I am sure when people read this post and look at the title, they will go “what are you talking about”? Nah, I am not talking English :P. In fact, 32 Via dei birrai is a Italian microbrewery beer brand that produces artisan beers. The company is expanding vastly in the western world and in Asian areas. Recently, the brand is seeking expansion in Australia and has arranged three dinning events in SA, NSW and VIC to promote their products. In Adelaide, the event was hosted on May 02, 2013 at Pizza e Mozzarella Bar through the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Adelaide. I was invited as a media guest to attend the event and this blog post will mainly focus on the food for the night, but I’ll have another post up to talk about the quality of the beers and there will be a giveaway competition for my readers to taste these fantastic beers.
Pizza e Mozzarella Bar, located on Pirie street, is one of Adelaide’s iconic place for pizzas. Having an wood oven, the place has managed to produce one of the most reputed pizza and one of the most authentic Italian cuisine here in Adelaide. I tasted their pizzas before at lunch time but never experienced their culinary fantastics of other Italian dishes. The pizzas were generally tasty and amazing because the place certainly know how to balance different flavours.
We were only about 10 minutes prior to the start of the dinner and many people were seated already. The menu for the night was a seven course degustation with beer matching, featuring various Italian culinary experience using fresh local ingredients.
The seven course dinner started with a pizza starter and its matching beer TRE+DUE. As I indicated previously, this post will only talk about the quality of the food. The beers will be featured in the next post coming up. Also, since I love every dish for the night, there will not be a pro and con section for the review, instead I’ll put more background info into the paragraphs.
Pizza Margherita with Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP
I think Australians are now super familiar with the concepts of pizza and it has been one of the national icon for Italy. However, In any stage of our lives, we definitely came across the name Pizza Margherita. However, the pizza I had for the night was different to our regulars as it contained a specialty cheese, Mozzarella di Bufala Campana. This special cheese was exclusively produced using bufalo milk and is one of the most recognised Italian cheese since 1400. The cheese was full of flavour and was condensed with a strong dairy smell. After melting, it was still as a running liquid when serving. The pizza tasted fantastic and was probably one of the top Margherita I’ve ever tasted. The real tomato was slightly sour with strong aromatics and combined well with the cheese to balance out the dairy flavour and to give a smooth texture. The thin crust was so crisp that I can’t stop eating them. The pizza was accompanied with 32 Via dei Birrai TRE+DUE.
The pizza was served as starters and I was already amazed by the quality of the food for the event. I guess the Italian Chamber and the restaurant must be working very hard to deliver such quality food.
Port Lincoln yellow fin tuna crudo, shaved fennel and 32 vinegar
Has anyone ever tasted a vinegar made from beer? At least I never experienced any but this dish really caught my attention. Before serving, a thin layer of 32 vinegar was spreed over the tuna crudo. I really wondered about the taste of the tuna by then. We all know that Port Lincoln yellow fin tuna is one of the delicacies produced in SA and is sold for high prices in international markets. The tuna itself already tastes fabulous, what about the addition of the beer vinegar? It was only until I had my first bite and then I realised how good it was. It’s like no other raw tuna I had before. The tuna steaks were soft and tender with a solid taste. They were slightly fishy on the palate if biting on the own but with the vinegar, the fishy taste has been demolished completely and the steaks were only left with pleasant mouth sensations. Also, the addition of the fennel was especially good as the spices in the plant promoted full flavours of the tuna, extracting all the good essences in mouth. The dish was complemented with 32 Via dei Birrai TRE+DUE as well.
After the first two courses, my allergy towards alcohol was already high, but this did not affect my tasting for the food.
Mozzarella di Bufala campana DOP with 32 beer wood oven bread & ‘nduja
Ever fancy about a bread made with beer? Here you go. The bread in the above photo was made using 32 beers and was cooked in the famous wood oven. It had a thick but crispy crust on the outside while the inside was still soft with plenty of barley and beer flavour. The cheese in this dish was the Mozzarella di Bufala campana DOP that I talked about earlier. The cheese itself did not have much taste on its own but flavours started to come out when it was had with the bread and the ‘ndujia. You may wonder what the ‘nduja is and I can tell you it;s the salami like item in the above mixture. Yes, ‘nduja is a spreadable sausage made with pork using the meat in the head, shoulders and sometimes tripes. It was very spicy and meaty with a strong fragrance of pepper and all these features made it a very versatile ingredient, especially with a ripe cheese and a good bread. The taste sensation of this dish was unique! The accompanying beer for this dish was 32 Via dei Birrai AUDACE.
After the spicy indulgence, it was time for something to cleanse the spices. The following dish did take all the spices away but left me with a good seafood boom in the mouth. I like it!
Squid ink croquettes, prawn salt and milk foam
How do I define this dish? It was a total joy of seafood party. The croquettes was deep fried and the inside was black because of squid inks. I think we all had squid ink pastas at some stage but a squid ink croquette is a little different. The total fragrances from the squid ink has fully infused into the food, making it a pleasant sensation on nose whereas on palate, strong squidy seafood tastes lasted for a long time. However, this sensation was not ended because the Italians were intelligent enough to add prawn salt, which made the whole flavour of seafood diffused into every cell of the mouth. Although I can’t see the point of adding milk foam, it was of great dairy taste without taking a lot of the sea flavour away. The dish was accompanied with 32 Via dei Birrai NEBRA.
After this dish, my wife has already been half full but I was still feeling “bring the dishes on”. Oh well, this is what foodies do, isn’t it?
San Daniele prosciutto, bone marrow, green tomato and shaved egg
San Daniele prosciutto? Yep. It’s a different and much original prosciutto compared to our normal prosciutto. To be a Prosciutto di San Daniele, the pig thigh must be sourced from regions of northern central Italy, be produced using a traditional ancient method and be matured at San Daniele del Friuli. Anyway, the prosciutto used for tonight was so flavourful to start with. The good fragrances from matured raw meat can be smelt when the dish was served. The meat quality was great too and left the mouth with a long term after taste. The flavour was enhanced with the roasted bone marrows. Many people may think that bone marrows are way too oily but I prefer them. The flavour was so decent and awesome! The aromas made me excited while the bone marrow travelled down my throat. However, to balance out the oiliness, tomato and eggs were added to the dish. The complemented beer for this dish was 32 Via dei Birrai OPPALE.
The next course was a lasagna dish of pulled suckling pig. We actually discussed about that they should just have the suckling pig for the dish, but when the dish was served. Everyone was amazed with its flavour.
Pulled Barossa suckling pig, lasagna, creamed peas and cauliflower
The pulled suckling pig smelt sooooooooooo nice. The meat was tender and juicy while the cracked skin was crispy with strong meaty aromas. Wrapped in the finely made lasagna pastry, the pork was especially delicious when served with the creamed peas and cauliflower. It was a strong cream with vegetable flavour but even my wife who has allergy to dairy products could tolerate and enjoy the dish smoothly. Again, the meat was locally sourced here in SA and cooked in an international cuisine. It really fits into my blog’s idea of buying ingredients locally and eating global dishes made from these ingredients. To accompany the dish, 32 Via dei Birrai CURMI was served.
At this stage, I was almost full but still expected the upcoming two dishes and beers
Smoked pepper seared milk fed veal with Russian salad
By the time the dish was served, although I was almost full, I was still very interested to taste test the quality of the meat. To be honest, this dish was probably a one that I least liked for the night. Everything else was great; the meat was tender and juicy and the pepper added extra flavours to the steak. However, since the meat was med-rare, when having it alone, a tiny raw meat flavour was hanging around in my mouth. Maybe I was just me cos I checked with a fellow diner and he felt no raw meat flavour. However, when the steak was consumed with the beer, all these raw meaty flavour was balanced out. The beer matched for this dish was 32 Via dei Birrai ADMIRAL.
After the main dish, dessert is always something to be excited. Although I am not a dessert person, I’d love to try it as well.
32 beer poached pear stuffed with ricotta and Sicilian citrus peal
Mmmmm, the pear was too sweet for me but if you like sweets, then it was perfect. The pear was poached in 32 beers and hence it had a strong barley flavour once entered the mouth. The ricotta was still running when cutting the pear and made the juicy pear even more delicious. The citrus peel added extra bitterness and acidity to the dish and balanced out a little bit of the sweetness. The beer for this dish was 32 Via dei Birrai ATRA.
Generally, I really enjoyed the night and I do encourage my readers to purchase tickets when the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry hosts their next event for the Qualitaly project at Enzo’s next week. Stay tuned as my next post on the beers is coming soon and 3 of my readers will have the chance to win one of the 4 bottle packs of the beer.
Value: N/A as the dinner was invited
33b Pirie Street
Adelaide, SA 5000
P 08 8164 1003