Match of the week | Cauliflower popcorn and a Seedlip and pineapple cocktail

Match of the week

Cauliflower popcorn and a Seedlip and pineapple cocktail

Most pairings focus on alcoholic drinks but it’s equally intriguing to see how a similar synergy can be achieved with an alcohol-free one.

Last week I tried out the new vegan menu at the Ravinder Bhogal residency at The Perception bar at the W hotel and wasn’t really in the mood for wine so we chose the ‘soft’ option on the cocktail menu, a cocktail called Naked which was based on the non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ Seedlip Spice 94. It wasn’t actually vegan as it contained egg white but wasn’t billed as such either (there were vegan wine options). Other ingredients were lemon juice, pineapple juice, peach purée, ginger & lemongrass and a walnut garnish.

Being refreshingly fruity and not too sweet it actually paired well with almost all the dishes we tried but particularly with what has already become the most talked about dish on the menu - the cauliflower ‘popcorn’ with Thai basil tempura and a black vinegar and chilli dip. Appropriately enough as it's the perfect bar snack.

I also particularly liked it with the summer rolls, the beetroot and walnut kibbeh and the tempura inari. (Ravinder, who owns the restaurant Jikoni, is playing with a wide palette of Asian flavours not just Indian ingredients in this pop-up).

You can eat her vegan menu at The Perception which is just off Leicester Square until the end of June. I ate there as a guest of the W hotel.

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