I have been to The Orange on one other occasion last year, after a long 'Boris Bike' ride. This was the perfect place to sum up a quintessential London day. Moments from Sloan Square in serene surroundings The Orange, with its white-wash wood panel interior and delicious beers also serves very creative and enticing dishes. So when I was invited to attend their first ever Food and Beer pairing event, I was more than excited.
In the weeks leading up to the night, I read an interesting article in Scout magazine called "London's Brewing" talking about how beer is undergoing a major overhaul at the hands of London's top chefs and restaurants. This however, is more of a revival of the old ways when back in the day beer was a natural accompaniment to some dishes dating back as far as the16th Century. The article reinforced that The Orange's new food and beer event was very much on trend.
On arrival we were warmly greeted and given a glass of Meantime Pale Ale to start the night. Meantime brewery is still quite new in the scheme of things, having only been founded in the year 2000. However, it is already the second largest brewer in London after Fuller's, and we were going to taste five of their beers, one for each course served; Meantime London Lager, Meantime Wheat Beer, Meantime Stout, Meantime London Pale Ale, Meantime Chocolate Porter.
Each course was preceded by a brief discussion and description from the Executive chef from The Orange, the Head Brewer and the Sommelier from Meantime. The food was carefully described and the beer pairing elements explained. And what a feast it was!
|English asparagus & Lancashire Bomb tart, asparagus salad|
|Steamed Anglesey mussels, smoked bacon, endive & beer sauce|
|Braised beef cheek & bacon pie, shallots, wild mushrooms & bone marrow jus|
|Admiral Collingwood washed rind cheese, water crackers|
Cheese was the next course paired with Meantime London Pale Ale. This semi-soft cheese has a lovely rich, buttery taste, but for me became slightly too strong after an already rich meal.
|Valrhona fair trade dark chocolate & Meantime Chocolate Porter mousse, coffee shortbread|
The service was attentive and outstanding. The Hosts, the Executive Chef and the representatives from Meantime were all very knowledgeable and approachable. Not only did they present each dish with deep background, they were also able to answer questions while walking around the tables during dinner. Needless to say they were very interesting.
The Orange is very keen to keep this event going throughout the year, and even though I was a guest on this night, I would have been more than happy to pay the £50. For the quantity of beer and the quality of food it would be hard to find such value elsewhere, especially around this neighbourhood.
Do get in touch with Marine Coltier (Event Manager) at the Orange for further event and date details.