Beer and curry.... what’s not to like about a refreshing pint of lager and a plate of spicy hot Indian food?
But can it work with wine - specially chosen ones at that - in Peterborough’s finest of fine dining settings with presentation and service to match?
Happily the answer is a resounding yes, as the 40-plus diners I joined found out at Prévost for chef Lee Clarke’s Anglo-Asian collaboration with Cathy George of Crafting Curries (not forgetting Philip Amps from Amps Wine Merchants of Oundle).
It was Cathy - who has combined her love of cooking with her years of teaching experience to broaden people’s knowledge of Indian food in the “hot seat” , so to speak.
The idea was to showcase colonialisation of Asian dishes not just by the British Raj but the Dutch, French and Portugese (European dishes were modified using local spices, cooking techniques and ingredients to satisfy their tastes).
And this was done with aplomb - Cathy, Lee and his team applying some fine dining touches to some dishes that were not your standard India fayre in the first place.
Philip was handed the tricky role of marrying rosé, white and red wines with spicy food. And there were no complaints.
Snacks came in the form of pepper water - a kind of mulligatawny-origin dish - a spicy prawn balchao (Portugese influenced)served on a miniature popadom and a pleasant crunchy breadcrumb coated beef cutlet with devil’s chutney.
The pork belly vindaloo (also Portugese influenced) was surprisingly delicate and delivered just a mild aftertaste - so as not to affect the integrity of a super tasting cut - served on a light coconut pancake called an appam.
The fish pollichathu - served on a coconut leaf rather than cooked in one - was a treat, again subtle spicing on show and I loved the button onions.
The stand-out dish for me was the Railway Goat Curry - traditionally served on long train journeys across India in days gone by. The meat was soft and the heat was turned up a notch or two without detracting from the flavours on display in the dish overall. And it was served with a fantastic Chilean Carmenere Reserva.
Last up, a mango and coconut dessert to cool things down a little.
The next special event at Prévost is a three-course rosé dinner on July 25 followed by a Waterkloof South African wine dinner on September 26. See www.prevostpeterborough.co.uk for more details.
Cathy’s next Supperclub called ‘The Indian Summer’ will take place on August 10th. For more information call 01733 595929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org