The Deniliquin RSL Club’s Christmas Day luncheon crowd consumed 1200 oysters, about 90kg of prawns, more than 60kg each of turkey and pork and eight whole salmon.
The traditional lunch was attended by 526 diners, and club CEO David Hart said most were from outside Deniliquin.
‘‘We had people from Orange, Bendigo, Ballarat and even Finley, Tocumwal, Barooga and Cobram,’’ Mr Hart said.
‘‘Some were in Deniliquin to visit family for Christmas, but others had come specifically for the lunch.
‘‘One of the guests from Ballarat told us of all the other similar lunches he had been to over the years, he felt ours had the best value for money. We received hundreds of good comments like that.’’
The club’s Christmas lunch is also known for its artistic element. Staff spent weeks preparing food sculptures and carvings for the special day, with the centrepiece being a large model of Santa’s toy room made from modelling sugar.
‘‘It must have looked so good that some of Santa’s biscuits and plum puddings went missing throughout the day,’’ Mr Hart said with a laugh.
‘‘I also gave Santa a partially finished beer, but the staff are so proficient at their job it was cleared up every time I put the beer back.
‘‘We also had margarine sculptures of dolphins, humpback whales and swans, and some fruit and vegetable carvings.
‘‘I carved a watermelon to look like Donkey from the movie Shrek, we had parrots made from pineapples, water lilies from onions, mice made from radishes and olives, palm trees from carrots and capsicums and honeydew melon rabbits.’’
Mr Hart said a lot of work went in to preparing this year’s feast and the edible art installations, praising his staff for their amazing work.
‘‘All the staff gave up their Christmas to help serve this lunch,’’ he said.
‘‘The centrepieces were made over three weeks by two people, and seven staff working solidly for three days preparing the food. We spent about seven days setting it all up.’’