‘Passport’ takes diners to Australia
BY NADINE KAM / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pacific Beach Hotel launched its “Passport to Wine & Dine Summer Series” on June 27 in the second-floor Neptune Room.
The first event of the series was themed “Taste of the Mediterranean,” with a selection of marinated olives and red bell peppers, risotto with seared scallop, braised shortribs over mashed potatoes, oysters and wines to match various courses.
There were stations set up for food, and servers moved through the crowd with trays of pizza and bruschetta.
Also among the highlights were an array of fabulous desserts by Fenton Lee, former executive pastry chef for such luxury resorts as the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Waikaloa Hilton Resort, Hyatt Regency Kauai, and Grand Wailea. While the desserts, including fresh fruit in champagne gelée, were elegant, befitting a fine resort, guests were able to leave with one of his more earthy confections, the croissada, which is causing a rush on the Aloha Center Cafe at the Hotel.
The pastry is described by Lee as a “delicate blend of a croissant and malasada” filled with a Polynesian vanilla Bavarian cream.
From the outside it definitely looks like a malasada, with its crisp golden brown exterior, rolled in granulated sugar. Inside it’s flaky like a croissant, and the cream filling reminded me of a long john pastry, which actually seems to make this three pastries rolled into one.
The next “Passport to Wine & Dine” event is coming up 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 25. “Taste of Australia” will feature the cuisine and wines of Australia. Tickets are $55.
The menu will include lemon pepper-dusted Australian baramundi, guava-glazed “shrimp on the barbie” on ciabatta, sweet basil gnocchi, roasted Australian lamb rack, Tasmanian salmon brulée, shiraz-braised ostrich ragout, gooseberry trifle with Anzac biscuits, Outback s’mores, and more.
Wines to be featured are Greg Norman pinot noir, Alice White Lexia moscato, Penfolds Thomas Hyland shiraz and Nobilo sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.