Published on January 21st, 2015 | by Gavin0
Grapes and Gastronomy: A Voyage into Australian Cuisine
Move over burgers, pulled pork, and ramen; look for Antipodean to be one of the hottest food trends in 2015. How do I know this? It was all thanks to a six course wine and food tasting evening in Australian restaurant Lantana Café in Shoreditch.
The event has been organised by Australian wine heavyweights Hardy’s, and showcases the best food and wine that Australia has to offer. Named after an Australian plant, Lantana is one of the few Antipodean restaurants in London and has enjoyed success with a simplified menu of traditional dishes. Alongside the food, wine connoisseurs A Grape Night In have been drafted in to choose the perfect Hardy’s wines to pair our unusual meal.
After a glass of sparkling Chardonnay upon arrival we settle down for dinner and the first dish to arrive isn’t what I’d expected; Thai fishcakes with lime chilli dip. We are told that Thai cuisine is one of the most popular in Australia, so much so that the spicy fishcakes have become a fusion dish, popular in Aussie households. And it’s easy to see why; the bite size cakes are well seasoned and I can’t get enough of the tangy condiment especially when combined with the refreshingly crisp Oomoo Sauvignon Blanc. The citrus and passion fruit undertones blend fantastically, adding an extra dimension to an already fantastic dish.
I love a good Surf and Turf but the next course was an entirely different prospect altogether; onglet beef and mackerel on a bed of baby gem lettuce. I’m not usually one for mackerel but the unorthodox combination of smoky fish and red meat works in a weird way, aided by the choice of wine. So was it a red or white that got the nod? Well our host has decided on the Eileen Hardy Pinot Noir, named after the wife of Thomas Hardy, the matriarch of the Hardy dynasty. And the wine is aptly named, as strong flavours demand an equally intense tipple, and Eileen’s deep red forest fruit flavour is a worthy contender.
However, my favourite wine of the evening goes to the HRB D640, a blend of Cabernet from two regions and is one of the most sippable reds I’ve had in a while. This is accompanied by the beef cheeks, to which some of us were wondering which end of the cow this came from (FYI it’s cut from the rear, not the face). This is a dish reserved for big meat eaters, especially if you love a rump steak, and I was in my element.
With a full stomach (and innumerable glasses of wine), the mood in Lantana is getting more and more Aussie-like; carefree and banter by the barrel. If this is what Antipodean culture is all about then I’m all for it; Lantana has an unpretentious yet cracking menu, and when combined with some stunning wine, we have a winning formula.
For details and to purchase the full range of Hardy’s wines (over 18s only), visit the 1853 Club website http://hardyswines.com/uk/1853-club/
Lantana Café, Unit 2, 1 Oliver’s Yard, 55 City Rd, EC1Y 1HQShare This Post