The Big 5 Breweries Oktoberfest may have come to an end, but with the festive season quickly approaching, there definitely won’t be a dip in beer fans.
The month-long festival around the city saw a rising interest in brews of different kinds, and what better way to recruit beer lovers than by pairing the drink with delectable morsels of food. If a pairing—like the one I attended at Seven Grill & Lounge—doesn’t encourage you to try a beer or two, I’m not sure what will!
The first course was an asparagus and brie tartlet with red onion marmalade and baby spinach paired with a Simpils. The Simpils was slightly bitter, with a dry finish and slight acidity, which cut through the brie beautifully and was a great contrast to the sweet marmalade.
The second course was my absolute favourite; chilli basted prawns in a garlic, cumin and coriander marinade with a special Oktoberfest brew; the Hefeweizen, again, my absolute favourite. A light, cloudy beer that tasted quite fruity and spicy, and complemented the spice on the prawns fully, I could have drunk a much larger glass!
The prawns were crisp and fresh, with a small kick at the end. Gorgeous!
Next up was slow cooked octopus in a smoked paprika and basil cream sauce with a few olives chucked in for good measure. Accompanied by another special brew, Marzen, the mild bitterness of the beer and its slight malty smoothness worked great with the rich, meaty octopus and the velvety texture of the entire dish.
Fourth came the 21-day aged strip loin, which I had with chimichurri. However, I may have been better off going with the Berry Jus and Stilton butter as stated in the menu. I asked for the steak to be cooked medium, and it was cooked to a tee, still pink on the inside and very easy to slice through.
The chimichurri was herby and spicy and worked well with the steak. The accompaniment was a Kifabock beer, full bodied with an intense malt flavour and some chocolate and caramel overtones, which works wonderfully well with a full-flavoured, aged steak.
The Berry Jus would have worked better with the Kifabock however, as the berries would have complemented the sweet overtones of the beer.
Finally, what I always dream about, dessert; a warm white chocolate chip brownie with fresh cream accompanied by a Temstout beer. The brownie was decadent, warm and gooey and so magnificently chocolaty! And, with the Temstout—with its rich coffee chocolate aroma and slight bitter finish—I was in raptures.
Although Oktoberfest has passed, Seven Grill & Lounge remains one of the most consistent restaurants in the city. If the meal above is anything to go by, you’ll know where to book for dinner tonight. Happy eating!
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