Christmas In July Sunday Lunch at
Nepa Bliss Nepalese and Indian Restaurant
360 Bridge Rd, Richmond
9 July 2017
Review by Gaye Lyons
Considering we (Melbourne) have truly entered winter now, Sunday gave us bright thawing sunshine and an optimistic outlook. Upstairs at Nepa Bliss on our long banquet table we plonked ourselves down in anticipation of the banquet and conversation that a passionate group of creative types can generate.
View of the long table, with lively conversations over pre-lunch drinks
My lunch comapnions included Lilliana, a self confessed 'crazy cat lady'. As I'm proud 'mummy' to Eugenie and Horatio (bewdiful 4 year old Burmese) we had a great affinity. Lilliana is enthusiatic about all things Japanese too. Lilliana's passions are reflected in her paintings; superb paintings of 'kitty's' large and small and delicate traditional Japanese women. It was a great treat to see some of her wonderful paintings, on her phone of course.
The long table laden with entreés
Entree was served: a taste plate of Chicken Momo, Nepali style dumplings, Lamb Choila – marinated Katmandu style, plus Aloo Sadeikio – potato with lemon and spices. In my humble opinion delicious – spicey but uncious. To my left was Cressida who did a great job organizing and harbors a desire to have a pet fox! Good lord the practicalities of that happening are slim... I think it might be their luxurious red fur coat which is part of the appeal, not to ignore the foxey connection in her surname. Interesting slice of ancestoral genealagy there I'm betting if not aready investigated. On my right side was Pamela who believes she was born swimming in Champagne, such is her affinity with this ab fab beverage. I'm in complete agreement. Pamela has been dabbling in some oil painting in the past year. She can paint and talk prodigiously at the same time – impressive results too.
The colourful entreé platter
Oh for Champagne ...
Main course was: Nepali chicken curry, a navy bean and lentil daal, an eggplant masala with green peas and potatoes. Accompanied by mixed roti and naan breads plus basmati rice with cummin and spices. Once again all positively delicious – I love the Nepalese cuisine. My first but by no means last time enjoying it. George Eustice and Jan were opposite to one side and through the instigation of the Kris Kringle George is going to dabble with water colour paint again after getting a tempting little pad of water colour paper plus a few other goodies.
Showing off the lovely gifts of art materials
More lively conversations as people unwrapped and showed each other their gifts
The Kris Kringle was fun and there were some very thoughtful gifts. Robert Lee, our Presidente, was floating around us all after some great PR in recent weeks from his foray into 'Bollard Art' (83cm concrete cubes) in the City centre of Melbourne. Creative relief to transform what have been installed through madness and sorrow into artistic expression.
Some delighted gift recipients
The last course of our Nepalese banquet was a yummy in your tummy pistachio kulfi – Indian ice cream. Not only a fabulous flavour but a most appealing 'pistachio' colour with a fresh strawberry garnish. Though I didn't get to interact with many others, Garry and Yoshi were there and generously offered an after lunch venue at their home nearby. I was exhausted after a ... let's put it as a big night out on the Saturday (dobbing in the full moon for that) and needed to go home and collapse…
Another delighted gift recipient, with one of those yummy desserts
Some engaging conversations
Lastly were wise words from Fred after telling us that he has returned to playing and practicing the piano – 'the clock is ticking'. In other words seize the day, live our lives to the fullest. I believe we all enjoyed the afternoon in the company of like minded souls. Tick tock.