The Jackson Chandon Sydney Harbour Long Lunch is a scenic Sydney Harbour experience as super yacht meets the harbour. The yacht takes to the waters in October and November offering a 3 course meal and free-flowing Chandon Garden Spritz and Chandon NV. So what can you expect aboard this cruise?
Confession: I had no idea what to expect from this harbour cruise but I'm no dummy. I know that if a super yacht is involved it has got to be a little bit fancy. This past Saturday, Valentina and I headed to King Street Wharf to board The Jackson super yacht to try out the Chandon Harbour Long Lunch. What starts off as a slightly overcast day blossoms into radiant sunshine.
The Jackson superyacht is a modern, luxe super yacht with spiral staircases leading to each of the yacht's three decks. Until the 4th of November 2023 (this coming Saturday) they're hosting a long lunch cruising around Sydney Harbour. Because of the success of this series, there is also an upcoming series with Veuve Clicquot coming up.
For the cost of $149 a person you get two and a half hours cruising, a 3 course lunch and free flowing Chandon Garden Spritz and Chandon NV sparkling. The crowd is dressed up with many wearing high heels and long, floral dresses so my advice is dress up if you want to and you won't feel out of place.
We are shown to our table on the main deck. Waitstaff appear and ask if we would like to start with the Chandon Garden Spritz cocktail or they can open the bottle of Chandon NV sitting on our table. We opt for the garden spritz which is refreshing and drinkable. As we clink glasses the yacht departs at 12:30pm and we are off for our 2.5 half cruise. The menu details the 3 courses that we are having and before we know it the first share plate of canapes arrives.
On the menu it says that the canapes are supposed to be served on the deck but they're served at the table. The Sydney rock oysters are sweet, punchy and fresh while the wild mushroom arancini has a dab of basil pesto on top and are served warm. There are also Thai citrus marinated prawns with chilli and coriander that sound like they pack a lot of flavour but they just seem to be cooked prawns with a bit of chilli on them served on lettuce. There's also bread rolls with butter on the table. The staff also bring around extra arancini around if anyone wants seconds.
There is a short announcement at the beginning detailing the proceedings and offering people the chance to go out on the upper and lower decks to grab photos. Waitstaff open the bottle of Chandon NV and pour it for us while we go on the back deck as we pass Sydney landmarks.
When we come back, the mains arrive. With the mains there is a choice of three items and we opt for the two meat options that come with salad and chips sides. They're both sizeable mains - the pork belly is 5 slices of roasted Bangalow pork belly with a side of Asian and cashew slaw. The crackling is crunchy and the pork belly is nice although it could be a bit softer and needs a little seasoning. The slaw is flavoursome and pairs well with the pork belly.
The kingfish is well seasoned and comes as a large fillet with enoki and shiitake mushrooms, broccolini, Asian greens and an Asian dressing. The fish is perfectly cooked through but still luscious and tender in texture while the vegetables give this dish texture and variety.
The sweet potato fries comes as a generous serve with truffle aioli on the side. These are moreish and completely irresistible especially dipped in the aioli.
There's also an orange and fennel salad with a balsamic fig glaze. This is also tasty but I barely have enough room for this give the size of the mains.
Dessert is served on the lower and upper decks. There's a range of gelato with half a dozen or so flavours from pistachio, vanilla, passion fruit, hazelnut, coconut and chocolate. Pistachio is my pick with plenty of crunchy, roasted pistachios in it.
By this time it's almost 3pm and a group are dancing around the DJ who is spinning classics like The Horses and How Will I Know. And a little tip: head to the upper deck for sunshine and to relax on one of the lounges. Even when we pull back up to King Street Wharf not everyone is willing to disembark as they enjoy the sunshine on the deck as they bring around a final snack of miniature gelato cones.
So tell me Dear Reader, who would you take on a cruise like this? Are you good at recognising landmarks or where you are on a cruise?
The Jackson Chandon Harbour Long Lunch