, and our wedding cake to be served (no cakeage charge thankfully) after the meal with coffee, tea & petit fours. There aren't any shots of the canapés but they were awesome, one of them was the scallop sashimi pearl from their signature Sea Pearls dish. Karen is a legend and managed to capture some shots of all the other courses. Thank you Karen!!!
Cake! Of course there was cake. I did not make my own wedding cake, I was not ready to take on that level of responsibility. We got a simple, cute and very delicious vanilla, lemon and strawberry cake from Faye Cahill covered in whipped white chocolate (because of my dislike of fondant). I was going to have a lolly table just with store bought candy that the guests could take home as their bonbonniere. I had never planned to have a full dessert table with a theme and decorations, it seemed silly to spend all the time and effort on a dessert table when we were already getting plated desserts served by Quay AND wedding cake with petit fours, tea and coffee.. But I sorta ended up with something in between, with lots of jars of lollies and few platters of homemade baked goods from me, Karen and Linda. Karen and Linda did such a great job, and part of me does wish I had put a little more effort into organising a full-blown crazy, themed dessert table.
|Hand Shelled Mud Crab, Picked Green Papaya, Apple, Fennel, Cucumber, Lime Crème Fraiche, Cashew Praline | Image thanks to Karen|
During the tasting we got to try four different options for each course, and had to select two for the actual dinner. The crab starter was an obvious pick with the juicy, sweet chunks of crab meat. The other choice was actually the vegatarian option, which might seem a little strange since there weren't any vegetarians at our wedding. But of the three options remaining this was (unexpectedly) the dish with the most flavour and loveliest presentation (though really all the dishes were so pretty). The giant slice of buffalo mozzarella was so good for cheese lovers, though the texture of the cheese served on the wedding night didn't seem quite nice as the one we tried on the tasting night.
|Salad of Young Garden Vegetables, Buffolo Milk Mozzarella, Herbs, Flowers | Image thanks to Karen|
|Roasted Mulloway, Stone Ground Semolina, Heirloom Carrots, Roasted Almonds & Flowers | Image thanks to Karen|
For the mains we had two fantastic dishes, the most perfect piece of fish and the tenderest slice of beef. The fish was cooked just the way it should be, flakes of fesh that are not the least bit dry and with a crisp, golden outside. The beef just melted in your mouth, and I thought the little crunchy pops of toasted quinoa added great texture. My brother reeeeeallly wanted me to pick the slow-cooked lamb option at the tasting but I knew that the beef would please even the fussiest of our wedding guests. I was totally right.
|Mixed Leaves with Cabernet Vinaigrette | Image thanks to Karen|
Alongside the mains there was salad to share, everyone knows I'm not a salad person so I don't even remember tasting it. And then there were big bowls of potato puree. Ohhh my god the potato. So buttery, so smooth and fluffy. At the tasting my brother and were fighting over the bowl. In fact we filled up so much on the potato and the bread with the really good cultured butter that we could barely taste all the desserts. I had to activate the trusty old emergency dessert stomach.
|Roasted Fillet of Grain Fed Beef with Black Eggplant Puree, Baby Spinach, Quinoa and Potato Puree | Image thanks to Karen|
|Guava Fool, Granita and Ice Cream | Image thanks to Karen|
Now the most important part, DESSERT! Sadly, they don't include the famous Snow Egg as an option at weddings, but they did have this amazing Guava dessert which is essentially the Snow Egg without the 'egg' part, so there's no meringue and maltose shell. But you still get that great combination of textures from the velvety guava fool, the crunch of the granita and the uh, creamy ice cream. It's simple but wonderful. Of course there had to be something chocolatey for the other dessert. They do offer their signature chocolate cake dessert, but it's seven textures instead of the eight textures that are served in the restaurant. It means that it's minus the show-stopping last layer where they pour on the hot melted chocolate, which makes the centre of the cake sink in. See my other Quay post if you don't know what I'm talking about. It didn't seem as spectacular without that dramatic extra layer, but luckily there was another chocolate dessert which was just as fantastic. You really can't go wrong with the combination of chocolate, cherry and coconut. It was like a Cherry Ripe, but so much better.
|Wild Cherry Compote, Coconut Cream, Chuao Chocolate Crumble, Cherry Juice and Chocolate Sorbet | Image thanks to Karen|
|Bradley Patrick | SugarLove Weddings|
As you can imagine, my strawberry jam macarons (I didn't use sprinkles. I wish I had!) and Linda's popcorn macarons with salted caramel buttercream disappeared in the blink of an eye. My Milo marshmallows & Karen's chocolate caramels were also a big hit. A & I had the time of our lives and it was over too quickly. But a few hours before this post goes live we'll be celebrating again with the Chinese wedding party in Kuala Lumpur followed by our honeymoon, I can't wait!