Asian food and wine inspiration at the Golden Pig
Chef Katrina Ryan turned on a spectacular meal at her pan-Asian restaurant, The Golden Pig, in Newstead, Brisbane, on June 15th. The food embraced Thai and Chinese influences, with intense spice, herb and citrus flavours throwing down a challenge to the wines. It was a challenge the wines met head-on, and the revelations were many.Riesling and pinot noir between them cover more Asian-style cuisine than most wines.
I thought I knew a bit about matching Asian foods with western wines, but I learnt a lot this night!
It was a big night for riesling (four were served) and pinot noir (three). Indeed, it’s been my habit for many years to stash a riesling and pinot noir in my carry-bag if I’m going out to eat in a BYO Asian restaurant. And thankfully, many are still BYO. Riesling and pinot noir between them cover more Asian-style cuisine than most wines.
Ma hor – sticky fried peanuts and coconut with pineapple.
Scallops with miso butter and perilla.
Pork and chive dumplings with dry chilli and Sichuan pepper sauce.
- Freycinet Riesling 2020, East Coast, Tasmania
- Pooley Margaret Pooley Tribute Riesling 2020, Coal River Valley, Tasmania
- Kyara Wines Thistle & Burr Hand Picked Riesling 2018, Eden Valley
The drier riesling with extra bottle-age, Kyara, was very good with the scallops, while the chilli and Sichuan pepper accompanying the dumpling threw down a real challenge to the wines, but I thought they coped very well, especially the younger, fruitier 2020 Tasmanian wines. The Pooley, which appeared to have a little residual sugar, handled the fiery flavours particularly well thanks to that subtle trace of sweetness.
Warm salad of fried Coral Coast barramundi with lemongrass, lime and fragrant herbs.
- Bream Creek Old Vine Reserve Riesling 2018, East Coast, Tasmania
- Yarra Yering Dry White No. 2 2018 (marsanne, roussanne, viognier), Yarra Valley
- Yeringberg Viognier 2018, Yarra Valley
Excellent food and wines, the moral of the story here was that the intensity of the lime juice changed the wines, bringing out a sweetness that wasn’t apparent in the wines when tasted by themselves. They went together beautifully, especially the richer Rhône-style wines. The Yeringberg, the richest wine, was my favourite with this dish. There’s an interesting propensity for dry white wines and high-acid foods to cancel out each other’s acidity, making for balance and deliciousness.
Ora king salmon with black bean, sweet soy, chilli and ginger, steamed gai lan.
- Santolin Gruyere Pinot Noir 2019, Yarra Valley
- Akarua Pinot Noir 2019, Central Otago, New Zealand
- Shadowfax Little Hampton Pinot Noir 2019, Macedon Ranges
Another dish which seemed at first glance to have a challenging level of spiciness, but the wines were more than equal to the task. I found the Shadowfax coped best, because of its stronger structure, but each wine had its fans as a match with the food.
Twice cooked duck leg with mandarin, black vinegar and star anise.
Shredded vegetable salad, jasmine rice.
- Head The Brunette Single Vineyard Moppa Shiraz 2018, Barossa Valley
- Clarnette & Ludvigsen Reserve Shiraz 2017, Great Western
- Seppelt St Peters Shiraz 2019, Great Western
We originally planned to serve the pinots with this dish, but as it worked out, the shirazes were excellent company. Their ripe-fruit sweetness and richness was in perfect harmony with the dish. The two Great Western wines were more firmly structured than the soft and cuddly Barossa, and I felt the dish appreciated their extra backbone. Again, each wine had its supporters.
Steamed pumpkin and coconut custard with coconut sorbet, candied pepitas and crispy shallots.