Sydney's home of theatrical feasts, Nel in the CBD, is getting into the spirit of the season with a culinary salute to all things Christmas in the form of an 11-course degustation. And much like its extremely popular Disney-themed multi-course extravaganzas, you can expect top-flight culinary excellence seasoned with more than a little tongue-in-cheek whimsy.
This year, head chef Nelly Robinson is drawing inspiration from Chrissie classics, plus a few contemporary surprises thrown in for good measure, including a tribute to the movie Elf, starring Will Ferrell. Buddy the elf’s candy spaghetti is given a gourmet glow-up courtesy of spinach linguini topped with Murray Cod and lemon ‘maple syrup’ inspired by arguably one of the best recent additions to the canon of seasonal cinema.
Another highlight from the menu, and one that is already a firm favourite of those familiar with Nel's annual festive degustations, is the Christmas Crab – a reinterpreted presentation (that looks a lot like Rudolph) of the go-to seafood staples of a classic Aussie Christmas.
The joy of the unexpected is what makes a degustation at Nel such a special experience, so many of the menu's details remain under wraps. What we can share is that guests will enjoy a Stuffing Brioche, a bread course inspired by traditional turkey stuffing and bacon; Stuffed Chook, a chestnut stuffed chicken that summons the traditional English Christmas dinner still popular with many ex-pat Aussies; and for those who haven't been too worried about which of Santa's lists you land on, the Naughty Child, with coconut charcoal shards, black sesame and puffed rice – the most delicious lump of coal you'll ever taste.
Christmas 2021 - A Degustation is $145 per head, plus $105 for matching wine and cocktails. The feast launches on November 16 and will run until December 23.