Matching wine and food, has been part of the restaurant scene for as long as anyone can remember. Lately, a number of bars and restaurants have offered cocktail degustations where food is matched to cocktails, but as far as I know, Project Botanicals Pop-Up Gin Bar at 64 Sutton Street, North Melbourne is the first where food has been specifically matched to gin.
Project Botanicals is a collaboration between renowned chef and Masterchef judge Gary Mehigan and Bombay Sapphire Gin. Sean Forsyth, Bombay Sapphire’s Brand Ambassador for Australia has selected 10 gin cocktails with Gary creating matching tapas style dishes, each will pay tribute to one of the botanicals in Bombay Sapphire. In their words, they are pioneering the art of “Ginstronomy”
I was pleasantly surprised at how well the cocktails matched the food: Oysters, Blue Swimmer Crab Toasts, Tartine of Field Mushroom and Crunchy Chicken Slider were just some of the plates we sampled. Some of the sweeter cocktails weren’t to my taste, but this didn’t detract from the concept at all.
Gary’s excitement for the project was clearly visible as he shared how the warehouse space will be transformed ~ “bursting with colour and texture and brought to life with guest DJs, live botanicals walls and installations and special effect lighting”.
The Project Botanicals Pop-Up Gin Bar will open for 3 weeks between 19th November through until the 6th December (sittings from 6pm-1am Wednesday-Saturday evenings). Tickets must be purchased in advance and at $35 (plus booking fee) per person for 2 cocktails and 2 matched dishes, represent great value.