Sunday, July 13, 2014

Foie Gras & Single Malt Pairing at The Hungry Hound and Niner Ichi Nana

Foie Gras and premium Single Malt...and that's pretty much all the motivation I need. 

Every other Thursday of the month, The Hungry Hound and Niner Ichi Nana features The Craft Series, highlighting specific ingredients paired with craft cocktails. Inspiration for the unique and creative culinary series is drawn from the best ingredient in season, like apple, tomatoes, and bacon paired with handcrafted cocktails on previous editions of The Craft Series. That Thursday night, it was Foie Gras and Single Malt, and another creative collaboration between Erwan Heussaff and his craft cocktails and Chef Mikko Reyes and his comforting freestyle gastropub cuisine.

I start with The Hungry Hound and Niner Ichi Nana's Pot de Creme, a soft and creamy custard blended with foie gras, with sumac apple and garlic confit served with soft and crisp brioche toast, paired with the Chipmunk, a sharp yet smooth blend of Cragganmore 12, Hazelnut Liqueur, Green Chartreuse, Orgeat, lemon juice, and Barrel Bitters.

The rich and creamy Pot de Creme with foie gras delivers a buttery mouthfeel, as it gently melts with every bite. The soft yet crisp and equally buttery brioche caps this indulgent set, and one can finish off the richness of the pot de creme with the contrasting spirit forward sharpness of the innocently named cocktail.

Next, I go for the OG Highball, another of Erwan Heussaff's concoctions with Oban 14, Ginger beer, Lavender bitters, honey comb, and soda. The ginger and lavender add a distinct Asian twist to the cocktail, playing with sweet and spicy notes pairing well with Chef Mikko Reyes' unique foie gras dish...

The Kushiyaki, with foie gras wrapped in bacon, grilled with a sweet fig tare glaze, with quail egg and charred green onion. The sweet Asian glaze works well with the richness of the foie gras, and the pronounced saltiness from the bacon completes the blend of flavors. The quality of the foie gras is immediately apparent, remaining firm without crumbling, and bursting with rich flavors in every bite. And the quail egg? A perfect finishing touch, adding yet another layer of richness. Wash it down with a long sip from the OG Highball to complete this Asian inspired number. Indulgently rich yet balanced flavors, another winning pair. And it just keeps getting better...

Then, it was time for Ed Yamzon's award-winning Blood and Sea, another winning combination of Singleton 12, Cherry brandy, Dolin White Vermouth, Mango Shrub, orange juice, and carbonated cherries. The soothing sweetness plays well with the deep smoky flavor of the premium single malt, smooth and easy with a potent kick.

The set is paired with the comforting Grilled Cheese, with gruyere, prosciutto, foie gras, tomato jam, and pickled shallot on a toasted ciabatta. The familiar flavors of the gruyere and prosciutto are kicked up by the richness of the foie gras, and this is definitely not your usual grilled cheese sandwich. The sweet notes of the paired cocktail perfectly complements the richness of probably the most flavorful grilled cheese I've had yet.

After three cocktails paired with the special dishes, one can feel the effects of the premium single malt kicking in. And since I started with foie gras, might as well end with a foie gras dinner. The Hungry Hound's Caramelized Pork & Seared Foie Gras (P 756), with roasted pumpkin puree, crushed crackling, granny smith apples, and pickled mustard seeds. One of The Hungry Hound's newest signature dishes in its Artisanal Menu, which includes the 36-Hour Short Ribs and Anise Braised Lamb Shank as well as three new starters, the tender pork and foie gras is the perfect ending to cap the single malt and foie gras pairing experience.

For dessert, go for The Hungry Hound's Cookies & Ice Cream (P 225), with fresh baked white chocolate and cranberry cookie topped with coffee ice cream. The warm cookie and ice cream combination always works for me. Might as well go all the way, right?

One last cocktail for the road, Niner Ichi Nana's Vodka and Pineapple...perfect. After another satisfying and memorable experience at The Hungry Hound and Niner Ichi Nana, my thoughts begin to wander off, eagerly anticipating what pairing combination will be served next Thursday...

The Hungry Hound and Niner Ichi Nana are located at the Ground Floor, The Globe Tower, 32nd Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City or call +63917-876-9999 for inquiries and reservations.

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  1. Foie gras and single malt? What sorcery is this?!

    1. hey jb, the awesome kind, dude! Great to hear from you bud!


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