Christmas In July Sunday Lunch at Daawat Restaurant
358 Victoria St, Richmond
5 July 2015
Review by Farimah Eshraghi
Another great lunch with CAS members and friends. It's hard to believe that another year has passed! This year the venue was Daawat Indian Restaurant, 358 Victoria St, Richmond.
I was looking forward to tasting some exotic food and in fact, nearly everything in the menu was a bit different or unexpected, at least for me!
Here is what was on the menu. For entrées we had vegetable samosas (potatoes and peas wrapped in pastry, served with a minty yoghurt sauce), and marinated chicken tikka from the tandoor – very tender and spicy. Main courses were daal makhani (traditional black lentil curry), butter chicken in a mild creamy sauce, and lamb rogan josh (boneless lamb in curry sauce). These dishes were accompanied by garlic naan and butter naan (soft Indian bread freshly baked in the tandoor, perfect for mopping up the delicious curry gravies), and saffron rice. The kindly staff refilled dishes on request, and made sure we all had plenty to eat! For dessert, we had gulab jamun - milk balls fried in ghee and soaked in rose flavoured syrup.
Everything in the banquet was delicious, and served on a very nicely decorated table that certainly gave the feeling of Christmas. Cressida had put on the table some shiny Christmas decorations, plus a very elegantly printed menu on red paper for each attendee, plus the very nice touch of colourful Christmas lollies for everyone.
Something particularly good about the venue was that it was all for our group, as in a private function. As Robert pointed out when talking about the restaurant, we could actually hear each other! In many restaurants, it becomes all too noisy when there are many guests. Here, we made our own noise! And as Daawat is open at all hours from lunch to dinner, we were not rushed and could take our time.
Our happy, noisy group at Daawat Indian restaurant
As an artist, I like to experiment and find new experiences: to see different places, look at new art or architecture, anything creative, and of course, try different food. But more than the food, it was good to catch up with some members of CAS and other artists that I had not seen for some time, and to have a good chat with them, plus meet new faces, and I believe that every other person who attended had my same feeling. Also people shared what they had been doing. One member was showing photos from her recent trip to Sweden. Then out came the iphones, with people sharing images of their artworks.
Best of all was the “Kris Kringle”. I must admit that I was anxious about this and the exchange of gifts. Sometimes I think that I'm 10! Aren't we all a bit like this? Anyway, that time came and Robert handed everyone a gift. A lovely surprise for each one of us. I certainly enjoyed my gift, and I could tell that everyone else had a happy face. There was such a variety of gifts, including books of drawings, a cat colouring-in book, a retro style perfume bottle, art materials, and sketch books. Robert also gave out art books that had been kindly donated by Art Stretchers.
So after a wonderful afternoon, we all said good bye, and looking forward to next year's lunch!