As Kathryn mentioned in her debut post, we checked out the Restaurant Australia event as part of the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Being the featured country this year, it’s only fitting that there was an event highlighting the Aussie culinary culture and how it pairs with wine.
Even though it’s prepared by the executive chef and culinary team at the Vancouver Convention Centre, they utilized some interesting ingredients unique to Australia, such as kangaroo, crocodile, wattleseed and of course, lamb. Here is a quick peek at the menu and some food photos:
- Grilled Asparagus and Organic Shiitakes, Tarragon Tamari Dressing
- Korean BBQ Beef Lettuce Wrap
- Yakinasu Eggplant Lettuce Wrap
- Seared Salmon Trout Cube, Shaved Fennel, Trout Roe
- South Pacific Tombo Tataki, Wasabi Mayo, Micro Shiso
- Pepper Berry Kangaroo Sliders, Beet Relish
- Lemon Myrtle Grilled Prawns, Zucchini “Linguine”
- Grilled Australian Lamb Chops, Citrus Gremolata
- Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, Fresh Peas, Shaved Grana, Truffle Oil
- Fresh Shucked Oysters, Thai Chili Cilantro Sauce, Wasabi Ponzu, Salsa Picante, Mignonette, Fresh Horseradish
- Cheese and Charcuterie/Salumi Platter: Grilled Jalapeno Kangaroo Sausage, Prosciutto, Casalingo Salami, Bresaola, Grilled Crocodile Sausage, Lamb Loin Ratatouille Crostini, Mature Cheddar, Blue Cheese, Fresh Chevre Crostini, Cheese Grissini, Lavosh, Ficelle, Walnut Baguette, Rosemary Lemon Marinated Olives
- Action Stations: Vegetable Gyoza, Pork Gyoza, Steamed Prawn Dumpling, Chicken “Potsticker” Jiaozi
- Passed Desserts: Gin and Tonic Sorbet; Macadamia Nut Pavlova, Passion Fruit Coulis; Wattleseed, Raspberry, Chocolate Brownie Bites
This Australian-inspired menu was quite delicious. I especially enjoyed the agnolotti, the prawns, the lamb chops (although slightly under for my liking), kangaroo slider (a bit dry, though) and the brownie. And how cool is that for a sorbet to taste just like gin and tonic?!
Of course, we also tried a number of wines. Kathryn already told you her thoughts, but here is a list of Australian wines that I enjoyed. Overall, I think the white wines from Australia are drier than the same varietal being produced right here in BC; I’m guessing it’s something to do with the difference in climate as well as the vintage year. For example, Riesling here is a bit sweeter and fruitier than Aussie Rieslings. Also, I prefer the red blends from Australia, mostly using Grenache or Cabernet, more so than the single varietal kind such as Shiraz or Syrah.
- Jacob’s Creek Simply Red & Moscato – the moscato has a sweet lychee note, very aromatic; maybe too sweet for most, but a delicious wine nonetheless
- Kaesler Grenache Shiraz
- Bleasdale The Old Press Cabernet Malbec
- Wonderwall Cabernet Merlot
- Turkey Flat Rose
- De Bortoli Emeri Pink Moscato
Australia has always been a popular travel destination for its great outdoors, but looks like our friends from down under are also trying to lure us over with their food and wine. It does remind me a lot of what Vancouver and British Columbia have to offer. At the event we were also shown a video where Chef David Hawksworth of Hawksworth Restaurant shared his story of visiting Australia and experiencing its culinary scene. Hmm…I know I said it last year, but perhaps I should really make a trip down south soon!