“Would you like an oyster sir?”
Accepting one and putting it betwixt my lips there is a dark flurry before my eyes before a sharp sting.
“Bloody kookaburras,” I say.
The raptor had swooped just as I prepared to slurp the tasty Sydney bivalve, missing his aim and causing me to cut my chin on the shell. The claret flows freely, landing on the deck. I dab at the wound with a cocktail napkin and, waiting for the wound to coagulate, lean on the rail to enjoy the view.
That’ll teach me not to be on the look out at Taronga Zoo’s new Function Centre, in the middle of the city’s zoo, where everyone and everything is part of the food chain to these cheeky bastards of the bush.
I’m at the gala opening of the newly refurbished centre, tucking into chef Sean Connolly’s Functions Menu (at Taronga Zoo). With 250 guests filling both the Harbourview Ballroom and Harbourview Terrace, the Sydney skyline provided the perfect backdrop, putting on a magical sunset display.
Upon arrival guests were greeted by some of the Zoo’s friends including an echidna, lizard, owl and Carlotta, the friendly carpet python before being entertained by the vocal stylings of The Voice’s (Team Joel) Mali-Koa Hood and talented DJ’s Jack Sutherland and Daniel Lim.
Did I mention Sean Connolly’s newly designed menu also featured during the launch? Connolly’s colourful Macarons, Lemon Tarts and Quail canapés, accompanied by Pommery Champagne impressed guests including Lunch Magazine, who was also impressed with his Tom Collins and rose martini.
A long underplayed drawcard to Sydney, the zoo has a 180 degree view of Sydney Harbour allowing you to see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from almost any point in the zoo.
When you go, either get the ferry from Circular Quay or get your deckhand to drop you at the Taronga public wharf in the tender.