1 June 2021 - CoTD Amosh (Sous chef at REX)
Food review by James Hill and wine review by Richard Gibson
In the kitchen today was Amosh KC sous chef at our club and his food was Nepalese themed. This was our monthly ‘marquee chef’ a great initiative of our Food Master Bill Alexiou-Hucker. If you know anyone who may be suitable for cooking for us Bill would appreciate being contacted
We started with ‘Panipuri’ - Panipuri is a street snack that is extremely popular in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal. Small in size, it consists of a hollow puri that is fried until crispy, then stuffed with a combination of flavoured water called pani, tamarind chutney, chaat masala, potatoes, onions, mango powder, chillis and chickpeas. It came to us today as a perfect example of puri, crisp, full of flavour and texture with a little residual heat on the palate.
Jhinga Soup - a wholesome cup made from stock, tamarind, prawns, pineapple, bean sprouts and seasoning. Wow, this was some soup, made a day before it also included coriander and cumin seeds and lemon. It is cooked like stock or bisque then strained. It was spicy, a good heat not overpowering our palates, intense prawn flavour leaving a great mouthfeel.
Chicken tandoori rolls made with lemon, yoghurt coriander stems chopped herbs onion and cumin seeds. Perfectly fried, easy to eat, chock full of flavour another standout canapé.
Comments from members that these were some of the best starters we’ve had at our lunches. Big bold flavours, authentic and perfectly executed.
Our main course today was ‘Grandmas Nepalese chicken tarkari’ (chicken curry) with a good balance of flavour and texture. The chicken was moist with a mild heat that came from black salt and Sichuan pepper
A potato condiment cooked with tomato, onion and Sichuan pepper that added heat and a smoky flavour to the dish.
Homemade roti served crisp and warm, perfect for mopping up the wonderful sauce that accompanied our curry The chicken and sauce were cooked separately. The dish was served with Basmati rice.
Again high praise from the floor for this dish for its authenticity and originality, a wonderful combination of big and bold flavours.
Cheeses today were selected by the REX kitchen and served with crisp biscuits and grain bread.
Bruny island C2 raw cow’s milk
This was the first raw milk cheese in Australia (2009) and being unpasteurised, is the purest expression of the cheesemakers craft.
C2 is the sort of cheese found throughout the mountains of France and northern Italy. A classic cooked curd cheese made in a traditional large form. C2 matures for 6 - 12 months, during which time it develops a sweet aroma and a mildly nutty flavour. The rind is wiped every week to encourage the surface bacteria that provide this cheese with much of its robust integrity.
James Healey, our Cheesemaster, said he’s been trying to get the cheese for our Society and this is the first time we’ve seen it presented.
Maffra cloth aged cheddar
Our second cheese was the Maffra cloth-aged cheddar from the heart of Gippsland for our lunch today. Maffra has always been enjoyed when it has been served previously and today was no different. The cheddar is matured to an optimal age of between 15 to 24 months and had a soft, crumbly texture with a long smooth palate.
The cheese course was served with quince and grapes.
The wines featured two Hunter Semillons (served with the Nepalese street food starters and superb Jhinga soup), one Cotes du Rhone GSM and a Coonawarra Shiraz served with the chicken curry main course and two Aussie Shiraz served with the cheese.
Thomas ‘Braemore’ Semillon 2017 and 2015
Grown on the iconic Braemore vineyard (50 yr old vines), the wine displayed characteristic Semillon lemon/lime citrus aromas and toasty, full-bodied citrus fruit on the palate (with good varietal purity) and high acidity on the finish. Of the two, the 2015 was showing more development and was better-balanced showing complexity with less acid dominance than the 2017 (which is a biggish wine in need of more time). Both wines went well with the spicy seafood starters and chicken tandoori rolls with the higher acid-driven 2017 perhaps handling the complexity of the food better.
Guigal Cotes du Rhone 2010
A gsm blend (50% shiraz, 40% Grenache and 10% Mourvedre), matured in American and French oak.
The nose showed developed ripe blackberry fruit and pepper. On the palate, the wine was fully developed with attractive soft tannins and hints of vanilla oak but at 10 years old now lacks complexity and is unlikely to improve – nevertheless an attractive easy-drinking, reliable wine with just enough mid-palate fruit depth and acidity to balance well with the complex curry. Alc 14%
Charles Melton “Grains of Paradise” Shiraz 2009
Aged on lees for 24 months in a mix of seasoned American and French oak (60/40), the wine reflects Melton’s unique style of winemaking.
At 11 years old, there was still some fruit richness and fragrance on the nose, with some attractive sweet vanilla /oak characters but regrettably, it remains a bit too jammy/overripe – perhaps not everyone’s idea of “paradise” in a glass.
The wine was better on the palate, medium-bodied with some complexity (with a depth of fruit showing) and actually drank reasonably well with the curry – however it was still “hot’ and tannic on the finish. Alc 14%
Wynn’s Coonawarra Shiraz 2009
Wynn’s Coonawarra entry-level revealed attractive blackberry and spice characters on the nose, a medium-bodied, developed dark berry and plummy (but not jammy) richness on the palate with spice and cedar notes. The tannins were dry and well integrated.
Overall an attractive, balanced (albeit not complex) wine with good length drinking exceptionally well now. It was the better match with the curry. Alc 13.5%
Tyrrells Stephen Shiraz 2009
Sourced from old (50 yr+) vines and matured in old large (2500L and 500L casks), the wine shows dark red and blackberry aromas on the nose with spicy vanilla oak notes. On the palate, the wine displayed attractive, pretty (but still biggish) fruit, toasty oak notes and savoury, well-integrated tannins with lively acidity and considerable length on the finish.
Overall an elegant finely textured and balanced Hunter Shiraz (perhaps a leaner but no less complex style of shiraz than the more traditional Tyrrells shiraz styles (Vat8/9 , 4 acres)).
In the absence of a 4th bottle of the Tyrrells, one table was served a Lindemans HR Shiraz 1403 (2014) – a lovely big fruit wine with a refined tannin structure but not quite yet in balance - still a baby that needs more time.
All the cheese wines went well with the robust cow's milk cheeses