A few weeks ago I got an email from the Malt Shovel Brewery about a
beer and food tasting at their brew pub on King Street Wharf. Best
thing, of course, was the price: free. I signed myself and Holly up
The evening started off with a Golden Ale, always a lovely drop,
and a bit of a talk from Chuck Hahn. Golden was paired with some
pretty good jumbo deep-fried prawns. A good combo, the fruity hops
going well with the seafood. Next up was Amber Ale paired with lamb
cutlets. I'm not so sure about this combo really being a match, but I
like both amber ale and lamb.
The next combo was a revelation. I think the James Squire porter
is one of the best beers made in Australia. It's pretty much
flawless, getting the critical balance between sweet and sour just
right for the porter style. The combination was a cheesecake. I'm
not normally that keen on cheesecakes, but a bite followed by a slurp
of porter was an amazing taste sensation. The sourness of the porter
cuts through the (normally cloying) richness of the cheesecake. A
brilliant combination, which I'll be serving at my next dinner party I
Finally came the latest seasonal brew, a Pepperberry Winter Ale.
Bush foods are something brewers in Australia are trying to
incorporate, with varying degrees of success. The Barons Lemon
Myrtle Witbier is vile, tasting more like Toilet Duck or Strongbow
Lemon than a wheat beer.
The pepperberry is more succesful, keeping the exotic seasoning as
a subtle texture to the flavour instead of overpowering the beer.
It's a fairly standard winter ale, dark, fairly sweet, heavy (5.2% I
think) and the pepperberry gives a warm spiciness to it. The aroma is
something slightly aniseed, with a similar slight flavour running
through the taste. It's got a very long, lingering flavour that
changes as you savour it. Well worth checking out, but it's a limited
seasonal brew so get in quick.
I asked one of the brewers when they'd be making another wheat
beer. Previously they've done what they called a Colonial Wheat Beer,
which wasn't as tasty as I'd hoped but pretty good. I'm more into the
spiced wheat beers, Hoegaarden being the most well-known of the
variety. The only Australian brewer getting it right is the Snowy
Mountains Brewery's Charlottes Hefeweizen. Malt Shovel's Summer
brew is apparently going to be a lager, like Australia needs more of
those, but hopefully they'll have another crack at wheat.
The beer event was actually pretty quick, moving through the beer
and food at a rapid pace. Holly and I decided to wander into town and
find some dinner, and we've been looking for a change to try the Korean
Fried Chicken I saw reviewed recently.
Sadly Dashi Korean seems to have closed. We wandered all the way
up and down the short laneway without finding it, though there's a
not-yet-opened restaurant with workers in it, and I suspect that might
be where Dashi was.
We ended up wandering around the corner onto Liverpool Street where
we'd seen KoreanFC advertised to check it out. The place is a real
rabbit warren, the downstairs area packed with (mostly) Koreans, so we
were shown upstairs to a kind of covered-in verandah. The decor is,
well, dodgy. I suspect the council would not approve.
Anyway we ordered some of the sauced fried chicken, hoping it would
be as good as the stuff we've had in London. Unfortunately not in
The batter was overly thick, the chicken a bit dried out and the
sauce was synthetic-tasting, without the chunky bits of onion and
capsicum. Altogether not very nice, and quite disappointing. Korean
food always comes with little side dishes of pickles and the like, and
these ones were pretty ordinary too. A simply vinegared radish was
somewhat refreshing after the greasy food, but the kimchi was very
ordinary and the cold clear noodles bland.
We'll just have to keep looking for the perfect KoreanFC here in