date of feast: Saturday 27 April 2013
Yes, you can see I am somewhat behind in a few things … But it is fitting that this review has taken so long to hit the web, because it’s indicative of how long it took us to organise this.
Ages ago now (as in, last year, I’m sure – in fact, quite possibly when we were at Fino) my friends and I talked about heading to Press* Food and Wine for the suckling pig.
But such monumental nights out require a fair bit of thought and effort these days. Perhaps it’s all the children that need baby sitting arrangements made, perhaps it’s the tedium of work that turns everything, including fun, into a protracted effort. I’m sure that when we were at uni we would have made the booking and been in the restaurant a week later.
It took us so long to organise this that Press* actually changed the format of the suckling pig deal on us! By the time I booked, it was no longer a case of placing an order for a suckling pig, but rather it was a (minimum) 10 person feasting menu, including (in amongst a pile of other courses) said pig. Not a problem – except that by the time we (one other person and I split the organising of these things between us: one writes grumpy emails to corral the troops, the other organises the restaurant end) floated a per head cost of $100 we were down to just 9 participants.
Because this had taken so long to pull together, I went ahead and booked for our chosen date. Unfortunately, upstairs (the ‘restaurant’) was closed for a private function, but as we were after the pig we were able to book a table in the (normally unbookable) bar (downstairs). The feasting menu is $78 a head and I asked if Press* could put together wines to bring it to $100 per person. While they weren’t able to do this (there was concern about people ordering beers and cocktails) they were happy for me to choose wines for the table.
A tenth person was found (thanks, Rob, for coming from London for this!), pre dinner drinks were organised, and everyone was told that wine had been organised for the table and that was what they would be drinking (yes, bossy emails ahoy!).
The meal absolutely lived up to our own hype. There was tons of food (although, arguably, there is never enough crackling when pork is involved) and it was all delicious. From the grilled chorizo, to the lentil and quinoa salad (which got rave reviews from everyone), to the calamari, tuna carpaccio, the grilled corn salad, the beef, the side dishes, the dessert … you get the picture. This was one serious, and seriously good, meal.
I’ve enjoyed my previous sorties to Press* and yet again, it has delivered. If you’re looking at a special occasion meal, and you like pork, the feasting menu should definitely be on your short list.
Thanks to my friends Brendan and Kirsty for going crazy with the camera and allowing me to share their photos with you.