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Logan Brown has been an iconic dining destination in Wellington for twenty years. Housed in a beautiful historic building in edgy Cuba Street, the ornate interior is stunning and sophisticated. This was the setting for the second of our Ambassador Series dinners hosted by three-time Ambassador Chef, Shaun Clouston.
First up we were treated to some cold canapés and a glass of Nautilus Methode Traditonelle NV to whet our appetite. The canapes were smoked eggplant, crisp polenta with sesame and coriander; beef bavette tartare with rosemary wafer and horseradish; Ora King gravlax, beets, eel and caviar. The stand out here for me was the eggplant with an amazing smokiness which lingered on the palate and the soft beef bavette tartare with just a hint of rosemary.
Following on from this the first course was visually stunning featuring Rangitikei lamb fillet tataki, crisp nori sweet bread, truffle miso and watercress. Beautifully arranged on the plate the delicately thin slices of lamb were tender and flavoursome with a lovely crisp and savoury sweetbread taking centre stage. Small squares of soy jelly and creamy dots of truffle miso added flavour and texture to the dish with a hint of ginger on the side.
Course two was a Silere Merino noisette with beetroot skordalia, spiced lamb neck and fetta crème. This was a stunning dish of earthy flavours featuring two superb cuts of lamb. The noisette was meltingly tender with a small layer of skin rendered down to provide a crispy texture and an extra depth of flavour. The neck sitting atop the creamy fetta was rich and intense in flavour with the broad beans adding a light freshness and a pop of colour to the dish.
Course three was a hands on course of hop and hoisin braised beef short rib, fragrant salad, Gochujang peanuts, bacon fat and green onion pancakes. There was no right or wrong way to eat this dish, the waitress informed us, as she presented an aromatic plate of glistening ribs dressed with the fragrant salad and a separate plate of pancakes. So I duly forked, rolled and wrapped myself the most delicious braised beef pancake, drizzled with extra hop and hoisin sauce. The spinach, coriander, mint, fried shallots and chilli were fresh and fragrant cutting through the richness of the ribs and the crunch of the peanuts added that extra layer of texture. This was a superb dish, fun to eat and equally as delicious!
Luckily I had just enough room left to enjoy a traditional old school dessert of steamed honey and suet pudding with currant rocky road, buttermilk sorbet and clotted cream. The suet pudding was moist and soft with the delicious sorbet and clotted cream adding a lovely smooth texture. The currant rocky road was delicious and delicately thin and provided that lovely dash of chocolate to the dessert. I rounded off the evening with a glass of Lustau East India Solera sherry which topped off an amazing night of beef and lamb cuisine.
If you are in the Wellington area, be sure to check out Logan Brown, you won't be disappointed!
Enjoying after dinner drinks
Rangitikei lamb fillet tataki
Silere Merino noisette