Christmas In July Lunch at

  Minh Minh Saigon Soul Restaurant   

94 Victoria St, Richmond

14 July 2019

Review by Susan Gustafson

Our Christmas in July was truly a festive celebration, with a fantastic turnout. Thirty Members and Friends of CAS gathered together at Minh Minh Restaurant in Richmond. With an upstairs private room fully decorated with Christmas cheer, a glass of bubbles or orange juice on arrival, and a wonderful collection of Kris Kringle gifts, guests mingled and chatted before settling down for a festive banquet.

As people poured in, they connected with people they knew and others they didn’t know, in this very relaxed atmosphere. The pile of colourful packages on the gifts table kept rising and looked great. As well as our Christmas decorations on the mantelpiece and on the tables, the banquet room featured a large painting on the opposite wall, of an Asian street scene. As the room faced Victoria Street, there was a real street scene outside.

Guests mingling over pre-lunch drinks

The set menu was extensive with large servings and fresh produce. The dishes kept appearing one by one: fresh rice paper rolls, curry puffs, chicken skewers, all accompanied by expressions of interest and delight. And this was just entrées. Then the delicious, attractively presented main courses with rice, arrived one by one: fragrant chicken curry, East West fusion grilled marinated chicken with fresh herbs, fried pork with coleslaw, and finally when we thought that was it and belts were tightening, Laos style beef stirfry with basil and chilli. Minh Minh staff were very helpful and attentive, making sure we had enough of everything.

People enjoying mains and conversations

Vegetarians were also well catered for by pre-booking the vegetarian menu, which included three delicious entrées and a whopping Pad Viet with vegetables, noodles, salad and satay sauce, with rice. Minh Minh staff even threw in an extra dish of colourful vegetables for a vegetarian who hadn’t pre-ordered the special menu. And we all got fried ice cream – but not till after presents!

After the main course was finished, our President Robert Lee took on the role of Santa, and handed out gifts to all the guests. Many unique and special items were received, delicious wine, art books, art materials, original artworks, Christmas themed items, just to name a few. Guests were allowed to swap if they wished. One guest, Pam, was also presented with a surprise birthday cake and the room burst into song, for her recently held birthday.

Discovery time – opening the Kris Kringle presents

Everyone enjoyed the delicious food and lively conversations. These social occasions that CAS organises are a great way for new members to get to know everyone, but also for existing members to catch up with friends and talk about art, upcoming exhibitions, and any manner of interesting and stimulating conversations. Being part of CAS art society gives members and friends a place where they can connect with fellow artists.


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