As I pack my bags to return to London, I dread the cold weather that is waiting to spring an ambush on me and am reminded of the summer that made London flush and blush before I came back to Singapore. The wonderful produce that we had this summer made for light and zingy palette refreshers. And the different types of wine we tried were the perfect cherries on top, or so I thought until I was invited to spend one sunny day at the Cloudy Bay Shack 2011 at Parsons Green at the end of July.
I jumped at the opportunity to attend this pop-up event, because of two things that reeled me in like a fish on bait – one, I love Cloudy Bay wines, especially the white ones, and two, esteemed chef Skye Gyngell of Michelin-starred Petersham Nurseries Café created a seasonal menu to enhance the full flavours and vibrant aromas of Cloudy Bay wines. Now, who says no to this?!
There were five dishes that were created to showcase Cloudy Bay wines and I chose the wild sea bass with nam jim and pak choy paired with Cloudy Bay Te Koko while M went for the slow cooked veal with black olives and preserved lemons paired with Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir.
Skye didn’t disappoint with the veal, which was an absolute stunner – rich yet summery, deep yet light on the palette – we loved this, especially when savoured with the Pinot Noir. We have only gone for whites from Cloudy Bay, and it was the perfect opportunity to sample and get hooked on the red, which was smooth and round on the palette.
And then I fell head over heels for the sea bass. It was done to perfection despite being cooked in a makeshift kitchen. Tender, creamy flesh annointed with the very addictive, tangy and slightly spicy nam jin sauce, I was just blown away. This was perfect with the Te Koko, a smooth, light and slightly sweet white which M and I have always been very fond of. In fact, this is the only white that I drink and that’s saying something because I’m not a fan of whites.
We enjoyed this fare in the company of many revellers, who have taken to soaking up the sun on hotspots at Parsons Green. There was a live band playing, children and dogs running around, and the heat was just perfect in the gentle breeze. I came away feeling rejuvenated in this quaint spot of green away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and most of all, M and I went home aching to run to Petersham Nurseries so we could do this all over again (that, and we were dying to ask for second helpings at the pop-up).
How? You might ask. Well, luckily for you, Petersham Nurseries will be cooking up the last of the five dishes offered at the event next week. Judging from what I had, I think you’ll be in for a treat, so what are you waiting for?!
Right, I’m off to dream of an endless summer with a Te Koko in my hand, with a sunhat. Yes, having a cold Te Koko is akin to having a holiday…..