26 Jul 2006

Keep an Eye on Glas

SNUGGLED AROUND the corner from The Market Porter and opposite Neal's Yard dairy, my father and I today found "lots of little bundles of flavour" at Glas, a bright bijou-bistro specialising in Swedish tapas, or smorgasbord.

We opened with shared cold dishes of: Tre av Glas hemgjorda sillar, or herring prepared three ways (1. lime/vodka; 2. Manzanilla; 3. spice), Rostad kalvfile med getost och vitlöksmousse (tender veal medallions blushingly pink with goats cheese pillows and garlic) and Pelle Janzon (deep red venison on ciabatta with raw egg yolk, red onion and firm lady-fish roe - male fish can carry a version of roe too known as milt). The herring was partnered with cubes of mature cheese (Hushållsost, a bit like cheddar) and to my suprise the combination worked. A slightly peppery, attractively youthful, textbook new wave Austrian Grϋner Veltliner '05 from "cheerful epicure" Fred Loimer cut through - although the shocking green label even took my camera by suprise (left). [£23.95 Glas; £8.99, Hedley Wright]

To follow we both chose Kroppkakor med anklever, spenat och scharlottenlök - minced duck liver with bacon, 'scharlottes' and spinach tightly insulated in potato dumplings. I'm not sure what these scharlottes are - they resembled pomegranate seeds. The sweetness of this dish was asked to leave by a sly riesling from South Eastern Australia - Plantagenet 'Mount Barker' '04 [£20.95, Glass; £9.99, The Secret Cellar]. I'm not sure why reference is made to the Plantagenet dynasty, complete with three lions on the label - no explanation was forthcoming.
Aside from Glas, another treat came my way today from Australia's relatively cool Canberra District - Clonakilla Shiraz Viognier '03 [£30.99, also The Secret Cellar]. Named after Irish founder John Kirk's grandfather’s farm in County Clare, this off-dry blackberry scented Shiraz was complex with a touch of wet walnut, ginger and roses - and not the war of the roses. In another two-three years the tannins should lessen their grip on the more nuanced flavours. This Rhône-Ranger with its 7p/c of aromatic Viognier already has its devotees (amongst them are critics Jancis Robinson, Robert Parker, Matthew Jukes and Anthony Rose) hence the unfortunate RRP for mere Poms.