The Private Chef’s Wine Dinners at Crush Wines & Cocktails with Chef Fredi have become so popular they are now a regular monthly event providing connoisseurs with the opportunity to enjoy an exceptional culinary experience with wines specifically paired to suit each dish.
Diners were greeted with a rather original cocktail called an “Off the Chain Apple Martine Crush”. Served chilled it was an exquisitely fresh start to the evening and enhanced the innovative and delicious Crush Canapés.
First course was the very interesting and innovative Crab Meat Cannelloni & Cocktail Shrimp served with Capsicum Vinaigrette, Pesto Sauce and Tajin Spice. The Cannelloni was thinly sliced courgette filled with a subtle crab meat combination with crunchy, cubed vegetables, topped by a crispy Shrimp. Very subtle flavouring that was enhanced with the capsicum vinaigrette, dabs of pesto and tangy Tajin Sauce.
The Pascal Jolivet Attitude was perfectly paired with the Crab Meat Cannelloni as the traditional Sauvignon Blanc is delicate and mellow unlike its New Zealand rivals. 100% Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley the wine possessed an incredible freshness in the mouth with the minerality providing a long smooth and elegant finish that complemented the crab meat and shrimp.
Continuing a path of subtle flavouring the Elixir of Tomato with Vegetable Cubes, Chicken-Basil Quenelles and home-made Sesame Grissini was a delight of sophisticated tastes. Not overpoweringly strong, the Elixir of Tomato delighted both our olfactory nerves(smell) and our palate (cranial nerve VIII, glossopharyngeal and cranial nerves). The soup possessed attenuated seasoning topped off with the delectable Chicken-basil quenelles.
Pairing with the Elixir of Tomato was the challenge set for the Maison Trimbach Riesling with a nose of succulent stone fruit, freshness and a citrus tinge. On the palate there were flavours of lemon, litchis fruits, yellow currant and caramelised apple that complemented the subtle yet distinct flavouring of the soup. Challenge well achieved, another excellent pairing!
Dialling up the flavour gauge, Chef Fredi next served Rolled Australian Beef Flank filled with Onions, Bacon, Champions and Fontina Cheese with a Barolo Reduction served on Pan-fried Polenta. The complexity of the meat was exemplary. It was tender and the combination burst with flavour with the earthy, rich and creamy flavour of the cheese added another level with the Barolo reduction providing a complexity that was beautifully balanced by the tender pan-fried polenta.
With two French wines it was time to spotlight Italy with a Pio Cesare Barbera de Alba. The Barbera grape is primarily only found in the Barbera de Alba region producing an intense ruby red wine (14%). Intricate on the nose with hints of plums, cherries and even tobacco leaves. The creamy tannins were so pleasing on the palate with excellent length and smooth texture admirably pairing with the intricate flavours of the Beef Flank.
With the power and complexity of the first 3 courses assailing our tastebuds and the intricacy of the sublime wine pairings mixing on the palate, it was time to give our taste sensors a slight respite with a crisp and creamy home-made Granny Smith Apple Sorbet with Calvados.
Duly revived, the next masterpiece was Dutch Veal Tenderloin with Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce, Baby Carrots, Green Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes and Gratin Potatoes. Another immaculately presented dish and a feast for the eyes. The Dutch Veal Tenderloin was so delicate it melted in the mouth and the crispy morel mushrooms adding a deep, earthy, woody flavour and texture that were perfectly accomplished with the Cream Sauce. The potato gratin was subtle with a slight crispness and the decorative cherry tomatoes and green asparagus blended each individual flavour on the palate.
The star of the evening was the Castello Banfi, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG from the Tuscan hills. Sadly served a little too cold, the 100% Sangiovese wine soon warmed and revealed notes of spices (cinnamon, cardamon and aniseed), walnuts and strong dark fruits. This 15% wine was medium to full bodied with refined tannins cumulating with a vivid and bright finish. A pairing made in heaven!
The relentless Crush waitresses had efficiently cleared our plates and the next course was presented. Truffled Brie Cheese with Red Wine poached Pear Wedge, Celery, Walnuts, Balsamic Reduction and Lavash bread. The truffled Brie was very generous portion and maybe could have waited to mature. However, the unique Brie flavour was enhanced by the Truffled core. The balsamic reduction was sweet, rich and tangy and a perfect accompanied the Brie and poached pear.
Switching to Spain, this dish was paired with a Bodegas Borsao Berola Granache. Having scored 91 points by James Suckling, this is a blend of Grenache and Syrah grape producing a deep cherry colour. With intensively fruity notes of ripe cherries, currants and berries it’s intensely striking fruity notes combined with toasted oak and tobacco. Despite 15% alcohol, this powerful wine remained elegant with varying sensations on the palate. Surprisingly medium body that oozed with soft fine tannins leaving a fruity finish and perfection with the cheese.
Diners at Crush Wine Bar have come to expect spectacular desserts provided by the in-house Le Bakery and this evening’s variation of a classic favourite did not disappoint. The Homemade Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream on a Brownie Base with Exotic Fruits, Vanilla Sabayon & Strawberry Sauce with the ice cream and brownie covered in a rich Belgian chocolate. Beautifully presented the dish assailed our tastebuds with the richness of the chocolate competing with the fruits and strawberry sauce.
The last wine of the evening also came from Italy to complement the amazing and contrasting flavours of the dessert. The Poggio Moscato Di Pavia IGT possessed a straw yellow colour, with intense and clean aromas of peach and white fruits. Surprisingly elegant on the palate the 1000% Moscato Blanc was not overwhelmingly sweet and ideal for the wetness of the chocolate and ice cream.
With coffee and speciality teas, so ended another fine culinary evening. Chef Fredi had created a new style of menu combining some subtle flavouring with full on meat dishes all of which were admirably prepared buy Executive Chef Albert and his superb kitchen team. Special recognition to the Crush and Pepper & Salt staff who flawlessly served each dish.
Next private Chef table October 28th.