Seafood, sangria and a lot of style

I’ve heard of wine and cheese, wine and chocolate, wine and fragrance even (yes, I know!). But when I received an incite to the Seafood & Sangria pairing dinner at Shanghai Club at ITC Grand Central, I was puzzled. I didn’t think seafood, cooked the Chinese way, could be paired with something as diametrically opposite as the Spanish Sangria. My love for seafood aside, it was curiosity that prompted me to attend the event.
We were served four kinds of Sangria during the course of the evening – a classic Spanish, Plum & cherry, Very berry and a Watermelon basil one. I debated between the second and last one but in the end my affinity for watermelon won, and I had more than a second helping of this! To spice things up a bit the guys at ITC Grand Central also came up with some contests on the spot, this had everyone whipping out their phones and frantically Instagramming and Tweeting pictures.
(L-R): Cherry & Plum, Very Berry, Classic Spanish and Watermelon Basil Sangrias

The Cherry & Plum Sangria was fruity, light & refreshing
Coming to the food. We began with a majestically served Singapore chilli crab, which was delicious. In my mind I was comparing it to the one I’ve eaten at Clarke Quay and this came close. Food, like the wine, flowed endlessly throughout the evening.
Singapore chilli crab

We also had some Crispy Fish in Barbecue Sauce which had some beautiful flavours but, for me, the pick of the appetizers was the Prawn, water chestnut & bamboo shoot Suimai. The Mangalorean in me was doing cartwheels at this combination. I would have gladly polished a plateful but I didn’t want any gluttony ruining my appetite for the rest of the meal.

The soup came next – a delicately flavoured Chinese mix seafood chilli butter soup – yes, that’s quite a mouthful but it was oh-so-good and comforting. I’m not the one for soups when I’m having a complete Chinese meal because it fills you up a little too much. However I didn’t have any problems finishing this bowl off!

Main course was a Steam river sole in ginger soya sauce which was delicate but I felt it could do with some more punch. There was also some good ol’ Hakka noodles and Steamed Jasmine Rice with mixed Seafood. What I loved was, surprisingly, the vegetarian main of simple, stir fried greens, lotus stems with lots of garlic.

The rice and noodles

The River Sole with Ginger Soya Sauce and Stir Fried Greens, Lotus Stem with garlic

 Chinese desserts aren’t as popular as the other courses so I was curious to see what the chef had put together for us. We were introduced to a young pastry chef who had created a dessert platter for us, this had Jasmine flavoured Tiramisu, and I’ll be honest here – I detest the aroma of Jasmine – so this is something I didn’t have beyond a nibble. But there were people at the table who were raving about the Tiramisu. There was also a Vanilla and Red Bean ice cream which was super-smooth and silky. My pick was the New World Star Anise Chocolate Torte – dark, deadly and absolutely delicious. I loved how the intense dark chocolate provided a beautiful base for the spicy notes of the star anise.

(L_R): Jasmine flavoured Tiramisu, New World Star Anise Dark Chocolate Torte, Vanilla and Red Bean ice cream

Fresh fruit platter
The evening was a wonderful experience. I discovered a new variety of sangria that I will definitely be trying soon and had some stellar seafood, for me, that ticks all the boxes!

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