Earlier this month I blogged extensively about our last (October) beer and food matching experience at the Durham, so I’m going to save repeating myself here about the details of the experience.
Instead, I figured I should concentrate on reviewing what we were actually there for: did the foods actually match the beers (if you just want the yummy pictures, scroll through the slideshow above!)?
- The mussels marinara matched well with the White Rabbit White Ale, but the beer came out a little too early, so most of my table’s beers were finished by the time the meals came out! For those who haven’t tried mussels before, they taste like a combination between chicken and fish. I think.
- Lamb belly with moroccan carrot puree and Rogers beer – lamb belly was very chewy, but tonnes of flavour. The pureed carrot and sauce were excellent, and the Rogers beer was … curious. It’s not a very carbonated beer. I’m not sure I’d have it again.
- Char-grilled chicken with lemongrass and lime paired with White Rabbit Pale Ale – the table was in agreement that this didn’t really match, and, separately, the chicken was probably the most disappointing meal of the day.
- Stuffed pork steak with pear and walnuts wrapped in smoked bacon with Pipsqueak cider – absolutely superb combination – probably the best combo for me. While you’d think apple cider would work better, the pear cider worked beautifully. Not to mention, the stuffing was great. Lovely meal, and I don’t normally eat pork. The only downside is that the ‘smoked’ bacon was quite overcooked and dry.
- Chocolate marquise with raspberries and marscapone cream served with White Rabbit Dark Ale – I think the purpose of this combo is that the Dark Ale is supposed to be able to cut through the sweetness, but it unfortunately didn’t. The beers and the dish were great on their own, but the sweetness did seem to dull the beer.
- The final dish was a cheese platter with two types of beer (I don’t have a record of what it was though!) – I think made with two different types of water. There was definitely a difference in taste, which seems logical, but I didn’t mind either taste. The brie and the creamy blue vein cheeses mixed well with the beer, which was able to cut through the flavours.
It was another great day, but unlike last time, there were no prizes (and we all love freebies!). The host was very enthusiastic, but the cramped conditions and our position made it a bit hard to hear. At $59 it was still great value for money because it goes for a few hours and you get to try a whole lot of things you otherwise wouldn’t have tried (they even made marquise this week on My Kitchen Rules, so we knew what they were talking about!). If I’m having pork, I’ll know to serve it with cider.
Attendees: T1 + friends
Date: 24 March, 2012
Cost: $59 each
Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile
Want more? Apparently there’ll be another on in late April – stay tuned!