NO IDEA proved to be an excellent choice for this month’s lunch venue. Dave Hallam, his wife and Chef K. Duangdern always go out of their way to make guests feel very welcome. For canapés, we found tasty Andochina sardines on toast and heaps of cured meats with Drusian Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry NV (Veneto, Italy). It was delightfully pale and frothy, had the traditional ﬂavours of pear and apricot with just a dash of sweetness. An excellent start!
The first of two starters, hot manuka smoked salmon, Fennel pollen, horseradish, and arvuga was the outstanding dish. Manuka or tea tree is a native species of broom from Australia and New Zealand. It imparted a delicious flavour to the beautifully cooked salmon which dissolved in one’s mouth. Accompanying this, we found Biecher & Schaal Gewürztraminer Grand Cru Steinert 2013 (Alsace) which was creamy and rich with low acidity, pineapple and peach flavours and a nicely rounded ﬁnish. Good matching from Thomas Boedinger!
The second starter was Confit Duck Leg with Cracked olive, Armagnac prune relish, Parsley sauce verte, and parsnip puree. It was well cooked (it fell off the bone) in a generous serving. Danny Arn, a food spokesman, declared that he could not finish his helping! Howard Park Miamup Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 (Margaret River, WA) was chosen to partner this. James Halliday, the wine critic, scored this particular vintage at 94 and suggested the best time to drink it would be between 2020 and 2028. It had a dark cherry colour; the palate is soft and full of wild berries, vanilla, cocoa and lots of supple fine tannin.
There were signs of over-indulgence by some and the arrival of Guinness braised beef cheeks, with Duck fat mash, root vegetables, mushrooms, and white truffle salt did little to allay concerns of those on a diet. Daniel Arn and others noted the excellent mash, but the very limited seasoning added to the dish; however, the overall impression given was one of satisfaction given the numerous empty plates at the conclusion of the service of this course. With this, we had chosen Jamsheed Syrah 2011, (Yarra Valley, Victoria) which has a whopping 14.5 % alcohol by volume but there were mixed opinions about the wine itself.
Chocolate lava cake, vanilla bean ice cream, and seasonal fruit did absolutely nothing to arrest the slide into decadence. It was wonderful and with it came the President Tom Whicraft bearing the gift of a delicious dessert wine De Bortoli Semillon Noble One to honour his birthday. Grapes typically become infected with Botrytis fungus when they are ripe and if then exposed to drier conditions “noble rot” develops which can produce particularly fine and concentrated sweet wine.
A great selection of French cheeses appeared, namely Comté, Mimolette, Époisses de Bourgogne, Munster, Reblochon, Saint-Nectaire, and Fourme d’Ambert and with it, the final wine. It was Glaetzer Bishop Shiraz 2013 (Barossa Valley, SA) which offered a massive 15.5% alcohol and a blend of fruit from 35-year-old vines and 130-year-old vines which are the key to the Bishop Cuvée. Our second birthday boy, Andrew MacDowell, was at hand to serve also Armagnac to the throng and, for his sins, graciously presented our thanks to a large number of Dave and Duangdern’s hard-working team and the pair themselves.
Sukhumvit Rd Soi 22. 02 663 6686. noideabkk.com