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Marinated beetroot with goats curd, Cabernet Sauvignon vinaigrette, toasted pine nuts

Gordon Ramsay’s Maze

One of my favourite aspects of trying out a restaurant’s degustation is the social experience that comes with the evening.  By my reckoning, if you’re trying out a multi-course tasting menu, you’re usually eating and drinking with your friends for about four or five hours.  Over the course of that time, everyone is going through a world class culinary journey and is getting pretty progressively more tipsy on the matching wines which is a great conversational lubricant.

Of course, the conversation will often revolve around your opinion of a particular dish thats been served or the quality of the wine that goes with it but as the night wears on, you’re just as likely to talk about life experiences, politics, jokes, current events, past culinary experiences and every other topic under the sun.  There’s probably no better way to get to know someone than during a degustation because you’re sharing a night out with people who are in their happy place.  Good food makes for great moods which makes for memorable conversation.

I also take great pleasure in sharing the experience with someone who’s having their first degustation.  In the group of five that attended Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, we had two newbies in Tim and Jade.  I’ve only known Tim for a short time through my work and that weekend was the first time I met Jade.  There’s always a slight moment of anxiety at the start of the evening because you’re never quite sure how people are going to respond.  Would they be picky with the food?  Would they be put off by the unusual and esoteric dishes?

Happily, Tim and Jade absolutely clicked with the concept of degustations straight away.  By the end of the first course, they were both remarking on the meal’s presentation, its tastes and how the wine complimented the meal.  Seeing them enjoy their degustation made my own night even better.

So here it is.  The Maze seven course tasting menu.

Marinated beetroot with goats curd, Cabernet Sauvignon vinaigrette, toasted pine nuts

Seared yellow fin tuna white radish, yuzu, enoki mushrooms, black garlic

Seared bay scallops braised veal tail, parsnip, coral crisp

Crispy roast pork belly calvalo nero, soybeans, dashi

Gisborne duck breast sweet corn, cracked wheat, fig jam

Exotic fruit vacherin passion fruit and banana sorbet

Coffee ganache salted caramel, hazelnut ice cream

Best pals! – Tim and Dom.

Jade and me

Thanks to Scotty who introduced me to my first glass of armagnac.

About Edo

Edo currently lives in Australia where he spends his time playing video games and enjoying his wife's cooking.


  1. Edo. Armagnac is one of life’s great pleasures. If you
    like that, you need to try Calvados.

  2. I’ll give it a try sometime. Is it best drunk as an digestif?

  3. Aperitif or digestif, I think. Frankly, I believe it’s good enough for breakfast. It’s a brandy made from apples.

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