The Commoner: Whiskey Business

What’s better than having a girls’ night out with my Dastardly friend? A girls’ night out with WHISKEY.

Truthfully, I’m not really a whiskey drinker, but as with any booze – I’m a willing learner. Hah.

Every couple of months this year, The Commoner release movie inspired menus. They had Poultrygeist in February, Claws in April, and June’s menu was Whiskey Business – 5 courses matched with whiskey.

Our first drink wasn’t actually a whiskey – it was a sherry – an Australian one called Pennyweight. It was very dry with chalky characteristics – we were told that it would be a good palate cleanser because it would blitz everything. (It did blitz everything.)

To eat, we started with a small cup of a very rich scampi broth served alongside a crumbed anchovy. The depth of flavour in the small cup was incredible, and even better was the small crunchy anchovy, which was on a dab of garlic aioli – complementing the little fishy bite well.

Next out was a bit of a mix up. When I booked, I advised that our only dietry requirement was no beef/veal for Hazzie, and this was also confirmed when we arrived. Well… we received a couple of oxtail puffs. It obviously hadn’t registered that ox is beef… whoops! It was fine though and Haz was happy for me to eat her puff (I was happy too) – the offending ox meat was encased in a nicely flakey pastry and served on a mustardy, cauliflower mayo.

Arriving at the same time was a dish of padron peppers. Haz started on them, stating after eating a couple, “How do I know which ones are the spicy ones?”

Soon after, she bit into a spicy one, and her face turned bright red. Guess she answered her own question. Heh heh. (I also found a spicy one though I don’t think I turned as red as she did…) As you can see, they had quite a bit of salt on them and we ended up tapping a fair amount off.

After the peppers we were poured a small glass of whiskey. Unfortunately, neither of us noted down which one it was and we didn’t take a photo of the bottle either – blogger fail. All I can tell you is that it was an Isle of Sky whiskey, and it was quite peaty and medicinal. And is it terrible of me to admit that it made me think of drain cleaner? Yeah, we weren’t big fans of this one.

Fortunately, foodwise it came with our favourite dish of the night: black pudding. Ahhhhhhh so good. They must’ve panfried the slices of black pudding because it was all crispy on the outside – amazing. Ahhhhhmaaaazzzing.

Our next course was salt and pepper squid with celeraic remoulade. I’m seeing celeraic everywhere at the moment, and I heartily approve! I also approve of good fried squid. Hell yeah.

The whiskey was Oban, single malt scotch whisky from the Scottish west port of Oban. It’s said to have a “West Highland” flavour which is somewhere between a dry smokey style of the Scottish islands and the ligher, sweeter malts of the Highlands. We found it zesty and strong with hints of cinnamon. I really liked this one – it was (relatively) sweet and very drinkable.

After squid we moved into mains – a rolled pork shoulder that had been cooked with dates and served with polenta. The meat was fork tender and had some sweetness from the dates. It was very nice.

The pork came with a side of broccolini with tahini and flaked almonds.

The next whiskey, Glenmorangie Astar, was a big strong one. This had hints of lemon, cinnamon and creme brulee, though Haz’s description was probably the most apt – fiery.

All too soon we were receiving dessert and our last whiskey. Dessert was an excellent chocolate fondant served with peanut ice cream. As you can see, it was dark and oozing with chocolate – just perfect.

The whiskey was Ardbeg Uigeadail, which is produced from a mix of bourbon casks and ex sherry casks. It was another big whiskey, with a smokey scent and flavour.

It was another lovely meal at The Commoner and it definitely made for a fun girls’ night out.

By the way, The Commoner’s next movie inspired menu starts in August – Back to the Butcher – a celebration for all things beef.

Read my previous post The Commoner here.

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The Commoner
122 Johnston St
Phone: 03 9415 6876
Open Wednesday & Thursday for Dinner – 6pm until Late
Friday, Saturday & Sunday Lunch 12pm-3pm, & Dinner 6pm until Late