Whisky Magazine Issue 52
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Whisky and food is a new concept in Australia,but trendy Sydney restaurant China Doll was prepared to give it a go. Naren Young went along
Australia is not renowned as a land of whisky lovers. Well not Scotch whisky anyway. The spirit certainly doesn't have the cachet it boasts in many other parts of the world.
Part of this problem stems from our climate, which, by and large, is consistently warm throughout the year.
Add to that a lack of education and awareness and you can begin to understand the problem faced by those connoisseurs trying to get a decent dram.
And when dinner time rolls around, it's all about the amber nectar and the fruits of the vine. To even suggest that someone enjoy a whisky – a single malt at that – with their evening meal, well, they'd think you had peat in your head. And I'm not talking just having whisky as an aperitif or digestif either, but literally with their meal.
Try telling that to the good folks at Glenfiddich. I remember attending my first whisky dinner just over five years ago at Christine Manfield's Sydney restaurant, Paramount. Eventually she moved on to the now defunct London restaurant east@west and received critical acclaim.
There she also conducted several whisky dinners matching her polished Asian fare with the Glenfiddich range.
While the night at Paramount seemed like a successful exercise on the surface, perhaps Sydneysiders weren't ready for such ambitious displays of culinary wizardry – alongside a tipple more appropriately served by the fire with a fat stogie – judging by the fact that there haven't been any follow-up dinners until recently.