Monday, May 24, 2010

Dinner at Home

Not the usual by any means.
Following an accidental meeting with Daman Shrivastav, an accomplished Indian chef who teaches at Box Hill TAFE, we arranged to subsidize a dozen guests for an experimental Indian/French dinner.
After four dozen oysters and several rounds of canapes, with some lubricating champagne
we entered the dining room to eat.
In good restaurant tradition an amuse bouche was served first with a conventionally Indian fermented premium lager. Served by Daman's colleague, Manou,
who was somewhat better dressed than I was, each course came in good time. A rocket and ginger consomme with a dry Fino Sherry

was the first course. Unique, but not something I'd want to serve, a sort of gastronomic peculiarity.
Things became more interesting with a Tandoori duck liver pate, petit pappadum, shaved black truffle and micro salad.

Could it have been the 2008 Dopff Gewurtztraminer? I don't know BUT I could not really distinguish the tandoori taste in the pate and I could neither taste nor smell the truffles though I could see some little black specs. It looked good, it was rich and smooth and had a great feel in the mouth but it was not quite 'as advertised'.
Fortunately my taste returned with the next dish, an assiette de fruit de mer. This wild barramundi roulade, seared prawns, confit of salmon, char grilled squid tubes with cumin and saffron infused beurre blanc missed out in only one , unfortunately common area.
The salmon was over cooked. Even The Hill Chardonnay could not correct for that, nor did it help me focus the camera.
An apple and sage palate cleanser before the main course went down well at this point. The main course was a trilogy of lamb: Braised in red wine jus, parcelled in marinated cabbage, pomegranite and labna and roasted, tikka style, with korma sauce served with pomme fondant filled with goat cheese mousseline, wilted spinach and buttered asparagus. A lot on one plate.
The Black Chook sparkling shiraz was an excellent accompniment to this multi-national dish which best summed up the spirit of the night.
A chocolate and orange souffle with chai ice cream was another winner. Chai makes a great ice cream. perhaps it was our oven that kept the souffle a little lower than it might have been.
The accompanying Stanton and Killeen muscat was very sweet. I loved it.
It is incredible that Daman made all this in our kitchen. He arrived about midday and left a little after 1.00 am and had the help of only one girl for the cooking. Everything was prepared on the spot and he brought it all except the champagne, oysters and chocolates and some cheeses. A remarkable achievement. The final cheese platewith, would you believe it, Indian theme chocolates, (PG recommended!) found us very full. That must have been the reason no one was keen to touch the chocolate.
One more red - Turkey Flat a blend of Barossa shiraz, grenache and mourverde ended a night of eating and drinking which, if not for the wine, would be remembered for many years.
Score: Not markable but remarkable.


John Salisbury said...

Huge effort by the boys....

Appear to be from the"presentation paramount" brigade.

can I ask how much you were charged?

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi John,
It wasn't meant to be but it turned out to be fiendishly expensive. When we first discussed it $100/ person was going to cover it. The wines put this up substantially and the additional oysters, champagne, cheese and chocolates which were not on the original menu added another significant amount. Except for a couple we invited the guests contributed $100 each. The only time dinner at home cost us more was when a hot pot fused the underlay onto the table and bowed the wood resulting an a very expensive reconstruction and repolishing of our dining room table!
Yet another cause of indigestion at the end of a good meal!

Simon said...

Wow, a fascinating range of strange combinations of ingredients, did you enjoy the overall experience?

It reads as a fairly average experience. It looks like he was trying to be too exotic and interesting, although amazing that he did all this in one day, in a home kitchen!

Elliot and Sandra said...

Hi Simon
It was a memorable experience and quite unique. The food was pretty good, it just didn't quite make an impression as Indian/French fusion. It was certainly an incredible effort to produce so many dishes of such variety and quality. We would not do it again but would try something a bit less ambitious.