It was brilliant night at Bricks & Barrel Sri Hartamas recently as I get indulged fabulous Nikka cocktails and delicious food that came with it. That night Nikka Whisky was holding the “Master of Taste” and it was a unforgettable gustatory experience, I was left wanting more of those cocktails and nearly took a full bottle home if they did not stop me that night. Lots of laugh!. . . . How I wish, and Nikka knew which bottle I was raving that night.
The gustation pairing dinner was created by the kitchen of Bricks & Barrel Hartamas lead by Calvin Leow, featuring mixologist Neb Ng. On that night Ben Ng had crafted five specialty cocktails from carefully selected Nikka whiskies, pairing with the original dishes exclusively created for the event. My favourite John Ross Junior smoked salmon was featured in one of the pairing dishes and truly got me exciting, just like waiting to give me a surprise.
Nikka believes in merging tradition and innovation, and pursuing the perfect balance of taste in each of its whisky. With this event, it further enhance the link between east and west, reminding us all that fine whisky has a place in both mixology and gastronomy.
When we arrived at the event, we embarked into nipping a few glasses of Black Nikka Special on the rocks which was smooth and subtle with a taste of gentle oak woodiness. I was also eyeing the other bottles that were sitting around in the room with great delight..
Pure Malt Black is rich and sweet with lots of black fruit, dark chocolate and a little polished oak. More substantial than the Red, with an extra layer if smokiness and greater depth and power on the palate. Peppery on the finish. Black is pure malt made primarily with Yoichi malt and has a solid bold taste.
The first dish that came to the dinner table for four was the delighted constructed Hokkaido sea urchin with shoyu marinated salmon roe, crispy jamon ham, quail yolk and chopped chives. It was such a pleasant treat to start with, hinted light saltiness of the sea urchin played well while storming with awesome crisp biting texture of the jamon ham. I was shocked of myself for nibbling the salmon roe that kept bursting in my mouth making a wonderful taste with my Whisky Sours cocktail. I was definitely like it, taste good feels awesome. The Whisky Sours was a make up of Pure Malt Black Nikka whisky, fresh lemon sugar and aromatic bitters.
The Taketsuru 12 years relatively light nose, with touches of honey cut flowers and gentle orchard fruits. Clean, with aromas driven from ex bourbon casks. The palate is an interesting and successful balance between some very concentrated sweet spirit and clean nutty oak with baked apple and almond.
The second course was the pairing of the pan seared foie gras topped with caramelised peach in Taketsuru served with melba toast. It was such a mind blown indulgence as the foie gras came with such a thick slice and I felt so pleased. The foie gras was good and tenderly tasty. Pairing with a glass of Nikka cocktail, Pot of Gold gave the eating experience such a pleasure. I like that the Taketsuru 12years cocktail came with Amaro Montenegro, Kamahi honey and pineapple flakes. Truly exciting!
Coffey Grain is an essential component of the house blends. The Nikka Coffey Grain is an original grain whisky, distilled mainly from corn in a Coffey still. Exotic, fruity and unique, it is for the connoisseur in search of an unconventional whisky.
Out third inline was a chopped John Ross smoked salmon belly served with shaved egg white and light aioli serve on a piece of buckwheat biscuit. I just love the pieces of smoked salmon tickling my tongue just like playing God. The texture of the buckwheat biscuit was not my preference, a sizeable piece of crouton will be excellent. Having said, pairing with Nikka’s Calm Water was so memorable and wouldn’t mind for another glass. Calm Water came with Coffey Grain Nikka whisky infused with Dry Vermouth and grapefruit oils.
Miyagikyo 12years will fill the nose with flowers, giving way to soft tropical fruits, such as mango and persimmon, as well as richer vanilla pod character. Good structure with a wisp of smoke.
I was intrigued with the pan seared Hokkaido scallop topped with baked cheddar cheese with scrambled egg and Italian black truffle pate. The scallop was really delicious and the texture was refreshingly good. The toppings complimented well and I had two scallops that night and I sink in happily nipping into my Nikka cocktail, Love in Darkness a combination of Miyagkyo 12years with hibiscus jam, lemon peels and raspberry. Lovely.
Yoichi 12years is big, robust and complex. The peatiness adds an earthy character to the coal like sootiness. Poarch pear and baked peach give a balancing sweetness, offset by smoke, licorice and heather
When the night came to a closing we had a deep fried mantou bun sandwiched with a piece of slow cooked pork belly in teriyaki Miyagikyo stew. It was really nice, the belly was soft and moist to bite into but the sauce was slight strong. A Café Old Fashioned cocktail paired well as I like the combination of Nikka Yoichi 12years infused with Borghetti coffee liqueur, sugar and orange rind. Smells nice taste delicious.
Overall the whole eating experience was brilliant and now Nikka whisky truly a seductress and having me wanting them more, another glass on the rock please.
For further detail and information please visit NIKKA WHISKY website.