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Tasting Menu

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Having a tasting menu has always been a standard at upscale restaurants. Now casual restaurants are treading into the same waters to offer a sense of refinement to their menu while preserving the casual price points.

If you were to create a five course tasting menu, what would your menu be?

What would you take into consideration? Is there a progression of particular textures, richness of dishes? Does the season matter for a casual restaurant?

How would you build a meal from a succession of small plates?

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This is a very interesting post.

Delicately flavoured dishes should definitely precede the big guns.

Some of my Restaurateur friends aver that the diner remembers the first and last course the most. I am not so sure about this.

More on this later as I have to rush somewhere.


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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My tasting menu would definitely include wines which would play a role in the progression.

Your post has spurred me to develop one but it may be months of weekend cooking before I come up with one that satisfies me.

I would imagine it would be something like this:

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A delicate sea food shorba made with almond milk and cilantro,

Saffron and aniseed chicken tikkas,

Sauted cumin seed and asparagus,

Prawns tossed in butter, curry leaves,whole red chillies and garlic,

Mutton/Lamb pasandas in a thickish coconut gravy mildly flavoured with southern spices; with brown rice or Nan,

Green tea kulfi

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Perhaps other eGulleteers will theorize the wines for this.


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Aniseed, asparagus and cilantro are difficult flavours for wine. For that reason I'd play safe with the first three courses and stick to Champagne, or its top class sparkling equivalents.

For the Prawn dish you can be more daring but red chillis mean you don't want too much subtlety in the wine because they'll kill it. An Alsace Gewurtztraminer, or Pinot Blanc or a New World Riesling or, if you want something medium sweet a good German Riesling.

For the mutton/lamb an Australian Shiraz, or a rich Rioja or Ribeira Del Duero.

Green Tea Kulfi-No wine will go with this. If you were having the more regular Pistachio or Almond type Kulfi then only Pedro Ximenez Sherry will be sweet enough

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Aniseed, asparagus and cilantro are difficult flavours for wine. For that reason I'd play safe with the first three courses and stick to Champagne, or its top class sparkling equivalents.

Thanks for the suggestions, Tonyfinch.

Purely on a personal note, I hate champagne, any thing else?


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Purely on a personal note, I hate champagne, any thing else?

Really? That's a shame. Personally I'm a fan of ice cold White Port with Indian snacks and starters but I realise that's an eccentric choice. Same with Amontillado Sherry. A more acceptable choice would be Vouvray, in either the dry or medium versions. Or a good new world rendition of Chenin Blanc. In my experience, Chardonnay, Sauvingnon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier do NOT work with Indian food.

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Dear Tonyfinch,

I am putting together the your recommendations as well as a few to see what doesnt work. Can you opine on some fairly decent Zins also, as a pairing with the above menu.

If it's a definite no-no, I won't open them.


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Episure,

Champagne is not my favorite beverage either, but recently I was served some wonderful italian sparkling wines which were kind of sweet and fruity. I would agree with Tonyfich that these( or similar) would go very well with some spicy Indian dishes.

What about other drinks? Pimms cups, cocktails etc.

Indians usually drink scotch or beer and don't really drink anything with or after the meal.

just musing.......


Bombay Curry Company

3110 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305. 703. 836-6363

Delhi Club

Arlington, Virginia

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Hi Bbhasin, I hope Isabel was kind to you.

Scotch and beer is indeed the mainstay for Indians, but now with the advent of wines in India a fair number of diners are willing to try wines.

Long way to go.

I make litchi cocktails that go well with Indian food.

The problem with wines is that there are too many differing opinions, some advocate complimentary and some contrasting flavors! So I am always learning from People like Tonyfinch whose posts here and elsewhere are extraordinary.

I am eagerly waiting for Prasad/Raju's opinion on another topic here.


I fry by the heat of my pans. ~ Suresh Hinduja

http://www.gourmetindia.com

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Some of my Restaurateur friends aver that the diner remembers the first and last course the most. I am not so sure about this.

Episure, I agree with you restauranteur friends not only with the tasting menu but even in reading a menu. When looking at a menu there are strategic positions for sections with in a menu and dishes within a section. There are menu analysis studies that prove the first 2 items and the last item are most remembered. This should be quiete transparent with a tasting menu as well.

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