[Invite] Back for its 3rd year, Opera Australia’s Handa Opera is returning with Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot. Held at the Mrs Macquarie’s Chair spot in the Royal Botanical Gardens – this is the fourth ranking locale in the “best outdoor opera performance venues in the world”. With a fantastic background of the garden, sydney city, Syndey Opera House and the harbour bridge. It’s a truly stunning backdrop for the opera, fireworks and also dinner at the Platinum Club by Fresh Catering.

We attended last year also for Aida (which had a Mediterranean menu) and this year to go with the Chinese tale of Turandot; the menu by Geoff Haviland goes Asian. Eat at the Platinum Club for amazing vistas of the skyline before the show. Tyrrell Wines are also back this year as the Platinum Club wine partners.

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (14)
Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (13)
Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (12)
Gallery of Turandot shots supplied by Opera Australia. Check out their website.

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (4)

The view from the dining side at Platinum Club is similarly impressive.

Platinum Club Dinner – a pre performance dinner. This is a three-course dinner that showcases foods of Northern China $235

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (6)
Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (5)
Autumn Awakening Tasting Plate (vegetarian option available) – Spicy Shrimp Rillette with garlic, chives and szechuan cucumber relish, Duck Salad with XO dressing, an Open Wonton of Asian slaw with miso ranch dressing and peanut sambal, Braised Aubergine with fragrant sauce, and Drunken Chicken with Goji berries and scallion.

A nice tasting selection – the surprise winner here the braised aubergine with its tasty complexity. Drunken chicken is served cold; freshing and tender.

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (10)
Steamed Barramundi on lobster fried rice with snake beans and black bean butter sauce.

Our pick of the eats from the Platinum Club menu, the Steamed Barramundi is very delicate and beautifully cooked. Alongside it is an atypical Chinese styled fried rice but pimped out with lobster. A rousingly pleasing dish.

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (8)
Braised Wagyu Beef Shortrib with rice noodle roll, wolfberries, Chinese greens and five spice pork scratchings.

If you’ve been to yumcha, you’ll note the now familiar rice noodle roll but how its used here is uncommon. On it sits, the braised wagyu shortrib. Meat lovers will delight in this – deeply rich tender beef, tender rice noodle rolls and crunchy pokr scratchings.

Cheese or Desserts to finish

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (11)
Premium Local Cheeses Served with Quince Paste, Crackers, Lavoche, Walnut & Fig Roll

Pairing well with the Tyrrell Wines, a curated array of premo cheeses.

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (9)
Green Tea Pavlova with cumquat curd, black sesame cream and lychee salad

Hidden within the meringue shell is a green tea cream. A nice sweet finish from the kitchen – fruity flavours abound.

Interval Platinum Club High Tea $60

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (2)
Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (1)
Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (3)

Sweet Potato Syrup Cake, Steamed Red Bean Pudding, Maple Caramel; Green Tea Macaron , Hong Kong Custard Tart,Black Sesame Cream and a glass of Tyrrell’s Pinot Noir Chardonnay Brut.

Fresh Catering Turandot Handa Opera (12)

Also available at Platinum Club, a buffet option with plenty of eats kicking off from 5.30pm til the bells ring.

Turandot was unequivocally better than last year’s Aida being more entertaining and amusing all at once. Nessun Dorma is an incredible song and sung with gusto? Wonderful. Highly recommended night out.

Find out more about this year’s Handa Opera showcase and Platinum Club dining by Fresh Catering here.

One Response

  1. Amanda | Chew Town

    I wish I could have joined you all there.. but sadly, it was my last day at Opera Australia and I was enjoying a booze filled farewell. Glad you enjoyed the opera.