Having such a busy September (out nearly every night this month) means I have been tardy in reporting on some of the great launches and wine dinners I have had the privilege of attending.
Restaurateur/Chef George Lai invited me back to French Vietnamese favourite, La Mint on Riley Street, for a Philip Shaw Wine Dinner.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was their new N.V. Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir - Edinburgh which coincidentally had the hippest label I've seen. It's an easy-drinking Méthode Traditional bubbles made from their Block 11 (Chardonnay) and Block 10 (Pinot Noir) grapes, ably introduced by our host for the evening, current owner of the winery, Damien Shaw. Damien was kind enough to allow me to grill him for foodie fun in his home town of Orange (I was heading there the next weekend). He gave great advice, which you can see writ large in my piece A Weekend in Wine Country.
Our first course of Grilled Scallops decked out with lemongrass, shallots and peanuts, and a Smoked Salmon Roll, was matched to the 2011 Philip Shaw The Architect Chardonnay.
However it was the second course featuring Enoki Boeuf a la Bearnaise, and the even better Papillotes aux Deux Fromages against the 2008 Philip Shaw No. 8 Pinot Noir that produced the best match (and the best wine) of the evening. Who'd have thought those creamy, cheese filled wonton wrappers would go so well with the pinot? Well chef George Lai, a bit of a pinotophile himself, did, and he was right!
After that things started to become a bit of a blur - there were Coco Prawn fritters, Lemongrass Chicken Vermicelli salad, and George's famous Pave de Porc against two more wines I barely remember.
I do recall managing to snaffle another glass of the lovely pinot noir though...
These wine dinners are great value, set at $95 per person for five courses with them dishing up multiple dishes per course. La Mint is perfectly placed to team your dining adventure with a little bit of small bar crawling with The Owl House, Love Tilly Devine and Red Lily all within two minutes walk.
You can find my last review dinner at this restaurant back HERE.
62-64 Riley Street, East Sydney
Ph: (02) 9331 1818