LONDON EATERIES – Oomoo Food, Oomoo Wine- Grapes and Gastronomy from the Antipodes
Its cold outside, the tree is up and it feels like Christmas… Or does it?
Perhaps for those born in the Northern Hemisphere it does but to me after a good 15 years it still feels a bit odd, mulled wine, roast dinners and the small chance it might snow.. To me christmas is 40 degree heat, beach, bbq’s, lounging by the pool whilst getting 3rd degree sunburn. I couldn’t be further away from home, this time every year I get homesick without fail. So to be invited along to the Hardy’s Grapes and Gastronomy from the Antipodes evening was just what the Dr ordered.
6 courses of Antipodean cuisine prepared by Lantana and Wine served by Hardy’s wine aficionados A Grape Night In, it was set to take me back to my roots. Now I have always known how great Australian food and wine is, coming from Western Australia I grew up eating only the freshest produce, it was too expensive to import so we only ate what was seasonal, with such a big multicultural population and Asia on our doorstep I experienced fusion cooking from the beginnings. In fact moving to the UK I found I missed the food the most. Its taken many many years but finally I think the UK has reached our high standards and its now promising to see that good coffee, good wine, good food from Australia and NZ are finally being embraced here. New restaurants popping up are testament to that, be it Granger and Co’s second site in Clerkenwell or Michelin Star chef Skye Gyngell at Somerset House, the news is spreading.
All day brunch is the way Aussies do it, everything is about taking your time, enjoying the moment, no rush.. work to live not live to work!!! Lantana being the back drop for our evening, not all day brunch but still a relaxing environment with friendly staff and a fine eye for the detail in the food, by detail I really mean taste.
We started with a glass of Stamp Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir and Hush Puppies, the sparkling was crisp and refreshing and exactly what we needed after a long day to get us in the mood.
We moved quickly along to the Oomoo Sauvignon Blanc 2012 and the most gorgeous light melt in your mouth Thai fish cakes with Lime and Chilli dipping sauce that left the table fighting for the last one. Again the wine was a perfect accompaniment light and crisp that perfectly complimented the Lime and Chilli dipping sauce.
Third course was a bit of a interesting one for me, Corn Fritters and Smashed Avocado with a Nottage Hill Riesling. Riesling has a bit of a bad rep back home due to the sickly sweet offerings of the 80s. This was by far the highlight of the evening for me, it was a complete surprise and a joy to discover how good Reisling can actually be.
Onglet, Baby Gem, Gochujang and Mackerel was next with a William Hardy Chardonnay 2013 and to be a bit naughty another glass of Eileen Hardy Pinot Noir ( the latter the favourite of the group )
My favourite course for the evening food wise and I don’t say this easily as it was all so very good was the Beef Cheeks, Butternut Squash, Wasabi and Beetroot. The beef simply melted in your mouth and the wasabi gave it a extra depth making you want more. My guest not being a big red meat eater was completely blown away by this dish. A HRB Cabernet Sauvignon from 2007 washed this down nicely.
Now by the 6th course we were getting full and if I am honest a little tipsy, each course as I mentioned was served with a glass of wine, they were all so good and so keen was I to bask in the Australiana vibe of the evening I had finished each glass to the last drop. Before each course we had a brief explanation of the food and a great introduction to the wine, this too helped with the enthusiasm to enjoy the food, wine and the evening overall.
Cheese is always a winner, with Australian chutney, Macadamia Oat cake and a hearty glass of William Hardy Shiraz 2013 we had reached a good place, it was sunny, we were by the beach, the wine was flowing and our stomachs full to bursting and on this contented note we stumbled out onto the cold streets of east london. Suddenly I was brought back to reality, it was cold midnight and I needed to find a cab home.
We thoroughly enjoyed the evening it was fun, educational (thanks to Kiki from a grape night in) and very simply put Ooomoo.. Thats aboriginal for GOOD, the name also taken by Hardy’s for their Sauvignon Blanc. If you would like to experience a little ray of sunshine on a cold dreary day and the 20plus hour flight to Oz doesn’t float your boat then I recommend getting down to Lantana.
Lantana – Shoreditch, Unit 2, 1 Oliver’s Yard, 55 City Road EC1Y1HQ
020 7253 5273
Heart London 5 * Rating
Andy, Heart London Magazine