Wednesday, 27 January 2010


We kicked off our 2010 tasting programme tonight (the 26th) with a matched beer and food evening. The event was proposed by our regular customer "M", who happens to be the executive chef at a Wellington restaurant that will remain nameless, but which most of us will never get to dine at. Chef M looked at our grill-less, oven-less, extraction-less kitchen and decided he could make it work. He and I picked some beers that he could work with and he figured out a menu. I expected some shortcuts here, some stuff out of packets with a bit of garnish there, and maybe one serious, thought out dish. How wrong I was.

Chef M and his assistant turned up with an array of prepared portions, sauces, garnishes, a couple of extra domestic appliances and a plan and got to work. They were ruthlessly efficient, cleaned as they went, never raised a sweat and did things with certain kitchen devices the manufacturers never intended. Without extraction we had strong food aromas spreading through the bar and our normal cooking methods are designed to avoid this, but as a one off the glorious seafood and red meat aromas could be tolerated.

The results were stunning. It was a real eye-opener for us beer geeks who struggle to turn out passable meals and snacks from our primitive equipment. The full menu is below.

  • Nelson Scallop & Tauranga Prawn Duo on Coriander & Carrot Mousse with Three Boys Wheat
  • Venison with Black Pudding Crumble, Rhubarb Compote, Kumara Porridge with Mike’s Organic Ale
  • Nori-wrapped Salmon with Pickled Cucumber & Raspberry Balsamic Glaze with Baird Angry Boy Brown Ale
  • Bacon Wrapped Angus Beef Fillet on White Bean Cassoulet with Rogue Chipotle Ale
  • Kikorangi Blue Sandwich with Sea Salt Chocolate Canache served with Renaissance Craftsman Chocolate Stout
  • Banana Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream served with Eisenbahn Bier Likor
For the record, the most popular dish of the night was the Angus Beef Fillet, the most popular beer was the Baird Angry Boy Brown Ale and the most popular match was the Banana Tarte Tatin with Eisenbahn Bier Likor.

Many thanks to everyone who participated and especially to our chef and sous-chef.


  1. damn! Wish I'd been there... well, as you know, I was there but I wish I'd been eating.

  2. Well done! That tasting was outstanding. The people I brought along were well impressed. The food, beer and matching were absolutely fantastic and great value for money. Looking forward to the next one :-)

  3. GOOD ONE!!
    I think this is the best tasting event so far and I missed. It looks great and I feel like that I shouldn't have left Welly.
    I hope there'll be one like this again after I get back there....

  4. Hurry back Shiggy, there's work to do.