Gastrology recently attended Taste By Appointment - an exclusive dining experience hosted by Grey Goose.
Charismatically hosted by Grey Goose's Global Brand Ambassador, Joe McCanta (jazz pianist, entrepreneur, world renowned mixologist), the evening involved carefully paired selections of dishes and cocktails designed to awaken the senses and uncover our own unique preferences for certain flavours.
Located on bustling Smith Street, the venue for this sensory exploration was St Crispin – a favourite of Gastrology bloggers since its inception. This chique, casual space and skilful, contemporary cuisine courtesy of chefs Joe Grbac and Scott Pickett did not disappoint.
Amuse bouche plate - sweet, sour & bitter
Sweet: Bannockburn chicken, golden raisin jam
The chicken was moist and tender, pairing well with the golden raisin jam - an immediately gratifying, decidedly sweet combination of flavours.
Sour: Hapuka ceviche, lime coriander
The ceviche was a wonderful mélange of texture and carefully balanced acidity. Slivers of hapuka were embellished with tangy lime juice, while coriander provided freshness and an enlivening counterpoint.
The Ocean trout, blood orange endive, and cucumber was a masterclass in the controlled use of bitterness. Fresh, fragrant and light, with a perfect application of bitterness from the blood orange endive adding depth and complexity.
Paired with: Grey Goose Le Fizz
Grey Goose vodka served chilled with St-Germain elderflower liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice and soda water. A delicious alternative to Prosecco, this uniquely balanced cocktail used soft, floral elderflower and refreshing lime to highlight the smooth, rounded taste of Grey Goose Vodka.
Wagyu beef cheek and rump, miso eggplant, fricassee of mushrooms, parmesan gel and soil
The moreish rich, buttery beef cheek and medium rare, tender rump matched exceptionally well with the umami laden miso eggplant and fricassee of mushrooms. Combined with the parmesan gel and soil, this dish was an impeccably conducted symphony of flavours.
Paired with: Grey Goose martini a la truffe maison
Grey Goose vodka stirred with Noilly Prat dry vermouth washed with black truffle butter and plum vinegar
This cocktail was inspiring and like no other cocktail we have ever tasted. The earthy scent of black truffle wafted out of this savoury, velvety cocktail courtesy of black truffle butter. With an almost soup like quality, this cocktail provided a wonderfully unique and delicious accompaniment to the rich beef course.
Parfait of hazelnuts, caramelised pear, crispy phyllo pastry, almond gel
The parfait was indulgent perfection. Flawlessly textured with a multitude of subtle flavours – hazelnut, caramelised pear, crispy phyllo pastry and almond gel which danced on the palate.
Paired with: Greg Goose la poire
Grey Goose vodka with a crisp smooth taste and the freshness of an Anjou pear
The perfumed aroma of Grey Goose La Poire was intoxicating. Crafted with Anjou pears, this vodka echoed the caramelised pears in the dessert. This vodka is a must try if you can get your hands on it.
Each course was delightfully balanced and well executed, and paired exceptionally well with the elegant Grey Goose cocktails.
With Joe McCanta's guidance, this fascinating journey through the worlds of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami led us to some interesting realisations about our own individual senses of taste. Empowered with this knowledge, the night culminated in us ordering up bespoke cocktails which were tailored specifically to our own individual flavour preferences by expert mixologists and the results, as with everything else on this night, were stunning.