Thursday, 19 January 2012

Salad Days in Irish Chipping Sodbury

I'm really impressed by Israeli wines. They don't go in for bulk production, being mainly made by small, boutique vineyards. Being limited in production they aren't cheap, but of exceedingly good quality.

I can particularly recommend last night's libation - Binyamina Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, which accompanied my lamb kebabs and roasted vegetables. 

Having starved since the previous night, I ordered what was shown on the menu as lamb kebabs with salad, thinking it would be just a small dish. Wasn't expecting the feast that came. Only managed about half of it before feeling fully sated.

A hideously healthy concoction of seared egg plant with tahini, a very nice avocado and garlic dip, a platter of roasted peppers, sweet potato and fennel, marinated sweet peppers, marinated tomatoes, deep-fried potatoes and bread to die for. Total bill, 139 Shekels, or £23.68, including the half bottle of wine.

Eat an Israeli salad and you'll never touch a Greek salad again; a plethora of different compositions, each having multiple, complex layers of flavours and comprising a cornucopia of vegetables. Greek salads are quite pedestrian and bland by comparison. 

Israeli food has so many influences; Mediterranean, Arab, Ethiopian, eastern European, Berber and western European - as many as the peoples that came together to forge Israel.

Talking of food, Hay and I are attending an Irish-themed (don't ask) Chipping Sodbury Yacht Club Burns Night dinner on Saturday evening. Dress is meant to be a melange of Scots and Irish, but I don't have anything suitable. Thinking of going in a DJ and tarting up my travel bum-bag as a make-shift sporran. It promises to be a raucous night, and if you know Chipping Sodbury Yacht Club, you'll know why - a condition of membership is that you cannot own a boat or have pretensions to becoming a member of a real yacht club. The annual regatta held on the river Frome (a stream at best and a puddle in droughts) is a sight to behold.


  1. Never tried Israeli wine you don't see them on sale here? How did it rate alongside the Lidl Cab-Shiraz? ;)

  2. JCN: I should say so...

    Steve: The Israeli wines have depth, heat and spice. Could almost be mistaken for southern hemisphere.

  3. Echoes of the Henley-on-Todd Regatta at Alice Springs. Not bottoms to the yachts, lift and run.