I run the risk of drooling over my phone every time Eagle Bay Brewing put up a photo on Facebook and Twitter about their monthly Friday Night Feast dinners. Running from May to October I booked in early for the October edition to ensure it wasn’t another 6 months before I got to go.
It’s a pretty straight forward concept – fifty bucks gets you a three course meal, three choices for each. Simple. They also go to the trouble of setting the food to a theme. September was all Bollywood with three courses of Indian inspired delights and, for the final Friday Night Feast for 2012 October was themed as “Into the Wilderness” with game dishes created by Head Chef Rupert Brown.
My boyfriend and I arrived to be seated to a nice table for two near the fire and ordered beers – the ESB and the Vienna Lager.
The Eagle Bay Extra Special Bitter, or ESB, is a down right beautiful beer, nutty and biscuity with hints of caramel. ESB is predominantly an English style beer and if you are a fan of this you have to try the original – Fuller’s ESB. Brewed in West London and, from my understanding, the words “multi-award winning” are a bit of an understatement. It’s a great beer and I’ve not met anyone who hasn’t enjoyed it yet.
The Eagle Bay Vienna crisp, clean and a few shades darker than your average lager beer. I found hints of stone fruit, sweet biscuits with a good bitter finish. The Vienna Lager is an Austrian beer style with history dating back to the 1800s and is a close relative to the Marzen style. It’s always nice to see brewers reviving beer styles that have declined in popularity, not only is it good for the taste buds but I get to get my beer geek on with my Oxford Companion to Beer.
We selected our entrees, mains and desserts before settling in for a relaxing night.
The Eagle Bay Vienna was a brilliant match to both entrees …
- Duck, Rabbit and Pork Terrine with Beetroot and Orange Pickle
The flavours in the terrine were subtle and well balanced and was a good match to the Vienna that has more flavour to it than your average lager but not so bold that it dominated.
- Crocodile with Coconut and Lemongrass Broth, Enoki Mushrooms and Snow Peas
The subtle coconut sweetness in the crocodile dish was a nice match to the hints of stone fruit in the beer. The soft bitterness at the end of the Vienna was a great way to bring out the sharp lemongrass and fresh coriander.
Mains were equally delicious, the stand out however was the Kangaroo Tagine with Tabouleh. It was full of different spices and flavours that all married together nicely It went perfectly with the Extra Special Bitter, similarly built with layers of different flavours – nutty, spicy (not in the chilli sense), biscuity and a little bitter.
The Eagle Bay Single Batch Cacao Stout was an easy choice to have with desserts. With seriously rich dark chocolate, almost dusty like mouth feel, the Cacao Stout was a great match to the White Chocolate & Raspberry Meringue. It was a deliciously rich dessert, big raspberry bittersweetness and a chewy texture that reminded me of eating cookies when they are just a little uncooked. The rich raspberry against the rich chocolate was a hell of a way to finish off a meal and send us into full blown food comas.