Crave SIFF 2012: Bistrode CBD’s ‘Uncorked’, Sydney

by dylan on October 30, 2012

Uncorked Menu

Uncorked Menu

“Merivale’s group sommelier, Franck Moreau teams up with renowned wine reviewer Huon Hooke to uncork some of the best value drops around. Head Chef, Jeremy Strode will create an exclusive four-course menu and your booking will include a download (website or app) – of Huon Hooke Australia & New Zealand Wines, with thousands of reviews at your fingertips valued at $25.”

As always Crave pulled us in all different directions – would we tempt ourselves with a decadent feast at one of the ‘hatted’ restaurants or hunt down what we felt was an opportunity to be wowed by some of the smaller guys. Bistrode CBD’s ‘Uncorked’ resonated with not only Lex & I but of course our ever faithful dining partners Em & Mr. O. Not to say we are all cheap but more to the point we would always love to know how to pair affordable wines with amazing produce.

Based on the booking confirmation the night was to be a communal table event but upon arrival we found it was just a regular table sitting. As always we were among the first to arrive and it was very hard to pick up the vibe of the place. Before long we found ourselves to be in the minority, with all surrounding tables populated by patrons much more mature than our youthful bunch. We of course had no qualms but just found it all a little novel.

Presiding over the evening was Huon Hooke, a well respected independent wine writer, lecturer and critic. All of the wines and of course the ethos for the evening were influenced by Huon. In the kitchen Jeremy Strode worked to pair what Huon provided to make for an exciting menu for all to enjoy.

Crave Sydney International Food Festival: Bistrode’s ‘Uncorked’ – $85.00 per person including 4 courses, matched wine and Huon Hooke app

  • Salt cod croquettes and smoked garlic mayonnaise
    Rock oysters and Yarra Valley trout roe
    (NV Brown Brothers Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Victoria)
  • Hervey Bay scallops, tomato, chilli and young coriander
    (2012 Jim Barry ‘Watervale’ Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia)
    (2011 Elefante Tierra de Castilla Blanco, Spain)
  • Quail, lentil, bacon and egg salad
    (2011 Wallace Lane Chardonnay, Orange, NSW)
    (2009 42 Degrees South Pinot Noir, Tasmania)
  • Lamb breast and loin, asparagus and peas
    (2010 Deen De Bortoli ‘Vat 9’ Cabernet Sauvignon, South Eastern Australia)
    (2009 Rutherglen Estates ‘Red’ Shiraz Durif, Rutherglen, Victoria)
  • Pyengana Cheddar, chutney and Bistrode oatcakes
    (2010 Shingleback ‘Haycutters’ Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia)

Salt cod croquettes and smoked garlic mayonnaise.
NV Brown Brothers Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Victoria.

Crispy (I use that word a lot, why? because it = awesome) and crunchy (used less but equally awesome) is what the croquettes are all about. Your first bite gives many pleasures, awesome being one but the other being a waft of memories. Reminders of smoked cod for dinner all so long ago but amped up to be modern and relevant. Memories aside it was definitely the smoked garlic mayonnaise that really stole the show.

Salt cod croquettes and smoked garlic mayonnaise

Salt cod croquettes and smoked garlic mayonnaise

Rock oysters and Yarra Valley trout roe.
NV Brown Brothers Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Victoria.

There are those who love oysters, those who hates oysters, and those who sit on the fence until said oysters show up and prove they are worthy. Lex & I are in the latter group. This hesitation has never stopped us diving in mind you, and we all found there to be quite a strong metallic taste from the oyster itself and a very pleasant salty punctuation from the roe. It was the first time I’d ever experienced the metallic flavour an oyster can have and it was quite intriguing.

Rock oysters and Yarra Valley trout roe

Rock oysters and Yarra Valley trout roe

Hervey Bay scallops, tomato, chilli and young coriander.
2012 Jim Barry ‘Watervale’ Riesling, Clare Valley, South Australia.
2011 Elefante Tierra de Castilla Blanco, Spain.

Harvey Bay scallops are usually something to be awe struck about, so massive and plump compared to all those you see semi-frozen in local fish shops, but these appeared a little lacking. As my parents used to live in Harvey Bay I was gifted the experience of witnessing scallops at their best and what we had before us was just a thin glimpse of what could have been.

Gripes over size aside they were cooked so well, tender and juicy. We loved the acid kick from the tomatoes and the coriander seed snuck up and really surprised me with how smoothly it went with a delicate piece of seafood and such a punchy side like tomato. Sadly the baby coriander dominated the dish and lack of chilli really was disappointing.

Hervey Bay scallops, tomato, chilli and young coriander

Hervey Bay scallops, tomato, chilli and young coriander

Quail, lentil, bacon and egg salad.
2011 Wallace Lane Chardonnay, Orange, NSW.
2009 42 Degrees South Pinot Noir, Tasmania.

Quail. Sorry this sounds like Jerry Maguire, but you had me at ‘hello’. I was ever so impressed with the quail, the delicate breast cooked to perfection while the drumstick for me was exemplary (for others a little under cooked). The lentils and quail were very harmonious, just meant to be. And I loved the fricassee and watercress salad, enjoyed the big speck flavour which went so well with the broth, quail and lentils.

Quail, lentil, bacon and egg salad

Quail, lentil, bacon and egg salad

Lamb breast and loin, asparagus and peas.
2010 Deen De Bortoli ‘Vat 9’ Cabernet Sauvignon, South Eastern Australia.
2009 Rutherglen Estates ‘Red’ Shiraz Durif, Rutherglen, Victoria.

If you were to show lamb off what better way to do it than with breast and loin. When executed so superbly with the breast encouragingly rare and the loin invitingly soft I found this to be a show piece for lamb. Pure lamb goodness amplified by a intense jus but kept in balance by some well selected greens in the form of blanched asparagus and some very plump peas.

Lamb breast and loin, asparagus and peas

Lamb breast and loin, asparagus and peas

Pyengana Cheddar, chutney and Bistrode oatcakes.
2010 Shingleback ‘Haycutters’ Shiraz, McLaren Vale, South Australia.

Cheddar is a cheese almost everyone can associate with, you would have a hard time not finding a block of Bega, Coon or Mainland sitting pretty in everyone’s fridge just waiting to be grated over something nice and hot. Familiarity can also lead to complacency and that is something I know happens when it comes to cheddar.

Thankfully the wonderful Pyengana Cheddar hailing from our little island state of Tasmania is a perfect example of why we all need to do away with the mass produced versions now and then and sample something truly amazing. Offering a superb crumbly feel and with hints of honey and herbs it paired so well to the deep caramalised sweetness of the chutney and crispy crunch of the ‘Bistrode oatcakes’.

Pyengana Cheddar, chutney and Bistrode oatcakes

Pyengana Cheddar, chutney and Bistrode oatcakes

It was a great night with (funnily enough) the best wine being the most expensive (and the only one not to come under the price target). This wine was of course a Pinot Noir, more precisely the 2009 42 Degrees South Pinot Noir from Tasmania. We came for both the concept of the evening and the food, but as is always the case the food took centre stage which I was quite happy with.

Bistrode CBD
1/52 King Street
Sydney NSW 2000
(02) 9240 3000
Bistrode CBD Website

Bistrode CBD on Urbanspoon


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