This month, London journalist David Hughes reviewed Tamarind restaurant’s Taste of Tamarind set menu, including a suggested wine flight which features three Enotria wines.
Tamarind is a Michelin starred Indian restaurant in the heart of London’s Mayfair – It was the first Indian restaurant in the world to gain a star, and is now one of only nine establishments in the world that have been awarded this accolade.
Tamarind’s Channa Chaat starter is paired with Trimbach’s Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile 2007, a wine that has won praise across the globe, including The Wine Advocate’s David Schildknecht, who wrote:
".. its arrow-like penetration and sharpness; its adamant stoniness; and its citrus zest and cherry pit bitterness, are allied to formidable density; bracing salinity; deep, marrow-like meatiness; a subtle suggestion of textural creaminess; and an overall impression of exhilarating, vibrant refreshment."
David Hughes was impressed by the how well the wine balanced with the Channa’s tamarind sauce:
“The Channa Chaat is presented round and flat like a fishcake, surrounded by crushed vermicelli, and topped with a tamarind sauce and micro cress. India’s quick snack of boiled chick peas looks very grown up. A couple of bites in and the flavours meld intriguingly, with the tang of the tamarind picking up nicely with the Alsace Riesling. Sommelier Reynald Felder tells us it’s been an interesting journey for him to find a juxtaposition of tastes that he’s truly comfortable with. Indian food is very happy with wine, but its bold flavours reward some experimentation.”
The Grilled Scallop, Smoked Peppers & Tomato Chutney is matched with a Premier Cru Chablis Les Lys Chablis 2013 from Domaine Bernard Defaix. This is a young Premier Cru wine chosen for its fruity profile - it works as the perfect foil for the smoke, spice and soft fruit flavours of the chutney, while complementing the clean, meaty flavours of the scallops. Chablis is a classic with any seafood, but the provenance of its Premier Cru designation adds an extra level of complexity to the flavours.
Burghound’s Allen Meadows is also a fan of Defaix’s outstanding Chablis:
“I have said it before but it bears repeating: the improvement at this estate has been nothing short of phenomenal. Chablis fans should add the Defaix brothers to their short list of rising stars”
The main event on the tasting menu is the Elliot Farm Lamb Chops, served with one of Enotria’s top Châteauneuf-du-Papes, which reviewer David Hughes went away raving about:
“...a 2011 Chateaunuef –du-Pape from Dom Chante Cigale is selected to go with our Elliot Farm Lamb Chops, Raw Papaya, Spinach, Dal, Pulao Rice & Naan. The lamb has the succulence I’d usually associate with something cooked medium-rare, but there’s only the faintest trace of pink. Despite its strength at 16% the C-de-P has very little tannin, and its slight austerity works. Spinach, dal, rice and naan are very popular sides to go with lamb, but humble as it may be, the rice was outstanding, with delicate touches of saffron providing a subtle aroma.”
Tamarind can be found at 20 Queen Street, London, W8 5NP.
Review by David Hughes for Kensington, Chelsea & Westminster Today, Dining Out March 2015.