Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pairing Japanese food with wine at Kyoto Garden

Kathy Raath, who represents an excellent portfolio of wines and also Brewers & Union beers, organised a tasting of Japanese food with Brewers & Union Step Weiss beer and Bouchard Finlayson and Sterhuis wines at Kyoto Garden restaurant in Kloof Nek Road . Scott, the American owner of Kyoto Garden is fanatical about quality and his presentation is very creative. Lynne was not well and I went on my own.
I started with a delicious, plump West coast oyster which had been dressed with a tiny dash of Ponzu soy sauce and matched it with a taste of Bouchard Finlayson Blanc de Mer - one of those ideal marriages. A selection of small dishes followed, too numerous to mention in detail, but photographs of a few follow:
Crisp raw edamame beans

Lightly seared tuna with sesame seeds, ponzu, beans and asparagus, well matched with the red wines
Miso with noodles and enoki mushrooms

Tempura prawns in a ponzu sauce, soft and succulent with a delicate crispness
A happy gathering with wonderful food and wine
A selection of Sterhuis: Sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot & cabernet sauvignon
Sushi, sashimi and similar Japanese dishes' suitability as food to pair with white wines can pretty well be taken for granted. The Bouchard Finlayson and Sterhuis sauvignons and chardonnays and the Blanc de Mer were all good matches for the food. I expected a bigger challenge for the reds. We had Galpin Peak pinot noir and the Hannibal red blend from Bouchard Finlayson and merlot and cabernet sauvignon from Sterhuis. I tried these with the tuna and some of the sushi. The Hannibal was probably the toughest match. It is such a deep rich wine, but the licorice notes helped it to match the soy/ponzu sauce in most of the dishes. The supple, ripe fruit in the Galpin Peak and the two Sterhuis reds helped them  to pair easily with any of the darker and richer sauces. Beer and Asian food tend to match each other very well and the German weissbier was a refreshing complement to the food.

All these photographs are ©John Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus cc, 2012
Photographed with Nokia N8

No comments: