French bubbles, Japanese food, Italian hangover
Last night Rob and I had the pleasure to attend a Champagne and Sushi tasting event.
Moshi Moshi is one of the London’s top sustainable sushi restaurants and owner Caroline Bennet is passionate about choosing sustainably caught fish and sea food. French Bubbles are a husband and wife team just as passionate about independent growers as Caroline is about sustainability, and they sell a range of vintage and non vintage champagne.
Last night’s event had about 20 guests, sat on three tables in Moshi Moshi interesting private dining area. Surrounded by glass floor, ceiling and walls and bamboo arches, the tables were beautifully laid, with lots of champagne glasses. At our table we had a bunch of friendly people from La Maison du Chocolat, so conversation, as one can guess, flowed.
Soon we received our first sushi platter and the first two champagnes, Maud introduced the bubbles and Caroline the food.
The food last night was no ordinary sushi. From very authentic Japanese dishes such as the scallop sashimi, to a curious, fishy version of foie gras, made by using the previously discarded monk fish liver. The textures of these dishes matched the champagne perfectly, particularly on some of the dishes.
The best pairing for us was number 3: a gorgeous sashimi of Fresh Scallop, hand dived on the Isle of Mull and driven straight to London, and a glass of Colin Blanc de Blanc Grand Cru 2004. The least effective pairing in the first section of the tasting was the Vintage Furdyna Blanc de Noirs 2003 and Crispy and Spicy tuna Maki. Both were wonderful but the maki was too hot and overpowered the delicate vintage, which not only had a gorgeous amber colour, but was our favourite piece of the night.
On the second section, I faced my fears and my own issues and tasted Cornish Kabayaki Dog fish. As I had already learned from Caroline in the past, dog fish is a by-catch and abundant in Cornwall, so a sustainable substitute for the very endangered eel.
It actually tasted great, and we decided the best match for it was the vintage Furdyna. Worthy of note is also the Agedashi Tofu – I usually hate tofu but this was deeply flavoured, crispy on the outside without being too spongy inside. Delicious, I ate Rob’s portion as well.
We finished the meal with a portion of rice which, Caroline explained, is the way Japanese always end their meals, the rice being the most important staple on their tables. The Ume plum was very sour and we probably did not quite understand its function, just as our palates were not adjusted to the Green Tea Cream, which I am sure would have made a green tea aficionado very happy.
We drank so much that I now feel very British in saying ‘I am hangover today’ but I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and cannot wait to do it all again.