Yummy fare on festive menus

From posh nosh at Huka Lodge to free turkey at the Auckland City Mission, Christmas this year looks good enough to eat.

The five-course dinner at Huka Lodge in Taupo includes truffled asparagus and fennel veloute with reggiano parmesan, followed by crayfish tail on lentils with ham and mustard, then gingered melon, port and orange salad.

After that appetiser comes foie gras roast lamb, then for dessert summer berries with capri lemon liqueur, and white chocolate and star anise ice cream.

At the City Mission, the meal is more traditional and will be served to more than 1000 disadvantaged Aucklanders.

The menu is nothing short of gigantic - including 120kg of turkey, 120kg of ham and 180kg of lamb.

Also on the menu are 7 1/2 sacks of potatoes and kumara, 24 loaves of bread for stuffing, and dessert, which includes 20 litres of ice cream, 40kg of canned fruit, 5kg of custard and 20 litres of jelly.

And there is more. Diners will get a slice of a Christmas cake that took 150 hours to make and is almost a metre long and half a metre wide.

Prison fare is not bad either: the midday meal at Mt Eden is roast chicken, sliced ham, roast potatoes, roast kumara, peas, carrots, trifle and cream.

And in the evening prisoners can dine on a sliced cold meat selection with salad, fresh fruit and ice cream.

Scientists, staff and Army engineers at Scott Base in the Antarctic are eating a five-course meal prepared by two resident chefs. Starting with a choice of salmon, marinated mussels, shrimp salad or sushi, they will move on to baked ham with apricot and honey glaze, roast turkey with cranberry sauce and seared duck breast, a variety of veges and traditional Christmas pud.

At the Stamford Plaza Hotel in Auckland, diners have plenty of choice - a Christmas buffet packed with goodies, from cold cuts and smoked meat to rock oysters, mussels and prawns. There is a platter of poached fish, salads and a hot selection of carved pineapple glazed ham and turkey or stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts.

The hotel is also offering a plated menu, including smoked salmon, turkey, ham or grilled beef tenderloin.

Dessert includes flamed Christmas pudding with whisky sauce. Yum.

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