Sunday, December 07, 2008

The UpperCrust show - of Golden Curry and the Cab reserve from Reveilo Wine

I wandered through the 6th UpperCrust Show with Vikram Doctor on Saturday. The UpperCrust shows organised by Farzana Contrator, editor and driving force behind UpperCrust magazine is one of the most happening food events on Mumbai's culinary calender. It almost like a food bazaar in some ways, only an upmarket one. Unlike the FICI event that took place in November which is all business, for me the Uppercrust show is all about fun with food!

People jostling for space at popular food stalls, snagging a taste of something here, buying something there, getting shoved out of the way by a bag weilding grannies asking "what are you selling? Is there a discount on that?" Someone grilling the gentleman at the BBQ stall, women attentively noting down recipes from chef and experts manning various stalls. I even passed a grandfather lecturing a little girl manning a stall on how she should know what she is selling. I just LOVE being in the middle of all that astronomic energy. (I know, I know, that sounds awfull!). Walking through the stalls, tasting, sampling and absorbing all tthe foodie vibes, surrounded by food lovers.

Its also a great place to catch up with friends from the food world. Having decided to detour for a plate of Berry Pulao at Brittania on the way into town, I had been delayed and missed the 2 o clock presentaion I was aiming for. Right at the entrance I ran into Jharna Thakkar, fellow food writer. We caught up quickly and then the gentleman she was waiting for arrived and I left them to it and moved inside. I decided to go say hi to Vijaya at the Under The Mango Tree stall while I waited for Vikram. We gossiped, I tasted her latest single flora honey, Dessert Bloom, picked up a botle of MY favourite the Mango and then got inveiled into holding the fort for her for a few minutes as her attention was diverted by Prahlad Kakkar. Vikram came in just then and we moved on to explore, stopping along the way to say catch up with friends from the food industry; Yasser of Amore Gelato (I LOVED the honey sesame yoghurt they were introducing at their stall). Pia Das Gupta daughter of legendary Minakshi 'Kewpie' Das Gupta and director of Upohar International who was bumming around like us, Naini Setalvad an inspiration to all fatties like me.

We came out of the show laden with little bags! We'd detoured at Churan and pickle stalls where we stashed up on zingy bits on the side; candied ginger, dried mango, imli sweets and a pepper garlic pickle from the Pickle stall. And some dry fruit chikki from Surbhi sweets. Chikki moulded into thin layers as opposed to the large chunks we usually buy.

But the discoveries that got me totally excited this year were

Japanese Curry cubes I picked up at the Maido India stall and the Cabarnet Suvignon Reserve from Revellio.

Uppercrust is a great forum to watch trends and one big growth in India has been the Japanese food trend. Japanese food has been gaining popularity at restaurants over the last two years but I was happy to see that it is also gaining popularity in the Home kitchen. I almost walked past the Maido India stand without stopping, since Ialready knew about the company (its the only one that imports a host of Japanese ingredients into India) but a mouthwatering aroma stopped me. They had Karei or Japanese curry on offer for sampling. I tried it, loved it and picked up some Golden Curry cubes because I HAD to try making this at home.

And now for the Cabarnet Suvignon Reserve from Revellio - I am jut disovering wine, although I have been told by many in the wine business that i have a palate for wine since I am able to taste many nuances. I am still trying to judge wether they are being kind or there is some truth in the matter altough I suspect that a good palate for food would extend to wine and I am able to taste specific flavours in dishes easliy. Anyways enough about me, lets talk about the Cabarnet Suvignon Reserve from Revellio. Vikram is very knowledgable about everything food related but especially so about Indian wine. He stopped to say hi to Kiran and Saurabh at Reveilo Wine while I hung around. Then we decided to taste the wines. Their Syrah was fruity and sweet young and spirited. It had me thinking of food that was spicy but not chilli spicy, and light, a chat perhaps or even a badam Shorba or reshmi Kebabs or even a malai based curry as Saurabh (the Reveilo Wine advisor) later suggested. Then we tried the Syrah Reserve; quieter, showing the spirit of it's youth with accents of fruit and sweetness but definetely settled, having gained a patina of age from being in Oak and well rounded for it. It had me thinking of Butter Chicken or bombil fry. And then we tried the Reveilo Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. I will be honest. All I remember is the explosion of spicyness in the back of my throat as I swallowed. And the thought, if ever there was a wine made for Indian food, this had to be it. I got my hands on the last bottle (which Kiran very kindly gifted me) but then went down to the Nature's Basket at WTC and picked up the last three that they had there as well. Overenthusiastic, perhaps foolish even, but I kept thinking that one bottle would not be enough! I am ambitious for it in that I think it really will be a good pairing for Indian food. I want to create a special dish for it, that is going to take some trial and error And TASTING (heh heh)!

1 comment:

Tina said...

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