Some people can’t bear the thought of eating a meal without a good drink to accompany their taste buds. All that chewing is bound to make your mouth dry, so in terms of practicality, it makes sense to have a fine beverage by your side. Others believe that a drink dampens the flavor of the food so would rather not have anything to drink or just stick to plain old water. It’s a matter of choice but doesn’t think that restaurants haven’t thought about modernising their approach. After all, they do want you to buy more items off their menus, so it makes perfect business and gastronomical sense to create new drink and food combination. Perhaps these will be hit or miss with you, but ultimately, it’s best to give them a try before you knock them into the long grass.
Credit Marjan Lazarevski
Cider and chicken
When you think of cider, you picture apples that have slowly been crushed and fermented together to make a rich, soupy syrup of sweetness. Cider has traditionally been used for pork dishes because the smokiness of the fat crystals that infuses the meat, is offset by the sugary and honey flavor of the cider. However chicken is a great absorber of different liquids. We’ve all heard of Chinese drunk chicken and English ale chicken dishes. But roast chicken with cider vinegar and drinking cider is making waves in lots of restaurants looking for a new summer dish. Chicken is inherently a flat flavor so with some pear or apple cider, the sweetness is injected into the meat, and the roasted skin offsets it with a little bit of smokiness.
Seafood and whiskey
Seafood is generally salty as fish is inherently a pungent meat. You could confuse fish dishes being salted by chefs as them trying to recreate the taste of the ocean. However, fish is salted not just to preserve the meat, but to bring out the juices in the meat and make them more edible. Seafood isn’t for everyone, but it’s in the interest of restaurants to make it more appealing. Normally with fish, you’d have a glass of white wine but have you ever thought of having something a little stronger? Monte Alto has a Whiskey Bar with fantastic Scottish whiskey straight from the belly of the beast, The Highlands. Try their Atlantic Salmon dish which has been pan fried with some red pepper sauce and topped with an avocado mousse and garden salad. With this, you should try the Glenmorangie original ten years aged whiskey. Take little sips, so the musk doesn’t overpower the salmon.
Lamb and rum
Lamb chops are a cheap and cheerful cut of meat. They’re succulent and flavorful but small in size. Lamb is traditionally cooked in red wine, but you can marinate them in Jamaican rum. Rum blends so effortlessly with spices from the same region and lamb more than any other red meat absorbs other ingredients better. Have a go at home with this kind of dish, and you’ll see the rum acts like a sauce rather than an alcoholic beverage.
Some of the greatest chefs in the world say that food is so evolved that now, we don’t invent new things we just refine them. This could be true, but for each individual, everything is new until you’ve tried it!