4.18pm, Still at London Bridge, London, UK
Our last day in Dublin was split between two great supporters of ours: Ananda and The Hole In The Wall.
First up, Ananda is cutting-edge Indian subcontinent cuisine and the home stove of ‘The Spicemaster”, Sunil Gai, executive chef. It’s just outside Dublin central in Dundrum, and it is a seriously exotic room, complete with carved timber corners, sight lines of thick candles, full length black fringe curtains, stretched canvas on frame ‘kite’ lamps, and lots of red, burgundy and gold. The balance and fruit drive of our wines suits the food at Ananda, and it looks like we’ll be doing a tasting menu event with Sunil next trip. I’ve chosen one of Sunil’s new Indian ‘tapas’ tastes as well as an unusual fish dish to show you, because we just do not have anything like this at home.
The tandoori broccoli was something that just knocked me over. Broccoli? Yep, normal old broccoli. Only as you can see in the picture – it’s broccoli blanched and baked in the tandoor , laced with cracked pepper, and sitting on a chilli and red pepper tapenade that is made at Ananda fresh each day.
If all broccoli tasted this good, more folks would definitely eat it!
Then there’s the pan-seared sea bass sitting on an island of yoghurt-coconut rice spotted with fennel seeds in a sea sauce/paste of coriander, mint and curry leaf. On the side of the plate is a piece of garlic, rock salt and coriander ‘skinny’ naan. I’m not even going to attempt to describe the layers of texture and flavour that were flying in all directions and landing together. I’m just 100% certain that whoever comes to the Ananda Yalumba event are going to have a memorable old food and wine time – when we get it all together . Meanwhile – try and get to Ananda … especially by night … that’s when that room will be just like Aladdin’s cave … of sensational flavours and aromas. Thanks to Asheesh, Sunil and the pocket wine sales rocket Miss Bridget for having our wines at such an excellent address.
One more stop and we said goodbye to Dublin this trip – always a tough thing to do. I’m convinced that the winery doesn’t let me have anything more than 48 hours at any one time in Dublin, as any longer and I’d probably defect!