Rekorderlig Cider hosted a pop-up dinner at White Rabbit Gallery with a unique menu created by Chef Sean Connolly of the Morrison. The seven course degustation menu was an exploration of Nordic-themed food infused and paired with different flavours of the Swedish cider.
Rekorderlig Degustation Dinner
Rekorderlig Cider was first created in 1999 using the purest waters from Vimmerby, Sweden, where it is brewed today by Abro Bryggeri. Part of the Crave Sydney Food Festival, the dinner was held at the private art gallery in Chippendale, a space that was transformed into a contemporary dining room with one long communal table and tree logs as centrepieces for vibrant-coloured flower arrangements.
The menu was beautifully presented with each guest’s name etched on wood with the reverse detailing every dish and pairing.
Rekorderlig Strawberry Lime Cider
On arrival, guests enjoyed a Rekorderlig Strawberry Lime served on ice and garnished with a mint leaf as they perused the two-level gallery. This flavour is made from Rekorderlig’s traditional Apple Cider, where only the finest apples are combined with a dash of rich blackcurrants to produce a fruity and refreshing taste that is ideally served very chilled or over ice.
Twice cooked pork belly
Twice cooked pork belly canapés were served, a delicious melt-in the mouth pieces of pork with a crisp and salty crackling.
Chef Sean Connolly
Chef Sean Connolly introduced every course, presenting insights into the inspiration of each dish and setting the tone for the degustation. Pairing food with Rekordelig cider, which tends to be sweet and fruity may prove to be enjoyable, challenging or both to different palates.
The Raspberry Ripple is a gravalax of salmon cured for 24 hours in salt and sugar, and served with freeze dried raspberries and a white pepper crust. The dish, which prepared the palate for the Nordic theme of the menu, is paired with the Rekorderlig Mango & Raspberry, a semi-sweet cider packed with fresh and fruity flavours of summer raspberries with a hint of tropical mango. This is an elegant dish with sweet and savoury notes, where the pepper in the crust offsets the fruitiness of the cider and the dehydrated raspberries add a little tartness.
Herrings on the Sea Shore
Herrings on the Sea Shore is a take on Scandinavian roll-ups with white anchovies roll mops in vinegar on edible sand made from breadcrumbs, crushed jamon and parsley. The “taste of the sea” component is a jelly made from clam juice with a drunken clam that has Rekorderlig Winter Cider, the flavour with which it is paired.
Vinegar and salt, which are prominent in this seafood dish work well with the limited edition Winter Cider made from Rekorderlig’s traditional Apple Cider base infused with cinnamon and vanilla. The drunked clam is a little sweet but retains the saltiness and flavour of the sea. This was one of the favourite dishes on the menu.
Reindeer “Roar” takes it name from a a playful take on steak tartare, being a raw dish. Chef Connolly describes it as “a simple dish” made with venison tartare, pear and onion matchsticks, dressed in Rekorderlig pear vinaigrette and topped with a soft egg. The flavours are robust and delicious, and the use of vinegar with the crisp pears works very well with the cider, making it another favourite.
Rekorderlig Pear Cider
The venison is matched with Rekorderlig Pear Cider which has strong pear notes, hints of vanilla and finishes semi-tart with low acidity.
Next was Duck Hunt, a dish that was a challenge to match, as Chef Connolly explained. The duck parfait is topped with wild berry jelly and served with a toasted brioche and cripsy duck tongues which have been braised for an hour an a half making them very tender. The duck parfait is delicious but it would have benefited from another piece of brioche. The duck tongues, with their contrasting textures were an acquired taste judging by the expressions around the dining table.
The dish was matched with Rekorderlig Wild Berries, a cider that is heavily perfumed on the nosebut less sweet on the palate. This flavour is made from Rekorderlig’s pear base combined with juicy wild country berries.
Apples and Pears
Apples and Pears is a take on Swedish meatballs, made with veal, and a creamy apple and cider sauce. The dish was a little underwhelming, particularly after the robust flavours of the previous two courses. It was paired with Rekorderlig Apple Cider, a semi-sweet and fresh cider which has an almost astringent scent.
Blood and Snow
To finish, the aptly-named and presented Blood and Snow is a Swedish take on the Eton mess, made of cream, Rekorderlig granita, rhubarb and strawberry compote sprinkled with beetroot dust. The earthy flavours from the rhubarb and the sweetness from the stewed fruit was well matched with Rekorderlig Strawberry-Lime, made from a pear base combined with the fruit. The acidity in the dish paired well with the acidity of the strawberry and lime cider, which was surprisingly not as sweet as the other ciders in the range.
Matching different cider flavours to a degustation menu was a challenge that was well executed by Chef Sean Connolly with Stix Catering, particularly when the cider is fruity and sweet. While some dishes worked very well, others were an acquired taste and to some diners, they were unconventional. The venue, which hosted a sit down dinner for the first time, provided an elegant space that is welcoming and relaxed for strangers to engage in conversation, share a communal table and enjoy each others’ company.
The Rekorderlig Degustation Dinner was held at White Rabbit Gallery on Tuesday 2 October, 2012.
White Rabbit Gallery
30 Balfour st
Chippendale NSW 2008
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