http://www.pukka.ca/ 416.342.1906 dinner 7 days a week $$$
Pukka: solid, genuine, authentic. These words define the soul of the kitchen, and lucky for me to be invited along with several other bloggers to taste the new spring menu. Next, the difficult task of pairing the complex spices to the bold flavours of Indian cuisine falls into Sommelier Peter Boyd’s more than capable hands. Boyd’s knowledge of wine trickles through some of the city’s best restaurants and this evening his expertise is put to good use matching food with wine.
All dishes are meant to be shared, like at home with your family; it seems to be the new trend in restaurants. Salads are harder to pair the wine explains Boyd, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue here. Spicy mango and tomato Tawa monkfish is effortlessly matched with a richly textured, peppery Rabl Grüner Veltliner Spiegel Kamptal Langenlois Austria; bitter greens, crumbled paneer and spiced pumpkin seeds tossed in orange-chili vinaigrette balance the wines acidity nicely.
Domaine Des Lauribert Côtes du Rhône is exciting at the nose and explodes with savory smoke and complexity. Arriving next aromatic butter chicken, brightly coloured south Indian curry, fried salty okra fries (that would turn the biggest disbeliever into a believer – everyone agreed). Wok-tossed fiddleheads – just in season – exude a sexy crunch, alongside charred chewy garlic naan. Sadly, in the end, the dreamy duck I’ve been staring at all evening turns out to be more chewy than previously perceived.