No Idea – September 3rd 2019


This month saw the return of the Club to a favourite venue, No Idea in Soi 22. As ever, we received a warm welcome from Dave Hallam, his wife and Chef, K. Duandern and the several long-serving members of the gastropub team. Proceedings commenced with Neudorf Sauvignon Blanc 2017 (Nelson, NZ) which I and many others enjoyed along with a generous serving of Antipasti, cold meats from the Mediterranean. Wine spokesman, Tom Whitcraft and possibly not white wines’ biggest fan, was rather complimentary about the first of three New Zealand wines, finding it “not too blancy”.




Our first dish, Mushroom Risotto with fresh Australian winter black truffles, made for an excellent start. As confirmed by food spokesman Alex Fisken, the truffles were not over-powering, the rice cooked perfectly, and the dish a resounding success; the unexpected pairing with Tongue in Groove Pinot Noir 2015 (Waipara ,NZ) gave us plenty of scope for comments, mostly positive - “Ripe and attractive black-cherry and plum aromas with a neat thread of spicy and earthy, savoury notes” with Tom admitting that Kiwis can make a good Pinot Noir.

There followed New Zealand Ora King Salmon, radish,asparagus tips, and dill butter. Again K. Duandern performed a culinary miracle; the salmon was moist, of course cooked perfectly, and even the garnish attracted deserved praise from Alex. This was my and many others favourite dish of the day.

River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2014 (Auckland, NZ)


Thomas Boedinger had selected Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2014 (Auckland, NZ) to go with this and both Parker and Suckling had bestowed compliments on “without a doubt NZ’s finest chardonnay producer”. I really enjoyed this wine with just a hint of oak, correctly described as “succulent and curvaceous; it really offers fleshy impact on first sip and then whips into a taut, long finish”.

The main dish was Beef spare ribs, with duck fat mash, and root vegetables. Although we were offered steak knives for the butchery, this was superfluous because the meat did literally fall off the bone. The mash, garlic and carrots were also cooked perfectly. Dave Hallam himself had paired this course with Glaetzer Anaperenna Shiraz 2009 (Barossa Valley, SA) which had all of us captivated; it is a blend of 76% Shiraz and 24% Cabernet Sauvignon. Unfiltered, the wine is a deep purple-black colour with pronounced aromas of black cherries and blackberries with an undercurrent of coffee, aniseed, chocolate and cloves, with outstanding length and persistence.



To top this wonderful menu Mark Guthrie, fresh from a US vacation, very generously delivered for our considerable pleasure several artisinal Cheeses produced by Jasper Hill Farm, Vermont including their international award winners Bayley-Hazen Blue, soft-ripened Harbison, Alpinestyle Alpha Tolman, washed-rind Willoughby, and a mini-wheel bloomy-rind brie style, along with a newly developed mixed (cow and goat) milk cheese With this we enjoyed The Mother Wine 2013 (Barossa Valley, SA), though it perhaps fell a little short of the dizzy heights reached by the earlier Glaetzer. Our host Dave was also at hand to offer a complimentary port wine for those with residual thirst.




There only remained the opportunity to thank the team at No Idea for their considerable contribution to our lunch in time-honoured fashion and we were delighted to be able to thank not only the team but also Mark for a great afternoon.