Maryborough Wine Dinner Excels
Superb Food from the Bellini Kitchen
Quite a turnout for the latest Wine Dinner in Bellini’s at the Maryborough Hotel. And quite a tour-de-force also by Head Chef Gemma Murphy, every dish of this multi-course meal a delicious delight.
The reception of the hotel wine events provides an easy and pleasant prelude to the night ahead. And last Friday’s was no exception with the excellent Blackwater Gin and Poacher’s tonics, both from the sunny south-east, easing the way and helping the friendly hotel staff and management get to know their guests.
After that relaxing start we were shown to our tables in the restaurant and soon we were enjoying the breads - the treacle butter was perhaps the highlight here! And then they poured our white wine, the Domaine a Deux Sauvignon Blanc (Touraine). This very quaffable white from the Loire, vibrant and dry, with citrus led fruit flavours, provided an excellent match for the opening rounds.
Not least with course number one, the Crisp Fried Langoustine in a delicious Tonkotsu sauce. The second offering was even better: Kombo and Sake Cured Salmon, Tapioca, Edamame and cucumber, and blood orange. What a delightful combination of textures, colours and flavours.
Time then for the Green Apple Sorbet with Rosehip Gel, a pleasant palate-cleanser, eye-catching too. Now for the fish course: Halibut Fillet, Fregola Pasta, Cep Mushroom, Asparagus Tips, Morteaux Sauce, and Roast Chicken broth. Another outstanding mix: the fish perfectly cooked, that Morteaux a superb contrast and that broth brought them all together.
Now the staff were introducing the red wine. Oh by the way, they have no hard and fast rule here. If you prefer red all the way through, then that’s what you’ll get! Chateau Siran is well known in Margaux and beyond through its first wine of the same name. Its second wine is S de Siran, also bearing the Margaux AOC. Next comes our red, the Saint Jacques de Siran 2015, a Bordeaux Superieure (AOC), an blend of 42% Merlot, 29% each of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon (though the amount can vary from vintage to vintage). In any event, ours was smooth, soft and complex and paired perfectly with the lamb in the main course.
That duo of lamb was yet another illustration of the expertise in the Bellini kitchen. We got Marinated Rump, Parmesan and Tarragon crumbled shoulder, smoked parsnip, Cannellini Bean, Pardon Pepper, Black Garlic Infused Lamb jus. Both the lamb treatments were top notch and the black garlic jus was an amazing factor as well.
Gemma eased us out with a delightful easy to eat dessert. The Velvet Cloud Sheep’s Yogurt from County Mayo has been earning plaudits all over the country for the past year or so. Gemma and the Square Table’s chef Martina Cronin soon realised its potential and have been using it for quite a while. I fancy Michael and Aisling, the Mayo couple behind it, would have been well pleased with our Baked Velvet Cloud Yogurt, poached rhubarb, confit orange and ginger biscuit. Soft and delicious!
There were still some petit fours to negotiate but, wisely, the staff had these little gems served in a little box. You could eat them there and then or, as we did, tie the ribbon and take them home. And, no, we didn’t eat them in the taxi; the denouement came at morning coffee on the Saturday as we recalled the pleasures of the night before.
This was probably the best of the recent wine events here at the Maryborough, so do keep an eye on the hotel’s social media and on this blog as well for future events.