The Sweet Life
A Tuesday night is usually a fairly simple affair - dinner and MasterChef, anyone? But for guests at Bib & Tucker last night, the master chef was Scott Bridger and dinner was six courses of inspired cuisine. Bib's second annual Honey Degustation Dinner presented diners with menu items paying homage to the sweet nectar of bee's, harvested from their own restaurant rooftop hives. Their "Beach Honey", as it is named, was the starting point for a meal full of surprises.
Starter was a generous spoon of spanner crab, citrusy yuzu, honey and the minty hint of shiso, paired with a 2016 Cape Mentelle SBS, quickly followed by the Heston-esque "Carrot Patch" - a carrot filled garden on a bed of dark rye soil. A signature cider, made especially for the dinner, of burnt honey and orange was a delightful compliment to the rich rye. Bridger then proceeded to completely delight our table with a Jerusalem artichoke and Manjimup truffle panacotta - we thought after a weekend at Truffle Kerfuffle we might be all truffled out, but we were wrong. This truly pretty dish, dressed with honey roasted macadamia crumb and delicate green nettles, was intricate and interesting and provided a total "wow" moment. The Wallcliffe SBS, a classic blend taking inspiration from the great white Bordeaux, was a bright, light match to its creaminess.
Our new Lazy P pear cider - the result of MANY months of work and constant cajoling of this challenging fruit - was next up on the beverage menu and cut the sticky sweetness of Bridger's crispy pork hock, coated in a chill honey caramel. There was a real good burn on the tongue with this dish, a fiery but fresh entree to the main meat. A powerful combination of flavours, with liquorish as the real dominant taste, accompanied a generous serve of honey cured Wagin duck breast - this was served with the 2014 Cape Mentelle shiraz. The final course, of course, was designed to be a showstopper - and Bib's signature "The Hive" is everything a dessert should be. Delicate ginger shortbread pieces sandwich caramelised honey and marscapone mousse, with a confounding lattice of white chocolate "honeycomb" to finish - chef Scott explained how they achieve the pattern, but you'll just have to go and discover it for yourself! This sweet finale was accompanied by a Cape Mentelle 2014 Botrytis Viognier.
All these sweetly inspired courses, the good company, the salty Leighton Beach air - they all added to the magic of the night. Bib & Tucker put so much thought into the concepts behind and the construction of their meals, and the crew here at Custard are always 100% behind their ventures as they keep experimenting and pushing boundaries. They have other dinners coming up for winter, so BE SURE to sign yourself up for one of these truly exciting experiences! We'll be there, you can count on that...