9 Jun 2006

Practised Gluttony

A COUPLE of intriguing meals out over the last 24 hours have yielded some fodder. The first experience was at 'London's Famous Indian Restaurant......in The Strand', The Sitar, an only partly-modernised Balti staple close to Somerset House.

I was very keen to try the Chardonnay-centric Omar Khayyam [£18.95] - 'Bombay bubbly from Sahyadri Valley...' but had alas already over-indulged on grapey Prosecco [Ca' Rosa NV, £7.79, Oddbins] in the palace next door. What I have tasted of Indian wine has been postive (see: Madera). A starter of beautifully presented Tandoori Monkfish followed by an amply-infused Scoville-savvy Crab Curry would I suspect have been a touch too reactive anyway with the sparkler; I believe anything above 5p/c alcohol tends to frankly exacerbate hot food.

The other meal was at TAS Pide, opposite The Globe, where I had just watched Coriolanus battle it out over three sweet cedar-scented hours. 'Anatolia's Authentic Eating Experience' proffered a taste of the house white, a musky, rustic, scoffer-quaffer from the temperate Neveshir [£11.95, and the cheapest wine on the menu, a nice idea which encourages you to try something different, which let's be frank, this is the definition of].
Whilst the set Aslan menu looked enticing, the Renk provided a sufficiently encompassing medley of mezze.
Incidentally, I have been enjoying a super range of home-cooked platefulls of grilled sea bass fillets, spicy pastas with calamari rings and chubby fishcakes at an unlikely looking star, Alma's Restaurant, off Borough High Street. Lunch costs around £4.50 and keeps me satiated for hours...
I've just finished 'Phylloxera - How Wine was Saved for the World' by Christy Campbell. An excellent piece of readable resear
ch, one line towards the end of the book resonates:
'Wine, the most exquisite expression of human interaction with plants...'