A former garage north of the Westway might not be the most obvious location for a spectacular tasting menu matched to wines from Champagne’s oldest house. But that’s precisely what’s on offer at 108 Garage in Notting Hill thanks a very special collaboration between chef Chris Denney and Champagne Ruinart.
The eight-course menu is inspired by the Chinese artist Liu Bolin, famous for his ‘art of camouflage’, which is being featured at this year’s Frieze London art fair. Denney met Bolin at Maison Ruinart in Reims (Ruinart is the official Champagne of Frieze) and, as a fine art graduate himself, it didn’t take long for him to see the parallels between Bolin’s art and his own avant-garde cooking. The resulting menu is a truly revelatory experience.
While we don’t want to give away all the surprises, here are a few highlights: jelly fish with unripened green mango was a surprisingly magical pairing with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, showing off the wine’s minerality and delicate, supple purity, while the same wine displayed its nuttiness and stone fruit flavours when matched with an umami-rich veal sweetbread dish. John Dory with plump cockles and taramasalata brought out the red fruits and delicious yeastiness in the wonderful Ruinart Rosé.
This was a fun, playful and truly gastronomic evening, and an essential autumn event for all lovers of food, wine and art.