Thursday, February 06, 2014

Takeaway Adventure

 Had a small adventure this week, food related of course. Rhone wines are running a campaign to encourage people to move outside their comfort zone in the way they pair wine and food and they set out a challenge to pair a couple of their wines with Chinese food - they weren't fussed about the region but they did want it to be takeaway. I am well versed in the pleasures of drinking red wine and eating Chinese but it's fair to say I seldom do takeaway. Love the idea - pick up a little something special on the way home and dinner is ready in the time it takes to open a bottle of wine. It's a fantasy lifestyle based on all those great American tv shows where the impossibly glamourous and  clever sit comfortably and chow down on take-out whilst exchanging witty conversation and never spilling a morsel. Count me in!

 On the few occasions I have tried my local takeaways however I have been less than delighted. The combination of tired, hungry and late is possible not the ideal starting point but peking duck and noodles and greens from Spring Way is good for the first couple of mouthfuls and then it's not. By the end hunger is replaced with aggravation at eating half of some crappy food and binning the rest.

Decided to extend the idea of trying something new to the food source as well as the wine match. I have heard about Silk Road in Camberwell occasionally, mostly good things, and it is not far from home. Twenty minutes to walk but half that on the bus home it's just that Camberwell is in a direction that I seldom travel and is a bit of an interchange and a bit randomly grotty and so is not on my radar. Time to find out if things had changed.

We strolled up Camberwell Road to The Bear for a beer in a different location to find it busy busy with the build up to quiz night. Resisted the temptation to join in, though the beer was good, and set off instead for Camberwell Church Street.

 Our timing was really good - the place was heaving but not overflowing, the early diners making way for the next ones. We rapidly ordered a selection a fine selection of spicy sounding dishes, food robust enough to match a decent red. Couldn't resist the idea of hand pulled noodles with lamb and serious amounts of chilli. Silk Road does a lot of lamb dishes, one reason I was curious to try. Also ordered double cooked pork, with home style aubergine and cucumber salad rounding out the veg. Added a couple of skewers of charcoal grilled ox tripe and lamb kidney simply for the adventure.

 We waited a little while amidst the hubbub of many happy people loving eating out on a Tuesday night.

 Got lucky the second we left as the 436 pulled up. Piled aboard for the 5 minute ride, grateful to be out of the rain and delighted with the warmth of our sack of food.

 There were two wines to try - first up was Camille Cayran - Cairanne which was a lighter than I was expecting, with some spice and summer berries but, surprisingly to me at least, not robust enough to be a good match for the big flavours of the food.

 So  I set  that one aside, loaded up the trays for a dinner in front of the tv type of takeaway night and hoped for better things with the second bottle, another cote du rhone this time from La Chasse. It was a much better match, a gutsier wine with licorice and pepper. It worked really well with the variety of dishes,

Fair to say the La Chasse was good at bringing out the richness of the skewers and the spices in the other dishes

 Loved the noodles a lot

 Serious chilli and lovely with it!

We finished the Camille Cayran cote du rhone next night with a silky bowl of leek and potato soup which was a much better match. Guess the lesson is sometimes the old ways are best  but it's always worth trying new things just in case!

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