After a sensational afternoon full of fine wine, great company and the gorgeous back drop of the Josef Chromy vineyard, the only thing missing thus far was the sultry sounds of electronic funk, relentlessly marauding our sozzled minds!!
‘Bubbles and Beats’ was advertised by JC as being the Effervescence after party; the opportunity for the chefs to ‘channel their inner hipster’ and provide us with ‘fine dining dude food, shared tables, bean bags, couches (and) cool music’. With renowned DJ Damien Goundrie on the decks providing the soundtrack to our evening, this promised to be one epic send-off!
The premise was simple. Rock up at 5pm at the Barrel Room, set yourself up with a couple of glasses of Tassie’s finest, find yourself a seat at one of the long tables, a couch or perhaps a couple of bean bags, and chill out for the rest of the evening with a mix of gourmet food and funky tunes.
Unfortunately, the evening didn’t get off to smoothest of starts.
We arrived just before 5 and promptly made our way around the lake to the large building labelled on our map as being ‘The Barrel Room’ and venue for our evening’s festivities. After making an unsuccessful detour around one side of the warehouse we eventually looped back around and encountered one of the winery employees who advised that the event was actually being held back over at the main building. This wouldn’t normally be much of an issue, except that by this stage the wind had risen to a fever pitch, the temperatures had plummeted, the clock had ticked past 5pm and the doors hadn’t yet been opened!
For the next 20 minutes the ever increasing crowd of people milled around, or found a seat under one of the woefully inadequate heaters, freezing their scantily clad arses off in the bitter cold!
What a relief when the doors finally opened and we were able to defrost with a glass of red, food tickets clasped in our shaking hands!
Long tables were the order of the day when it came to seating. In fairness, most attendees did come as part of a larger group and hence the long table concept was very successful. We were lucky enough to secure ourselves one of the few barrels designed for couples or groups of 3-4, however we did observe a number of other couples that were a bit miffed at having to jump on the end of a table and share with half a dozen or more strangers.
In hindsight it wasn’t a big deal, but the promotional material had created an image in our mind of numerous bean bags and lounges, with a much more laid back feel. When the reality doesn’t match the expectation there can be an element of disappointment.
Over the next five hours the evening evolved from one focused on food, wine and witty banter, to one with music as the heart and soul of the party.
The food consisted of four dishes. Unfortunately we needed to line up at the kitchen each time we wanted a dish, rather than having the meals brought to us at our tables. Again, a minor point, but it did make us feel like we were at The Taste or something similar and much more commercial.
Thankfully the food was divine!
To start, we tried the ‘TNT’; ocean trout sashimi, jalapeño and guacamole soft serve, sliced truffle packed in jars.
I loved this dish. A great balance between the smooth Huon salmon and the crunch of the radish. Certainly not filling, but good in every other way!
As the sun began to approach the horizon, all those facing the west were faced with another issue…the glare!
While others struggled, we took the opportunity to line up again and grab a couple of plates of ‘GBH’; goats cheese and hazelnut peanut butter on buckwheat pizza.
Buckwheat isn’t normally my ‘thing’, but these were great. The mint and basil really set the dish off quite nicely.
Our last savoury dish was the ‘Scratchns’; soft pulled pork tacos, pee king duck aioli, green bits and pieces.
This was my pick of the dishes. I just wish there had been more of it!
To finish, we were served a ‘Terminator and the Tooth Fairy’; ice cream cheese cake sandwich with marshmallow.
A great way to finish off! The base was ever so crumbly, deliciously caramelised to within a whisker of being burnt, while the ice cream and marshmallow provided a sweet and flavoursome punch to the taste buds!
As the wine flowed freely and inhibitions faded with the day’s dying light, the DJ slowly but surely cranked up the beats to match the bubbles. I’m going to sound like a total music snob in saying this, but after starting the evening with a really diverse collection of tunes, the inevitable descent into party favourites commenced. I understand why, but it doesn’t make it right! In saying that, I have to admit that a Blue Monday remix with an epic bass line did manage to extricate us both from our wine barrel and onto the dance floor 🙂
It was a great evening, despite the less than perfect start. We made some new friends, whose names we had forgotten by morning’s seedy light. We saw the beginnings of a brawl (strange, but true!), and we endured one of the most hilarious, yet strangely uncomfortable taxi rides back to our hotel.
Honestly, what more could you want from a Saturday night?