5 course dinner.
Hey guys! Thank you so much for stopping by and Welcome to this special post!
Picazzo Restaurant invited Kulanini to attend their amazing Food & Wine event on Thursday 30th November. The Food was hosted by their very talented Executive Chef, Hector Boo and the Wine was hosted by Dimitri Lingris of DGB in association with WOW beverages.
For this post, I will talk more about the food than the wine since that is my specialty. It was my first wine event so please cut me some slack if I don’t do the wines mentioned due diligence or can’t describe the taste as well. As you will see, most of the wine is from the Boschendall 1685 series.
Fortunately, I wasn’t embarking on this journey alone. Since I went alone, I was lucky enough to have been invited to sit with a group of people (Nash, Jessie & Zyllah) who turned out to be amazing company. Thank you guys!
Before I begin, let me explain to you something I learned about the Kenyan wine industry. WOW beverages distributes wine in Kenya. Of course not all, but most. They also hold events that help you learn more about wine and interact with fellow wine lovers. DGB; wine manufacturers from South Africa, is one of its clients.
WOW sells wine for DGB who own like 8 wine farms or more. They have certain wines from these farms (like Boschendall, Bellingham, Douglas Green, Tall Horse etc.) that they give WOW to sell to both wholesalers and retailers in Kenya. Therefore, from my understanding, DGB is the manufacturer and WOW is the middleman between these manufacturers and the customers in Kenya.
Below was the menu and wine rate sheet.
For the entrée, we had roast carrot with carrot puree paired with Boschendal 1685 Sauvignon Blanc, a white wine. The carrots were presented lengthwise after being seasoned with black pepper and other spices. They are then grilled to be crunchy-soft (al-dente; meaning hard to the bite).
Carrot puree and edible fennel flowers, garnish the plate accordingly. As for the wine, I found it strong and not sweet with the strong flavor hitting after you swallow. This is what the pros say: Sauvignon Blanc comes from green grapes and gives a refreshing, crisp feel. In this particular wine, the taste is said to be a soft full-bodied wine with a good balance between acidity and structure. Read more on this wine here.
The starter was spicy sashimi with lime sorbet paired with Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay – a white wine. Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting thinly sliced raw fish or meat. In this case, it was white snapper fish bathed in a ponzu sauce, and garnished with sesame seeds. The raw fish was topped with a generous scoop of lemon sorbet. (lemon ice-cream without milk which is lemon, sugar and water).
This dish was amazing! Yes. I know it was raw fish but my goodness! The flavour bomb consisting of salty ponzu sauce, sweet lemon and of course the strong fish flavour, was mind blowing, delicious, unique and everything in between! That’s not it! It was paired with a dry, fruity wine – Chardonay.
To be completely honest, I couldn’t point out exactly what was in this wine but I can tell you for free; it went super well with the fish! Turns out, the wine has zesty citrus and a soft buttery character. The flavour marriage was so good because the lemon-citrus flavour in the wine, complemented the lemon sorbet in the fish. Read more about this wine here.
The first main course was Beef Ossobuco with matchstick fries that was paired with Boschendal 1685 Merlot – red wine. Ossobuco is meat from the leg (below the knee) of a calf (veal). The bone is unique as it has a hole right in the centre with bone marrow. It is extremely tender and very flavourful. You’ve not tasted beef if you haven’t had ossobuco.
I used nearly zero effort to cut through the meat and even less to chew. Since I am a strong advocate of soft meat, this nothing short of amazing. The flavour, seasoning and gravy it was made in were absolutely delicious. In fact I don’t think anyone left anything on their plate. Despite me wishing that the matchstick fries were a bit tender, this dish was on point!
Merlot is a black grape that gives dark, acidic red wine with intense fruity flavours. Read more here. For this pairing, I felt the intense flavour of the wine complemented the strong beef flavour making it the second best pairing for me.
The second main course was Salmon with a rich coffee sauce that was paired with Boschendal Pavilion Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon – red wine. This dish came with brunoise of turnips (meaning cut in cubes), fresh beans and turnip puree garnished with fried turnip pieces.
I think this was the first time for me to taste turnip. I wouldn’t say I am such a big fan since it tastes more like a nutty potato and I don’t really like coconut, groundnut or any kind of nut in my food. The beans were well cooked and really went well with the salmon. Since salmon is tender, and beans and turnips, a bit hard to bite, this dish is able to have amazing texture contrast.
The coffee sauce on the salmon was a brilliant idea! I was scared the coffee would overpower the subtle salmon flavour but it managed to complement it without overpowering. Great job, Chef! For me, this wine sort of overpowered the salmon making the salmon flavour sort of disappear in the wine. However, they say it is a wine with intense fruit and spice. You can read more here.
Finally, the dessert was a basil & saffron cheese cake paired with a Douglas Green Sherry wine. This is a special kind of wine made from white grapes. Apart from the colour, the cheese cake was like most I have had before. I found it a bit difficult to point out if it had basil and saffron.
The wine was very very strong. In fact, people were making fun; saying, it should be in the whiskey category. Nonetheless, I loved how it tasted with the cake. Nash taught me that when wine is taken with cheese, the alcohol content is strongly reduced; which turned out to be true. Despite the strong scent, the wine didn’t really burn your tongue or throat when paired with this sweet cheesecake. Who knew? You can read more on this wine here.
For only 2,500/=, this was an amazing experience! I learned a lot about food flavours especially salmon & coffee, ossobuco and even turnips! A huge thank you to Picazzo Restaurant, Chef Hector, Dimitri of DGB, Wow Beverages & of course Nash, Zyllah and Jessie for an amazing experience!
Thank you so much for stopping by!