Originally posted April 2009
Course No. 5
Fricassee shemji, mushroom, porcini
Mushrooms everywhere! As you can see, the clam was topped with mushrooms, not too sure what they were, presumably shemji. I remember the soil was dessicated porcini. Think foam was porcini too. The clams were Scottish razor clams. Cooked and presented pretty much like bamboo clams, they were nice and sweet. Unfortunately the taste was not very far off from the local stir fry style of cooking in Chinese seafood joints. All in all it was not particularly earth shattering.
BLOOD & SAND
Single malt, sweet vermouth, yuzu curd, house orange bitters. New take on the bullfighting inspired 1930’s tipple.
I can’t quite remember what this tasted like but it was fairly forgettable. I didn’t finish it. Apparently the original is also a whisky based drink named after a 1922 bullfighting movie of the same name.
What do Scottish clams cooked with miscellaneous mushrooms have to do with Blood & Sand? My guess is that scotch is also Scottish in origin.
FOIE GRAS ORANGE
Green tea paint, pistachios, and green shiso
By this time, the courses were starting to merge into one another, and it was difficult to keep track on what we had and what the food tasted like. You can see there is some green tea based sauce (paint?) smeared on the dish. There is a solitary pistachio on the side. I really do not recall where’s the Shiso leave. The foie gras itself was quite nice, but hey, it’s seared foie gras, you can’t really go wrong there. Serving it with orange was interesting, and different than the usual pear or peach combination.
The drink that was paired with this was BELLA RIDGE, 2004
Kyoho, swan valley, western Australia.
Sorry, no pix for this white wine. What I do remember was that the wine had a nice golden colour, and was really sweet. The sweetness, of course, comes from the Kyoho grapes, the ultra-sweet (not to mention ultra-expensive) grapes from Japan that all grape gummies try to emulate in taste. It was surprising to find that Kyoho grapes were being made for winemaking, and even more surprising to find that the wine comes from Australia. The taste was like that of late harvest white wines that are so popular with Australian and NZ vineyards, only instead of the usual cloying and flat taste that appeals to many of the fairer sex. Since Kyoho grapes were used, this was nicely complex (relatively speaking) in taste, though of course this is nowhere near the standard of a sauternes. I liked this drink, and would certainly purchase this in a shop despite my aversion to new world sweet whites generally. This went very well with foie gras. Of course, Kyoho grapes, shiso leave, green tea. No prizes for guessing where the connection lies.
The vineyard website can be found at http://www.bellaridge.com.au though it seems to be down at the moment.
BLACK PEPPER FROG
Onion puree, basil jelly, crispy chicken skin
Interesting combination of the Singapore obsession with black pepper everything (beef, crab in particular) and frog. This was fun as (a) you can figure out how the ingredients are used, and (b) who’s every had frog other than in a tonic soup, porridge, claypot or stir fried with ginger?
COOPERS SPARKLING ALE
Cult south Australian artisan brewer from 1862.
This drink was an epic fail. First it didn’t taste like an ale, it tasted like a pilsner. The colour gives it all away. Secondly, it tasted like cheap foul pilsner. Imagine Tiger, Anchor or Heineken… Third, how does this connect with the black pepper frog? Unless you say it’s like sitting in a beer garden drinking tiger beer with your zi char food?
To be continued…