Food spokesman Luigi Vercotti started his remarks by declaring that we had enjoyed a wonderful meal with an adventurous menu and went on to point out that there had been no canapés or bread (until cheese) so no appetite had been wasted. Instead as a starter we had found a dish of Portobello mushrooms garnished with white truffle and salt; this is a favourite of mine and was also commended by Luigi. The Chef and her team had done their usual excellent job of promptly plating then serving the course. The accompanying wine, Contacto Alvarinho Amselmo Mendes 2013 (Portugal), proved to be yet another good choice from winemaster Thomas Boedinger. Next came New Zealand “Inanga” Whitebait Fritters. I learned that five separate galaxiid species make up the NZ whitebait catch but that inanga makes up the majority and thus this fish is probably encountered more often than other members of the Galaxiidae family. The Chef had prepared them as fritters in an egg based batter; this results in a dish quite unlike the whitebait served in Europe but was acclaimed by Kiwi member Andrew MacDowell (and of course others). Clos Cibonne Rosé Tentations 2015 (Côtes de Provence, France) drew the usual mixture of praise and protest for a Rosé with Graham strongly in favour.
A generous serving of Ris d’agneau, asparagus tips, bacon, and pea puree followed. I half expected that a few diners would skip the course but was left frustrated; every plate of lamb sweetbreads was finished and enjoyed. As Luigi postulated, this was possibly because some diners thought they had just uncovered a new style of risotto. The Martinborough Pinot Noir 2011 (North Island, NZ), a light wine, proved to be best drunk with the food but again found was to be a good match for a tasty dish.
The main course was 270 day Grain Fed pure Black Angus Tenderloin, and Avruga (the latter is a by-product of herring, with the texture of caviar), accompanied by carrot, onion, and sauteed spinach. The Avruga was a great idea from Khun Duangdern and her team did a beautiful job of grilling the beef. Wine of the day was Pegasus Bay Pinot Noir 2010 (South Island, NZ) making this the third offering from NZ wineries. Graham “could have drunk it all day.” The winemaker says: “Bright crimson in colour, the wine has vibrant aromas and flavours suggest black cherries, blackberries, raspberries and mulberries. A spine of ripe tannins flows through the wine and helps draw out its lingering after-taste.” Saffron pears and a fabulous meringue were followed by NZ Cheeses (especially the blues that I thought were delicious) and Tulloch Vineyard Selection Shiraz 2011 (Hunter Valley, NSW) proved to be a good way of rounding off this month’s selection of wines. However, Thomas Boedinger was still to have the final word and generously shared with us two bottles of Japanese Malt Whisky presented in celebration of his more than 50 years of good living.
No Idea Gastropub
8/3-4 Sukhumvit 22. 02 663 6686.