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Archive for the ‘Scotch/Whisky’ Category

Having done Dine Out Vancouver for so many years now, frankly I’m feeling burnout. To me, a lot of the menus are not very inspiring; or I question the value for the money. So this year, I set out to try to discover gems that don’t require you to pay $40 yet still feel hungry afterwards.

I was invited to bring a guest (guess whom I brought?) to sample the Dine Out menu of a Donnelly Group restaurant of my choice, including wine pairings. They are all $20 menus. After perusing them, I decided on the Granville Room. Why? I will get to that in a moment.

Food

There are two choices for appetizer. Naturally, we ordered one of each. The Coconut Fried Prawns were nice and crunchy. Mr. (ding-ding!) thought the coating was too thick to taste the prawns but I thought it’s okay. The prawns had good texture, a bit bouncy and not mushy. What’s intriguing is the dipping sauce. It’s a coconut hoisin sauce. When it said hoisin I expected the sauce to be darker in colour, but it’s just a tinted creamy white colour. It had a lot of coconut flavour but it’s not too sweet thanks to the subtle use of hoisin sauce. The prawns themselves did not have any coconut; it’s all in the sauce.

Wine pairing: Desert Hills Viognier – The fried prawns actually mellowed out the acidity in the viognier.

Coconut Fried Prawns

Beef Rib Empanada was also a hand-held appy. There were two pieces on the plate, served with a mole sauce. The sauce was rich, thick, and had some smokey flavour that didn’t overpower everything. (more…)

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Smoking cigars, off-roading, shooting, and bear wrestling are just some of the incredibly manly things I do. However, scotch drinker I’m not.

When I was invited to a scotch tasting dinner by the good folks from The Macallan, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity. How could I say no to James Bond’s scotch of choice?

They brought down four of their whiskys from their 1824 Series, and paired them with 9 courses at Kirin Downtown, a Chinese New Year themed dinner with fairly traditional banquet style dishes.

The Macallan 1824 Series Scotch Whisky

The Macallan 1824 Series is what’s called a “no age statement” whisky. Instead of differentiating based on age, such as 8, 10, or 12 year-old whiskys, they are selected and differentiated by their taste profile.

Out of the four, Gold is the most affordable choice. Dan Volway, The Macallan’s brand ambassador, called it his 3PM whiskey. I too like a job where I’m having a scotch at 3PM. Perhaps I should rethink my career choices.

Dan Volway, Brand Ambassador

The first pairing was actually a cocktail made with the Macallan Gold, the Firecracker. It was made with 1.5oz of the Gold, 3 tangerine wedges (or 0.25oz of tangerine juice), 2 dash of rhubarb bitters, and 2oz of ginger beer. It had a great citrus flavour, along with a bit of spice from the ginger. This was paired with a classic Chinese cold meat platter with excellent crispy roasted pork (though I’d imagine it’s better when hot). Despite being quite strong, this was a very easy drinking cocktail with a nice balance of citrus, sweet, spice, and bitterness, which was also why it paired well with the meat.

Kirin Special Platter with Roasted Pork

The Macallan Gold itself was paired with another classic Chinese New Year dish, braised dried scallop, dried oysters, with mushrooms, black moss and garlic. (more…)

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