Food and wine matching at No.11 Cavendish Square

Food and wine matching at No.11 Cavendish Square

At any formal dinner, the food is only half the story. Getting the right match between the dishes eaten and the wine drunk is the key to hosting a fabulous evening of fine dining. In order to offer a helping hand to anyone planning a special occasion meal, we’ve asked our Head Chef Allan Thistleton to talk us through a few of the pairings he would make from No.11 Cavendish Square’s wine list and its formal dining menu.

Rump of Lamb


Dish: Roast woodpigeon breast - Pickled morel mushrooms, watercress emulsion served on a pearl barley salad

Wine: Rocca Sangiovese, Puglia

Allan says: “This wine has a lovely red-purple hue. It has youthful, soft aromas which are followed by flavours of cherry - they work with woodpigeon perfectly. Its soft tannins, well-balanced acidity on the palate and slight spice notes compliment the pickled morel mushrooms and peppery watercress emulsion without overpowering the pearl barley salad.”

Dish: Ballotine of salmon - Creamed fennel, lemon curd with a samphire, cucumber and chilli salad

Wine: Charquiño Albariñho, Rias Baixas, Spain

Allan says: “Clean, fresh and intensely flavoured, this wine shows pineapple and passion fruit flavours, combined with citrus which allows the wine to cut through creamy elements of this dish. The intensity of the wine also means it stands up to the salt and spice combinations in the salad.”

Dish: Garden peas - Pea mousse, whole meal pea fritters, pea and broad bean salsa

Wine: Friulano, Masut da Rive, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Allan says: “On the nose, subtle and pleasing aromas of stone fruits and acacia blossom give way to a balanced and appetising texture and lingering finish. Subtle enough so as not to overpower the delicate pea flavours (in particular the pea mousse), but punchy enough to withstand the spice and intensity of the broad bean salsa.”

Dish: Rump of lamb - Celeriac fondant, wilted spinach, honey-glazed carrots, date and preserved lemon purée, Moroccan spiced jus

Wine: Côtes du Rhône 'Les Combelles', Rhône Valley, France

Allan says: “Hints of fresh red currants, leather and a subtle earthy note enhance the flavour of the lamb whilst the blackberry and cherry aromas that possess a hint of spice really bring out the depth of flavour in Moroccan spiced jus.”

Dish: Mirin-infused seabass - Grilled bok choy with a mooli, carrot, burnt leek and cashew nut salad, sake and soy dressing

Wine: Bolfan Riesling ‘Primus’, Zagorje, Croatia

Allan says: “Delicately-scented aromas, extremely refreshing and palate-cleansing with medium rich, zesty fresh fruit flavours. This Riesling is a perfect pairing for any Asian-inspired dish; delicate enough to not overpower the beautiful seabass, yet with enough sweetness and zing not to be itself overpowered by the sake and soy dressing.”

Dish: Feta, aubergine and spinach sambusak - Quinoa, roasted Mediterranean vegetables, flatbread and raita

Wine: The Crusher, Pinot Noir 'Wilson Vineyard', Clarksburg, California, USA

Allan says: “A slightly more complex pinot noir, this wine was made for this dish! A touch of smokiness and notes of fennel work perfectly with the delicately-spiced sambusak, yet it is light enough to ensure the feta, aubergine and spinach in the sambusak - as well as the roasted vegetables - are not overpowered. This wine has a beautifully smooth finish and lovely soft tannins.”

Dish: Dark chocolate and peanut butter fondant - Banana ice cream, peanut brittle


Dish: Lemon verbena semi-freddo - Pickled summer fruits, honey granola tuile

Wine: Château Simon, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France

Allan says: “The intense sweetness of this classic Sauternes compliments both of these desserts perfectly. Purity and crispness allow this wine to cut through the dark chocolate in the fondant, whilst its smooth sticky sweetness works beautifully in tandem with the peanut and banana elements of the dish. The classic barley sugar flavours of the Sauternes really highlight the verbena in the semi-freddo whilst providing the perfect balance to the pickled fruit. Chateau Simon's Sauternes also earned a bronze medal at the 2016 International Wine Challenge.”

Getting the food and wine pairing right can be an intimidating task for any organiser hosting a sit down meal, but here at No.11 Cavendish Square, we have in-house experts who really know what they’re talking about. Our Head Chef is always happy to sit down and discuss your menu choices with you and offer you advice on which wine to serve with which course. If you’d like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to give our Venue Team a call on 020 7307 2474.



23 August 2016
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