Tonight marked another visit to Smolt in the Salamanca strip. This visit was for the Kirrihill Wine dinner which was an excellent pairing of great value wines with quality produce. To those who are unfamiliar with Smolt please have a quick read of my prior blog on this venue but a quick explanation of this restaurant is a Modern Australia/Spanish fusion with plenty of skill in the kitchen and a modern layout that is simultaneously intimate.
Next, we were seated in the main restaurant for the first course of the evening. The wines were a Kirrihill Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Both wines were smooth and well paired with the rich flavours of our entree. The entree was a confit salmon, served with a thin slice of cured pork with a garnish of fennel, herb and almond salad. The salmon was amazingly soft, falling apart with the slightest prod of the fork and melted in your mouth with a rich buttery flavour to satisfy the tastebuds. The contrast with the cured pork, crisp almonds and fresh fennel added a delicious textural element to the dish.
The next course provided the red wines for the night; a full bodied Shiraz and a powerful Cabernet that quite honestly overpowered this blogger's palate. The tannins from the Tullymore Vineyard Kirrihill Cabernet removed the drinkers' ability to enjoy the entry. While the wine was definitely drinkable, this particular wine did not meet the standard of the other wines on show. Both reds were served with the main of the evening; a slow braised beef cheek with white bean puree, gramolata and parsley. The beef was succulent, full of deep beef flavour with the balance of the gramolata and parsley to off-set its richness. The white bean puree was creamy and created a fuller spectrum of flavours from buttery, floury, white beans through to the caramelised beef check that coated the diner's mouth with a complex mix of acidity and freshness of lemon zest.
Finally, the Chocolate marquis was the hero dish of the evening. Served with a sweet and aromatic Riesling with hints of pineapple and strawberry the decedent square of chocolate was perfectly complimented with coconut sorbet and figs. This dish contained three simple components that met to create a meeting of flavours that was outstanding.
The skilled palates of the Smolt kitchen were undoubtedly on show tonight and their talents in pairing menu offerings to whatever challenges winemakers bring to their restaurant were answered in providing a delicious treat for those dining this evening. After tonight, I can only look forward to the next opportunity to enjoy what this clever bunch create.