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When Food and Wine Journalist Visits Your Restaurant

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It is always a nervous moment for industry professionals when a food or wine journalist comes to your restaurant. What menu would a Chef prepare so he or she will have the full experience of your place? What wine would a Sommelier pair to add a touch on Chef’s masterpiece?

On the day when the journalist Mr. Scott Bridges visited Crustacean Beverly Hills, the team presented a wonderful creation of modern fusion involving the latest culinary trend nuance in the each course. (to read his actual article: Click Here)

Sashimi Tapas - Tuna taco, Ocean Roll, Hamachi Sashimi, Seared Tuna
2011 Schloss Vollrads Riesling Spatlese, Rheingau, Germany
This one-bite-each tapas is a fusion of the flavors of Vietnam, Japan, and Mexico, very sensitive yet the sauces are inspired by the bright tropical citrus which gives the refreshing sensation on the palate. The wine provides a ‘harmony pairing’ that follows the flavor of the dish.

Turkey Meatball & New Zealand Green Lip Mussels Broiled with Asian Pesto
2011 Domaines Schlumberger Gewurztraminer Les Princes Abbes, Alsace, France

The second dish is a flavorful one with more Mediterranean influence. The meatball is on the lighter side so it will not compete with the Mussels broiled with the secret pesto sauce. The wine, on the other hand, provides ‘contrast pairing’ which gives the opposite flavor with honey spice, shifting the flavor to hint an Asian breeze.

Ginger Chicken Ravioli with Porcini Mushroom Sauce
2012 Château Mercian Koshu Kiiroka, Yamanashi, Japan
This third course is a great example of Euro-Asia modernism. The sauce is made in a very elegant texture and the herbs offer a minty refreshing finish. To pair with this complex dish, Sommelier team decided to go for a super unique Japanese wine made with Koshu grape. This is a white grape variety often described as the mix of Viognier and Pinot Grigio, aromatic yet the mountain minerals give crisp and clean finish.

Charbroiled Colossal Royal Tiger Prawn with The Signature Garlic Noodle
An’s Famous Roasted Crab Out of Shell Ichishima

Silk Deluxe Junmai Sake, Niigata, Japan
These two dishes are what the restaurant is known for. The ‘crustaceans’ prepared with the Master Chef’s secret sauce have been the love of Beverly Hills foodies. To pair with the layered complexity with the touch of garlic, Sake Sommelier selected a quality sake that has a tinge of sweetness. The sake pairs well with seafood and especially the mild and silky texture rounds the finish of the dish’s structured flavors.

Wagyu Steak with Herbal Secret Sauce with the side of Mushed Potato and Smoked Shiitake Mushrooms
2011 Byron Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley, California, USA

This Wagyu plate was created to celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of the City of Beverly Hills. Rich in ‘umami’ flavor so the team decided to pair with the quality local Pinot Noir with great mineral and body.

Swiss Chard, Baby Bok Choy, Kale, Goji Berry Sautéed with Garlic and Herbs, served with Brown Rice
2009 Mas Doix Priorat Salanques, Catalunya, Spain

Last dish is the Chef’s new addition to the menu, with a focus on the cutting edge health trend such as Kale and Goji berry. Brown rice adds the greens some earthly touch. Therefore, the Spanish Grenache-based red with berry taste and earth tone creates a great harmony.

Vietnamese Banana Fritter a la Mode
2007 R.A. Harrison Family Cellars Nobility Late Harvest, Napa Valley, California, USA
This dessert is a traditional Vietnam sweet, complemented by the hand-made vanilla ice-cream with actual vanilla bean chips. Sommelier’s choice to pair with this dessert was the Sauternes style dessert wine from Napa. The wine has brioche, almost banana-like depth aroma with dried apricot flavor, and this provides an additional dimension.

Master Chef: Helen An
Sommelier Team: Fabrizio Nocilla, Alice Hama

(The original article was published in Japanese on Nikkan San Newspaper wine article series "Alice in WINEderland Vol.55)

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