25 Feb Maude Journeys South Australia
To kick off 2020, Maude journeyed to South Australia as the region to be the focus of their tasting menu from January through March. South Australia is in the southern central part of the country where it is nicknamed the “Wine State. It is home to Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Clare Valley and Coonawarra. It is a diverse region that includes the coastline and the outback, providing an array of ingredients including wattleseed, quandong (a native peach), mountain pepper, lemon myrtle, native watercress, pandanus and strawberry gum, to showcase in a delicious menu.
In addition to the diverse ingredients foraged, the Maude team was also influenced by the fresh seafood sourced from the coast. Oysters, mussels, cockles, limpets, spiny lobsters, Eastern School prawns, and freshwater crayfish are all thriving in the southern waters.
They were inspired by chef Maggie Beer, an Australian legend who runs a cooking school and farm shop which is home to peacocks, olive groves, a quince orchard and a lake. And they visited Hutton Vale, where 3,000 merino sheep roam and are raised for their wool and meat.
We began with a bottle of Rieslingfreak No. 4 Riesling from Eden Valley that was fresh and aromatic with notes of lemon, lime, white flowers and slate with bright acidity.
Our meal started with two plates. One had oysters cooked in lamb fat and hiramasa (yellowtail kingfish) with finger limes. The other plate has celtuce (stem lettuce) with kumquat and coconut, and a tuile cone with wattlesead, potato and black truffle.
After those first delectable first bites, we knew that this was going to be an outstanding meal. We opened our next wine, this time Handpicked 2017 Riesling from Clare Valley which had great mineral, almost petrol, notes and crisp acidity.
Spanner Crab Gelee with smoked trout roe and lemon myrtle
Milk Curd with black truffle, green garlic and grilled lettuce
For our next couple of dishes, we enjoyed the elegant and balanced Henschke Croft 2016 Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills.
Pheasant Broth with nori sourdough, fermented acorn squash and black sesame Vegemite butter
Spiny Lobster with turnip, citrus and vanilla
South Australia is famous for its Shiraz and our next wine was the St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 1996 from Barossa Valley.
Aussie Hand Pie with celery root, rutabaga, green garbanzo
We also enjoyed the Peter Lehman Stonewell 1994 Barossa Shiraz which had more than 25 years of age on it.
Grilled Parsnips with macadamia nut yogurt and sorrel
To pair with the first meat dish, pheasant, we enjoyed the D’Arenberg The Ironstone Pressings 1998 GSM (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre).
Pheasant with smoked sausage and mushroom panzanella
And with the lamb course, we sipped on the The Old Faithful 2005 Northern Exposure Grenache McLaren Vale.
Lamb with Brussels sprouts, onion jam and oyster
Frozen strawberry gum panna cotta with kiwifruit, winter citrus and lime leaf foam
Chocolate Rye with roast squash and wattleseed
And the final bites of the night were bon bons with passion fruit caramel, coffee cake strudel and honeycomb.