Hen's Nights and Kitchen Teas

Last weekend, I was at a hen's night and kitchen tea for one of my closest friends from high school, and it was such a fun filled event that I had to write a blog post about it to share with all of you. I didn't really take any notes on the night, so most of this is based on the many photos I took and what I can remember off the top of my head.

We started off with Korean BBQ at Guhng, a popular restaurant in the CBD just off Bourke St between Elizabeth and Queen St. We were lucky enough to be seated on the very top floor, which was pretty much like having our own area, and they even had a cute sign above the bar congratulating the bride to be! I'd been to Guhng for lunch once, but didn't realise how big the place actually was - there's so many levels above the initial entrance and lower level. The staff were very friendly with good service, and it didn't feel like we had to wait very long for our food to arrive.

As there was quite a large group of us, we decided to go with a range of entree and main dishes to share. There's a good variety of tapas, mains and charcoal BBQ dishes to choose from, or set banquet menus that give you a mix of the above. The dishes we ordered were the Agedashi Tofu, Jab Chae, a Seafood Pancake, and from the charcoal BBQ, Oyster Blade (beef), sweet soy chicken thigh fillet and a mix mushroom BBQ platter. There isn't a big range for vegetarians at Guhng as it is a Korean BBQ restaurant, but there are still a few dishes such as the ones we ordered to cater for those dietary requirements.

Jab Chae is a sweet potato noodle dish that comes with capsicum, paprika onion and sliced mushrooms, and was a light, refreshing way to start our meal. The noodles had good elasticity and contrasted well with the harder and crunchy textures from the capsicum and onion. The seafood pancake was made with egg and vegetables, and could be dipped in soy sauce for those who like it with a bit more flavour. This too was quite a light dish, as the pancake itself was quite thin and flat. I felt like there was enough flavour to not need to extra sauce, and the softness of the egg, together with the chewy seafood and the spring onion made for an enjoyable dish.

I'm not sure if it was because we were in a large group, or that's just the way it works at Guhng, but the staff actually cooked the meat on the BBQ for us, instead of us having to do it ourselves. The beef, chicken and mushrooms were all cooked to perfection, with a tender texture and full of flavour from being marinated for long periods of time. The beef in particular is noted has having been marinated for 72 hours in soy sauce with garlic and ginger, and was extremely delicious. The BBQ dishes came with lettuce leaves that you could wrap your meat in, and ensure it didn't become too heavy.

The second day of festivities was the kitchen tea was held at one of the bridesmaid's houses, with the theme of a Japanese Garden Party. I've never seen anything set up so beautifully; there were paper lanterns strung up above the table of food in different shades of pink, with fairy lights on one side and small flowers and pot plants everywhere. Against a backdrop of blue skies and the sun shining down on the garden, you couldn't have asked for a better setting for a kitchen tea. There was a range of sandwiches, sushi, bread and dips, cheese platters, fruits and the most amazing desserts; from cupcakes to macarons and scones with french jam, and a pink velvet cake with rose marshmallow icing and green tea ice cream. The most impressive was that these were all made by the bridesmaids - none of it was catered or bought from a store - and tasted absolutely delicious! Everything was so full of flavour, and I'd even go as far to say that some of the food is better than what I've had at actual cafes/patisseries.

As a present to those of us who attended the events, we were given a jar with ingredients to make your own choc chip cookies, which I thought was a very clever idea. All you had to do was add butter and an egg and voila, cookies!

Hope you all enjoyed these little snippets to what was a very fun weekend! To my friend A, the lovely bride to be, I wish you and H all the happiness in the world as you embark on the next big adventures of life :)


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