Towering over the sultry city lights we are seated on the 19th floor of The Westin.
It’s the inaugural “one ingredient, one cultivar” dinner by chef Anerith Smythe. The concept is to curate a 5-course dinner with a focus on a singluar hero ingredient. This evening, the selected “strawberry” will be showcased in each of the courses in a manner of creative ways with the hopes of pairing with blush-styled wines.
Whilst “blush” is not a cultivar the sheer allure of the bottled strawberry sheen and the chosen seed fruit being so naturally paired, this bent concept seemed only natural an evening for one ingredient and a singular “style” of wine.
The Menu Reads:
Rickety Bridge Foundation Stone Rose
Coconut biscuit, black garlic,
Pierre Jourdan Belle Rose
Burrata, strawberry & tomato jam,
Fleur du Cap Natural Light Rose
Strawberry Tequila Granita
Boschendal Chardonnay Pinot Noir
Duck breast, black tea, quinoa,
strawberry chutney, pickled fennel & almonds
Warwick First Lady Rose
Strawberries, parmesan black pepper cream
Bon Courage Blush
Wine from various regions are invited to be paired by the dishes of Chef Smythe, in that some are more demi-sec, some are closer to Pinot Noir in complexity and tannin others are aged and produced in the Methode Cap Classique adding elements of effervescence. The taste of pairing these very individual wines, and the skill of the chef is not an easy one.
However, the common thread of the strawberry element pulls this menu together symphonically.
Course by course, the dishes are complex, beautifully presented on slate with some interesting flavour combinations. The chef has chosen per course, plates that will either walk hand in hand with the blushed bottles above or take a step back, allowing the “First Lady” to show off her legs and dance.
My favorite dish and pairing of the night as you may have guessed was the Seared Duck Breast paired with Warwick’s First Lady, a beautiful blush that paired well with the slightly tart strawberry chutney and fresh anise seed fennel.
A night with picturesque views, a little wine edutainment and beautifully presented dishes; I’m excited by the dinners that are to come.
The 1ON19 dinner series will run monthly at 7pm at ON19 Restaurant (19th Floor), launching in January and continuing through to December 2017, with a different 5-course menu and pairing each month at the ‘ceiling of the city’.
This year kicks off with January’s focus being Strawberry & Blush, Basil and Sauvignon Blanc the spotlight in February and Chilli & Semillon the limelight in March.
To book your spot, please contact Rochelle.Voigt@westin.com | 021-412-9050