Game. Of. Thrones. If you’re not a fan, where have you been?
You could almost taste the anticipation at showcase’s Game of Thrones season 2 launch last month at Gastro Park, and I was just as excited about seeing the first episode as I was about the feast we were about to enjoy, inspired by the cult TV series.
Based on the books by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones, is a mediaeval fantasy saga about kings and queens, knights and renegades that’s packed full of violence, intrigue, incest, murder and plenty of nudity (are you sold?). It’s highly addictive and we’ve all been held in suspense to see the first episode of the new season, hot off the press after its US premiere. Our menu tells us they’ll be a screening between main and dessert.
First course is ‘Bleeding Stag’; Seared venison, soy, ginger & bonito dressing with a salad of quail egg, cherry tomato and garden radish.
I’m not sure how I feel about eating meat that’s dripping in blood and speared into a stump of wood – but I suppose that’s the whole point?! The eyeballs I’d read about have been replaced with quail eggs (a little easier to stomach).
Before I go on, I must give thanks to my on-the-spot set designers, Mr Coca Cola and Bodhimum. They’ve done a brilliant job with the white napkin background throughout this meal.
Next, ‘Broth of Ravens claw and rusty armour’; Mushroom consommé, Piquillo pepper claw, potato and garlic biscuit.
Apparently it’s illegal to kill Raven’s, so the broth is mushroom today. It comes out looking great – I love the ravens claw which is an ash charred capsicum. The broth is nicely flavoured and I believe the yolks are little liquid pumpkin gnocchi but my ‘egg shell’ tastes a bit like what I imagine cardboard to.
Now I’m really looking forward to the next course, one of my favourite animals, ‘Chunck of wild pig served on godswood log, forest fruits’; Slow roasted suckling pig, roasted stone fruits.
We’re really getting in to the medieval spirit of things, each taking a stab at it with the knife and pulling at our leg of pork to ensure we’ve devoured every inch of crispy crackling. Sadly, our leg wasn’t cooked enough and is still bleeding on its silver platter – no, Trichinosis, was not on the menu today. The party next to look to have a different cut of meat, that’s well cooked – but they’re not willing to share.
The highlight of the meal is dessert that’s delivered to us in stages, ‘Textural dessert of the land with a dragon egg, hot liquid gold’; Passion fruit dragons egg, vanilla & buttermilk rock, dark chocolate mud, white chocolate & truffle clay, gingerbread and dark rum earth, chestnut soil, tropical nitro popcorn and hot passionfruit sauce.
This all sounds great, and looks impressive as it’s being slapped, shovelled and dolloped on to two giant slate tiles in the centre of our table by various wait staff with steaming buckets. My sweet tooth is excited but my mildly lactose-intolerant stomach is forming the brace position.
Mr Coca Cola chips away at the vanilla and buttermilk nitro rock that looks like a giant lump of snow – it’s been made by aerating buttermilk panna cotta, then freezing it in nitrogen. Bodhimum heads straight for the dragon’s egg to crack it open. I try to taste a bit of everything, but it all gets confused amongst the flurry of spoons. Standouts are the snow, earth, popcorn and of course the mud (that’s almost everything I think?). It’s sickly sweet but a fun performance nonetheless.
Gastro Park Chef, Grant King, did admit to us the possibility of a new Game of Thrones menu inspired by the second season… so watch this space and catch Game of Thrones, Tuesdays at 8.30pm on showcase.