On one very hot summery Saturday afternoon - precisely 2 days ago when it was almost 40 degrees - my closest girlfriends and I gathered together for lunch! It's so rare to get the 5 of us together that depite the scorching heat, we happily trotted off to Potts Point, where I was invited to attend and sample the Xmas Ladies Lunch at The Village.
Tasty antipasto platters, sicilian arancini balls, mini christmas puddings and jugs of Pimms kept us eating, sipping and chit chatting till late in the afternoon...
The entrance of The Village showcased a beautiful courtyard, decorated with simple yet elegant colours of white and black. The potted plants and flowers created a splash of warmth over the contemporary setting, making the place feel more cosy and relaxed. We were guided to one of the tables under the massive umbrellas, which probably would've been better if it wasn't so hot that day :P Nevertheless, the outdoor seating area is quite lovely indeed.
The Ladies Lunch is available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm-4pm whereby a set menu (food and beverages) is included for $39 per person. Minimum party of 4 required and bookings are essential to allow for catering purposes. The various dishes on the menu are essentially designed to be shared, which makes it all the more fun!
Within 5 minutes of being seated, we were already sweating like there was no tomorrow. However, the good people at The Village were prompt in quenching our thirsts by serving two jugs full of icy goodness. Ice water to the left and a jug of Pimms and Lemonade with Fresh Fruit to the right.
The jug of Pimms was so refreshing and tasty that we probaby demolished 3 jugs full! The great thing is that the alcoholic taste is barely there, so it's a fabulous drink that will suit all, especially when it's 40 degrees.
The Antipasto Plate stirred up excitement on the table as we all reached forward to start piling up the goodies on our piece of toasted sourdough. The delectable platter included an assorted selection of cured meats, artichokes, chargrilled red peppers, semi-dried tomatoes, marinated olives, hummus and beetroot dip.
I managed to snap a shot of A's beautiful masterpiece before she devoured it - the hummus and dip were a perfect spread for the base, which was then topped with some prosciutto and vegies to form one beautiful slice of heaven.
My layering was not as pretty as A evidently...but without a doubt just as tasty! The semi-dried tomatoes were so flavoursome that it was a perfect match with the salami and sourdough. Yum!
I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes and so I didn't try out the Tomato with Mozzarella, Fresh Basil, Olive Oil & Balsamic. However, the colours of this plate looked so fresh and summery! The girls recommended dipping the tomatoes around the splattered Balsamic on the plate so to add more flavour to each bite. The Mozzarella was however, a little bland and rubbery in texture for their liking.
Unfortunately as J was the designated drive...she couldn't try out the wonderful jug of Pimms. However, the kind staff at The Village managed to whip up a mocktail on the spot for her - which was very nice of them! It was pretty and sweet - full of strawberry scents :)
The Sicilian Arancini Balls with Spinach and Smoked Mozzarella was one of the favourites as it was crumbly on the outside whilst soft and creamy on the inside. However it can be a little bland if you don't eat it with the accompanying sauce, so make sure you top some of that tomato paste onto your plate to go with it!
The Roasted Pumpkin with Pine Nuts, Baby Spinach and Marinated Feta was a nice salad to balance out the creaminess from the arancini balls. My friend A was so hooked onto this that she kept going back for more! Some of us were either not big lovers of pine nuts or pumpkin....so you know, it was just one of those love it or hate it salads. I didn't mind it as it was quite refreshing and clean to eat, though I did steer clear from the pumpkins :P
The biggest highlight for most of us was the amazing Crispy Salt & Pepper Squid! Sprinkled with sea salt and accompanied by rocket, lemon and chilli aioli, this was the dish that pleased the whole table unanimously. The squid was really fresh and lightly battered yet bursting with flavour. Even though it was a little salty, didin't make it any less addictive! Then again, my weakness does lie in aioli...and anything fried...
For dessert, we were offered a mini Christmas Pudding! Now I'm not completely sure if this was just a one-off serve or if The Village plans on doing this for all the Ladies Lunches throughout December...as the menu does indicate its usual options as either a Chocolate Fondue or Apple & Berry Crumble. Either way, you get dessert so can't complain I guess. However do call up The Village (see below for details) if you are keen to know :)
Too bad I'm not the biggest fan of raisins and fruit cakes...otherwise I would've fully demolished my piece. I did have some to dip in the super rich caramel sauce though...which was heavenly!
Overall, I think the Ladies Lunch menu is quite well-suited for a bunch of girlies out to have some fun. The dishes are classic with modern Italian influences and the atmosphere is great for casual catch-ups. If the weather isn't too hot, I'd definitely recommend the outdoor seating.
The food isn't too heavy when they come one by one yet by the end of it, it's hard to not fall into a food coma :P Highlights for me were the jugs of Pimms (thank you to the staff for continuous refilling), the squid and the antipasto plate for sure.
The interiors are so elegant and beautiful as well! Sprawled across two levels and encompassing three bars, The Village does exude a casual luxe ambience across its decor.
Barstools stand neatly next to the brick walls and below dimmed lights - the perfect place to grab a cocktail or drink.
Overall, my girlfriends and I enjoyed our experience at The Village and came out there feeling so full and lazy. Thank god it was a Saturday afternoon, we all thought, as most of us dozed off in the drive back home. Hope to see my girls again for a catch up soon :)
1 Kellett Way
Potts Point NSW 2011