Tempting Palates was invited to the Hoosegow Charcoal Restaurant - Running With Bulls VIP 5 Course Food and Wine Degustation where all food and drink was provided free of charge. We have already had the privilege of dining at our own expense on a previous occasion and already had high praise for Hoosegow. Read about our previous blog post here: http://bit.ly/1uqsxB3.
On arrival we were warmly greeted by owners Ara and Shadia. They instantly make you feel welcome and part of the family. Their passion for food led them to open Hoosegow where Ara's signature dish of charcoal Chilli Chicken along with Shadia's Jalepeno Aioli is a must have dish from the menu! Finding a chef who specialises in cooking on charcoal was a hard find but fate brought them to meet Somerled 'Sam' McKay who has Honduran origins and the rest is history. With Sam's Latin American influences, throw in some Middle Eastern and Asian ones too, you have yourself an exciting and enticing fusion of flavoursome food.
The Hoosegow name is the brain child of Shadia who also had a hand in the interior decorating of the restaurant. With its rich red colours and wooden tables you are entranced in the passions of Hoosegow which is Latin for prisoner. The ambience of Hoosegow captures you where you succumb on a journey to be a prisoner of its delicious food!
For this occasion we had a 5 course degustation with matching wines from Yalumba including the new release of the 2015 vintage of Running With Bulls Garnacha.
The first course consisted of Grilled Haloumi, Eggplant, Fava Bean and Chilli Salad with the 2013 La Maschera Vermentino wine. The wine was very light and refreshing with a hint of fruitiness. The textures and flavours of the salad was a perfect match with the Vermentino. The salad's ingredients were evidently fresh and of high quality.The subtle saltiness of the haloumi worked well with the eggplant and fava beans. The highlight was the char-grilled capsicum habanero chilli sauce. This gave the salad a powerful punch and had our palates spinning in a frenzy.
|Grilled Haloumi, Eggplant, Fava Bean and Chilli Bean Salad|
The second course consisted of Charcoal Grilled Scallops, Pork Belly, Chorizo, Chickpeas with the 2015 Running With Bulls Barossa Garnacha. This wine was the feature bottle of the night and we were privileged to have a tasting before its release. It was a soft red with subtle dryness. Again, a perfect match with the dish. The scallops and the pork belly were cooked to perfection and along with the smokey grilled flavour of chorizo this dish was just delicious. All ingredients were cooked with tomato which gave the sauce its rich and full flavour; simply divine.
|2015 Running With Bulls Barossa Garnacha|
|Charcaol Grilled Scallops, Pork Belly, Chorizo and Chickpeas|
The third course was the Spicy Chicken with Fried Cassava, Cuban Mojo matched with the 2014 Running With Bulls Barossa Tempranillo. This was the dish and the wine of the night for us. The wine was a soft to medium Spanish style red that complimented the chicken dish perfectly. The chicken was very juicy and tender and you could taste the beautiful Cuban mojo (onion, garlic and lime) charcoal flavours throughout the meat. You could have mistake the fried cassava as a potato chip but this was better than a potato! It was sweeter and tastier than a chip and it was a perfect fit for the flavoursome spicy chicken. We couldn't stop talking about this dish all night. Amazing to say the least!
|2014 Running With Bulls Tempranillo|
|Spicy Chicken with Fried Cassava and Cuban Mojo|
The fourth dish was the Tournedos Rossini Eye Fillet with Truffle Garlic Crouton, Duck Liver Pate and Madeira Sauce paired with the Yalumba 2012 Signature wine. The wine was a full body Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz blend. A bit on the dry side, this wine was our least favourite after the Running With Bulls varieties which blew us away. The steak was cooked medium to well which made it juicy and tender. The truffle garlic crouton gave this dish a nice crunchy texture whilst the duck liver pate was a bit overpowering - less would have worked perfectly. The madeira sauce was the highlight and the sweetness really enhanced the flavour of the steak.
|2012 The Signaute|
|Tournedos Rossini Eye Fillet with Truffle Garlic Crouton, Duck Liver Pate adn Madeira Sauce|
The fifth course was dessert which consisted of the Chocolate Peanut Fondant with Sweet Sour Cherries and Salted Caramel Brittle served with the Yalumba Museum Muscat. The Muscat was lovely and sweet which worked really well with the fondant. It was nice to bite the crunchy brittle and mix it with the gooey chocolate centre and then finish it off with the flavours of the sweet and sour cherries. The different textures really lifted this dessert and it was a nice way to finish our degustation.
|Yalumba Musuem Muscat|
|Chocolate Peanut Fondant with Sweet Sour Cherries and Salted Caramel Brittle|
On our previous visit to Hoosegow we were more than impressed and this visit just confirmed that we were right - it truly is a hidden gem of the eastern suburbs. All the food on the night was delicious and it was evident that only high quality fresh ingredients were used by the chef. You should not miss this 5 Course Food and Wine Degustation showcasing the wonderful culinary char-grill experience of Sam McKay.
Hoosegow ticks every box and we cannot recommend this restaurant enough - amazing food, perfect service and warm and inviting ambience.
Hoosegow Charcoal Restaurant
419 Magill Road, St Morris
Ph: 08 8332 6599