Hops and Apples at Bistrode CBD

Last Thursday as a part of March into Merivale The Versatile Gent was invited to an evening at Bistrode CBD with award winning chef Jeremy Strode to taste his meticulously thought through six course menu with accompanying ciders and beers. Let’s just say we enjoyed it very much.

For me, the enjoyment of an evening out is not just reliant on the quality of food but also the atmosphere in which it is served in, which is why “trendy” restaurants that serve simple but great tasting food are often so successful.

Merivale’s Hotel CBD definitely had that certain spark. Despite a relatively standard exterior the interior of the venue oozed elegance and style before we’d even sat down. The victorian building is rather beautiful nestled in a prime location in the heart of the city, on the corner of York Street and King Street. Bistrode is on the first level this establishment and is defined by its classic pillars and wide arched windows, we were told that it used to be a bank. It served as a great location for the feast ahead.

The first course was cured atlantic salmon, witlof, pear & celeriac salad served with a Pipsqeak Pear Cider. It was a perfect light way to start the meal and the sweetness from the pear was really nicely balanced by the saltiness of the salmon. The cider complimented the dish nicely being really refreshing and not too sweet.

Second appetiser was my favourite of the night. Chicken wings & wassabi mayonnaise served with Knappstein Reserve Lager. A simple dish yet executed perfectly and the combination of the lager and wings suited each other nicely.

Next up was black sausage, apples, lentils and cider served with a Bress Hardcourst Valley Apple Cider. The sausage was a beautifully rich tasting sausage yet not overbearing and the apple cider really contrasted the meatiness of the sausage.The three appetisers we’re truly delightful and a great introduction to the main course.

After the appetisers we were served with a White Rabbit Dark Ale before our food came. I don’t often drink dark ale and I was left wandering how the ale would fit in with the course ahead. Beef oyster blade, dark ale and pumpkin mash. The waiter explained to me that that the sauce involved the dark ale as an ingredient. It was honestly one of the most moist and beautifully cooked pieces of meat I have ever eaten. The meal and the beer referenced each other perfectly and I realised that I quite enjoyed dark ale if it’s being served with such a lovely piece of meat.

The portions of each starter and the main were very generous and at this point in the evening I was starting ti fill up. Next came a cheese plate with pyengana cheddar cheese, apple and pecan chutney with a Squire Orchard Apple Cider. Although I enjoyed the cheese very much I had to leave all but a taste of it on the plate if I was going to have any hope of having dessert.

I was so happy with myself for leaving that tiny space in my stomach, as spiced fig tart & honey iced cream served with James Squire Pilsner, was served for dessert. The tart was an amazing blend of sweet chewy figs and beautifully crumbly pastry and the honey ice-cream was delightful and creamy… the perfect accompaniment.

It was a fantastic evening spent eating great food, in a great location and in great company. Thanks to Bistrode CBD for putting on a great night!

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