Our unforgettable epicurean quest for the world’s finest in vegetarian cuisine took us across continents and to some of the finest wining and dining landmarks. The innovations in diverse spreads we savoured took our vegetarian culinary experiences to an altogether new level of excellence. We have matched and recommended world class premium wine labels with each bespoke dish that work wonders on the palate and make for enchanting gourmet memories.
The Alpine timber panelled award-winning boutique restaurant Kaminstube at the iconic Hotel Zur Tenne in Tyrolean wonderland Kitzbuehel in Austria is a haven for the choicest cuisine that world celebrities line up for. Their local speciality with a Tyrolean twang is a must have, ‘spinach and cheese rolled nudeln with potato and leek ravioli in butter cheese sauce’.
The roasted and rolled band noodles taste fantastic in this liberal presentation matched superbly with two recommended contrasting wine labels of repute – Renieri Rosso di Montalcinodoc from Tuscany, Italy offering oaky and blackcurrant flavours and Framingham Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand with its striking leather, tobacco, clove and peppery palate.
Michelin star finesse
Germany’s most celebrated and well known three Michelin Star celebrity gourmet maestro Heinz Winkler conducts his unparalleled expertise in Cuisine Vitale with new jewels in his fine wining and dining haven, Residenz Heinz Winkler at Aschau Im Chiemgau, Bavaria, Germany. His inventive spirit displays in a surprise – ‘asparagus in puff pastry’, a super smooth and mouth-melting wonder that does the lingering vanishing act with grace, carrying the flavours of white asparagus in a crisp creamy layer.
A smart, highly fruity and peach-grapefruit tinged Domaene Gobelsburg Gruener Veltliner from Kamptal in Austria, synchs superbly onward with a medium bodied and musky Altemura Apula Primitivo Negroamaro from Puglia, Italy for the contrast in flavours.
The innovative ‘rice tartlet on apple sauce’ is a fine enchanting finish. The fine wine to complement the dish is a grassy, yet apricot blessed, Freixenet Mia white from Spain with light spring flavours and a lemony finish.
Niagara-on-the-lake in Ontario, Canada is a charming locale that blends the very nouvelle with old world heritage grace. At the historic Prince of Wales Hotel, the vegetarian fare at their ‘Nobles’ al fresco restaurant overlooking the flower decked streets is a pick-me-up with authentic flavours.
The ‘oven warmed upper Canada’s nanny noir cheese, sour dough crostini, stone fruit jam and house-pickled vegetables’ are a great commencement to organic flavours. Contrasting, fascinating and contentment at the start is complemented by a select vintage Zonin Ventiterre Chardonnay from Italy with honeysuckle and tangerine flavours.
The restaurant’s main is as absorbing indeed with ’harvest grain bowl’ that has ‘marinated ancient grains, kale, roasted autumn squash, wine-pickled onions, chickpeas, artichokes, sprouts, sunflower seeds, bocconcini cheese, white wine and maple vinaigrette’. Lovely!
The smorgasbord of intriguing ingredients can only be elevated by another aromatic liquid sunshine -Two Oceans Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa that displays striking ripe apricot, peach and lily flavours to the hilt.
Among the verdant Alpine meadows and gentle hillsides of the Bavarian Alps in wonderland Berchtesgaden, the August privilege to dine at Cozy Biohotel, Christel Kurz’s boutique fine wining and dining hideaway, is unforgettable. The award-winning German vegetarian organic cuisine pioneer works magic with simplistic freshness.
Her fresh creation of ‘garden pickled salad with wild meadow flowers’ and ‘a garden of fresh hillside alpine organic greens drizzled in organic white wine’ opens up the chlorophyll channels, enrapturing your senses. Fine wines that match the symphony of natural flavours to the hilt are, an intensely aromatic and lemon and guava flavoured Framingham Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand and a superb Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc from Chile with heather, nectarine, honeysuckle and maple flavours.
One more of Christel’s super delights – ‘cherry tomatoes and white pumpkin ravioli in white asparagus sauce’ – does the subtle vanishing act with suave flavours and innocent aromas. The wine that uplifts the dish is a well picked Maison Albert Bichot Puligny Montrachet Blanc from burgundy, France with dry notes and distinct watermelon, honey, candied orange and pear flavours.
Mark of excellence
Multi-award-winning celebrity chef and ace restaurateur of Sydney, Australia, Mark Best can be compared to none. At his signature restaurant Marque, he invents flavours and food voyages that are visual and sensory magnets, married with our pick of premium world wines.
His two creations, ‘autumn leaves, mushrooms and Jerusalem artichokes’ and ‘parmesan gnocchi, bitter melon and pumpkin’ delight in their unconventional diversity of tastes and character. The innocent freshness of leaves gently coaxed with mushrooms and crisp artichokes add verve to the cheesy gnocchi to waltz on your tongues.
The wine that thrills this dish is a finely chilled Chilean winner Casillero del Diablo Chardonnay with strikingly peach, hay and green apple flavours going on to nectarine. Similar magic is woven by a fruity and fragrant black tower Riesling from Bingen, Germany with gentle lily and citrus notes. Both wines create culinary surprises in their own distinct styles.
In the heart of the snow
Nestled in the steep snow-blanketed Alpine mountain folds in Courmayeur Monte Bianco, Valle D’Aosta in north-western Italy is the classic five-star Alpine chalet-designed Au Coeur des Neiges resort with cosy pine wood accented lifestyle.
The enlivening cuisine here is custom created with local flavours and their vegetarian piece de resistance ‘basil gnocchi with honeyed orange rind, asparagus and egg yolk foam emulsion’ dances to the impeccable tunes of two outstanding wines. The crisp and intensely aromatic Donnafugata Anthilia igt Sicilia from Italy and a Grand Nederburg Winemasters Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa. The refreshing herbaceous, heather and gooseberry wow the olfactory to the hilt.
Spanning the blue Arabian Gulf atop the world’s most luxurious ‘seven-star’ hospitality icon, the Burj al Arab in Dubai, celebrated fine wining and dining outpost Al Muntaha lays out avant-garde vegetarian nuggets. ‘Herb cheese, butter biscotti with fresh greens and organic vinaigrette’ thrill your taste buds in a fascinating combo with a well-chilled white Chateau de Fontenille Grand Bordeaux Entre Deux Mers from France with green grass, hazelnut and grapefruit flavours. A white truffle, light jasmine and dry hay flavoured Mateus Rose from Douro Valley, Portugal adds verve to the fine platter.