Beer and clams prove winning partners

Scallops served Vietnamese style at Red Lantern

Sydney’s Red Lantern on Riley restaurant has notched up its 20th dinner matching craft beers with innovative Vietnamese clam dishes.

Red Lantern chef Mark Jensen presented clams including vongole, pippis, scallops and mussels at last week’s milestone Beer & Clam Night, this time paired with beer and cider from Capital Brewing and Batlow Cider.

“Clams are just one of those menu items that if I put them on a la carte, people seldom select it,” he told Brews News.

“But if I put them on in a tasting banquet scenario and force people to eat them because they’re taking the whole banquet journey, then they eat them and enjoy them.

“That’s just got to do with brand recognition. It’s really annoying with seafood that people just go with what they know – things like tuna, salmon and snapper – when there’s a lot of other species that are delicious,” Jensen said.

Beer and clams at Red Lantern

Red Lantern showcases a different brewery at each of its Beer & Clam Nights. Jensen says some of the more unique pairings have included an XO sauce-based clam dish matched with an imperial stout from Murray’s, and oysters (taking a broad definition of ‘clams’) served with a vinaigrette made from Wayward Brewing’s Sourpuss Raspberry Berliner Weisse.

L-R: Tom Hertel of Capital Brewing, Rich Coombes of Batlow Cider and Red Lantern chef Mark Jensen

“With XO sauce, the way that we roast the seafood you get lots of deep caramel flavours, so the malt seems work quite well with that,” the chef said.

“IPAs go really well with tropical salads with lots of fresh herbs and fruit – mango, papaya and things like that. The hops seem to marry really well with those things.”

Red Lantern will stage its 21st Beer & Clam Night on Tuesday October 10, this time featuring the return of Wayward Brewing.

Tickets are $80 per person, with 18 seats available. Further information is available here.

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