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Mana’s new dish

To celebrate the launch of our Reserve Blends, Michelin Star Chef Simon Martin from Mana Restaurant has designed a brand new dish for his menu to pair with our RB28 Blanc de Noirs. Discover the great lengths he goes to in sourcing the most interesting ingredients in his behind-the-scenes story below.

In 2019, Simon earned Manchester’s first Michelin star in over 40 years, made even more impressive as it was after only one year of opening. If you’re lucky enough to visit Mana, you’ll find our RB23 Rosé and RB28 Blanc de Noirs poured by the glass alongside a menu of evolving and immersive dishes. Find out more about the restaurant here.

Very Fresh Cheese, Young beach Rose and Caviar

Paired with Exton Park RB28 Blanc de Noirs, Hampshire

This is a serving which has evolved from Chawanmushi, a savoury steamed custard that’s made with some form of dashi as opposed to dairy. I originally had Chawanmushi featured on the menu for quite some time after being inspired on one of my research trips to Tokyo. In recent times I’ve come to realise that it isn’t the ingredients I love so much about Japanese food, it’s the ideology. Intrinsic, simple, yet masterful. For this reason, the Chawanmushi has now evolved into something quite unique, yet with remarkably similar textures and a more interesting and lighter flavour profile that resonates with British terroir.

We take unhomogenised milk from Jersey when the cows are out on the grass, then elevate that profile further by adding a distillation of grass infused ethanol. The milk is set in the serving bowl with assisted rennet by steaming to 35c. This is the first step in many cheesemaking processes, hence the name of the dish. The delicate curds are served immediately, still slightly warm, with a heavy dose of body-temperature Caviar, which we receive without the common preservative named Borax – banned in many countries. The borax dulls the flavour of Caviar, but as with everything we receive on the doorstep at mana, we want it at its best and we go to great lengths to ensure this happens.

Accompanying this is a clear broth of Lacto-fermented Aspergillus Oryzae, tasting of ripe pears and passion fruit, yet it only contains water, salt, barley, and the mold itself. The cold broth is split with an oil made from young beach roses picked on a sunny day, poured at the table to retain a juxtapose of temperatures.

This is currently the second serving on the menu at mana, we struggle to use caviar effectively later as servings become denser, umami, and more complex in the 18 serving menu. It serves the menu well early on whilst we’re expressing the message; “this is where you are, this is what nature has for us”. Lukewarm, grassy, barely floral, delicate, and luxurious. Spring.

We pair this serving with a Blanc de Noirs, produced by Exton Park Vineyard, Hampshire, UK. We aim at Mana to showcase the best of the British Isles and having therefore selected this wine pairing. The fine delicate bubbles set the tone for this elegant serving. The high acidity of this wine is needed to cut through the curds and the richness of the caviar, whilst the accompanying broth balances beautifully with the flavours of apple blossom, lime, raspberry, redcurrant and citrus fruits found in this wine, along with hints of baked pear and sweet brioche to add complexity.

Interested in our RB28 Blanc de Noirs? Shop the wine here.

“The first time I tasted Exton Park I was astonished. The wine has a purity, clarity, but also an intensity of flavour and uniqueness of scent I'd never come across before.”

Oz Clarke - English Wine

“Peaches and strawberries in effervescent perfection. Hampshire’s greatest hit.”

Olly Smith - ITV Wine Critic, RB23 Rosé 2021

“Wines that are kaleidoscopically complex and exciting.”

Jancis Robinson, 2021
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