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To Gin or Not to Gin… Silly Question.

Centara Grand Mirage Beach Hotel & Resort Pattaya recently held their first Gin Dinner and to my knowledge, Pattaya’s first Gin Dinner and luckily enough REm were on hand to savour every sip.

The dinner was a collaboration between Coast Beach Club & Bistro and ROKU Gin which is a premium Japanese craft gin created by the House of Suntory Osaka.

Denis Thouvard (left), General Manager of Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya. David W. Nowak (right), Corporate Food & Beverage Manager and General Manager Coast Restaurants.

Now given Gin’s recent rise to popularity the chances are pretty high as you read this you’re already either sitting in a bar with a gin in hand or scouring the shelves of Foodland or Top’s in search of the latest exotic tonic.

Such has been the popularity of “Mother’s Ruin”, 73m bottles of the drink in the UK were sold, alone last year and being a proud Englishman I thought it only my duty to step up and indulge.

Most mixologists will tell you gin is one of the most versatile cocktail spirits however maybe not often paired with food, so the whole concept was exciting from the off.

THE FOOD & GIN

The first course was Crispy Oyster Fritters, Shoe String Fries with Lime Grapefruit Mignonette and to accompany Chef David Nowak along with ROKU Gin went straight with the big guns, Roku Blossom. Roku Blossom comprises of Roku gin, grapefruit juice, and Campari.

Now bearing in mind this was the first of the evening and there were another four gin delights in the wings I thought I would sip it and take it easy so to speak, well that’s what I intended but it was so good, so refreshing, so making you want more, I simply couldn’t resist and rather sprite fully downed the lot.

However, not to worry Chef David had already prepared more, see, he knew how good it tastes.

The second food dish was Fried Scallops, Chicory Cucumber Tartar and Caper Dill Spray simply delicious, fresh and light; this was paired with Roku Perfumed Lady consisting of Roku gin, mint and passion foam.

The name given to this elegant tipple is simply because of the fragrance and not only did it smell great it tasted even better

Next up was the 6-Hour Slow Cooked Meatballs in a Zesty Tomato Sauce with a Brie Cheese Melt.

This classic, timeless and comforting dish didn’t disappoint and was a pleasure to eat.

Now paired with this Chef David had prepared a Roku Frozen Margarita (Roku gin, tomato, yes tomato and extra virgin olive oil) no typo there!

The Roku Frozen Margarita for me was defiantly a grower. The first sip I wasn’t sure, in fact, I was a little confused as to what I thought however being brave I went from just getting my lips wet to taking a large slurp of the cocktail, then there was no holding me back.

The frozen margarita I guess won’t be for everyone’s palate but I guess that’s what these dinners are for, they give you the chance to try and experience different dishes and drinks you may never have tried previously or ever dared to order.

Once everyone was over the shock of gin with olive oil, we moved on to an Indian Inspired Grilled Lamb Lollipop with Oven Roasted Vegetables and Mint Garlic Jus.

This heaven-sent lamb lollipop was paired with Roku Sakura Zakuro (Roku gin, cranberry, cassis and pomegranate juice). Fruity and tart as well as being tasteful is how I could best describe the Roku Sakura Zakuro and a well thought out transition from the frozen margarita

In between dishes we were also treated to fabulous Japanese themed entertainment with Geisha esque dancing and music.

The final dish of the evening was yet again a creative and whimsically concoction thought up by the innovative Chef David Nowak – Cherry Blossom Granita with Orange and Sundried Cranberries and a Roku Splash.

A layered sugary, sweet, sour, sharp and scrumptious dessert paired with the night’s final drink Nin Ja Ji which was Roku gin, tonic, and framboise, the perfect sweet finish to a wonderful, creative gin dinner.

 

By Paul Johnson

 

ROKU GIN: www.facebook.com/SuntoryROKUGIN/

Coast Beach Club & Bistro
Centara Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya
277 Moo 5, Naklua, Banglamung, Pattaya 20150, Thailand

Tel: +66 (0) 3830 1234
Fax: +66 (0) 3871 4999
Email: [email protected]

www.centarahotelsresorts.com