In case you didn’t know it, fermented food is taking over the world. Of course you knew, we’ve been drinking beer for millennia and are well aware of its benefits. Truthfully, though, keeping up with the vegan-this, raw-that, seaweed-the-other health food fads – particularly, combining them into a hectic, work-focused, socially-active lifestyle – has become ever challenging and what we really want is, simply, that happy medium between indulgence and virtue.
Well, reader, we’ve found it. It exists in kombucha. Specifically, Wild Fizz Kombucha and, for one night only, a five-course cocktail pairing meal that makes for a great evening and remedies the excesses the next morning all in one.
Kombucha, if you didn’t know, is fermented tea. Take your sugared brew, leave it a week or two and let it fizz, naturally. It’s brimming with restorative properties; calming IBS, combating stress, and there’s even evidence it suppresses cancer growth.
Rather seductively, however, it’s also a cracking hangover cure. And Wild Fizz, the Great Taste-winning kombucha-based health drink brand, and its various eclectic flavours, make terrific cocktail mixers, so you have that elusive alchemic combination so sought after; the poison and the cure in one drink.
To that end, Wild Fizz entrepreneur, Gina, has joined forces with M restaurants’ executive chef Michael Reid (formerly of ‘World’s 50 Best’ Vue de Monde) and M’s mixologists to create a celebration of all things fermented; a five-course cocktail pairing menu designed around the signature flavours of those pioneers of fermented food, Korean cuisine.
Kicking off with a kimchi and fennel pancake partnered with a Don Julio blanco tequila and Blood Orange Kombucha aperitif, we’re taken through an inventive – even daring – array of dishes.
There’s a steak tartare with Korean pear – the egg yolk cured in soy and lime juice – paired with a Rosemary and Lavender Kombucha gin Collins; confit duck dumplings on a bed of sinus-clearing fermented chili, comes with a pleasantly cooling vodka, bergamot and ginger ‘Bucha Storm’.
The piece de resistance is the most spectacular apple-marinated Blackmore skirt steak with red kimchi puree and ginger spring onion, and Wild Fizz’s version of a negroni – with lavender kombucha topping the traditional gin, vermouth and Campari classic.
It’s rounded off by an uncompromisingly inventive and unbelievably moreish dessert of white chocolate ice cream, dressed with chewy yuzu fudge, grapefruit and, of course, dried seaweed. Yes, seaweed. It’s a clever, clever dessert, complimented by a softly jasmine-scented kombucha gimlet.
It’s an intriguing, unique, and surprisingly gut-friendly dinner. And I, for one, certainly hope there’s more to come. I could get rather used to this new healthy indulgent lifestyle.
Wild Fizz and M restaurant’s Korean & Kombucha dinner is available only on Thursday 4th October 2018 at M Victoria Street’s RAW, at a mere snip of £45 per person. Full details of this one-night-only dinner are available on M’s website, www.mrestaurants.co.uk.
For more information about Wild Fizz Kombucha, including ordering home deliveries, visit www.wildfizzkombucha.com.