The importance of eating healthy cannot be emphasised more. The hospitality industry has taken note of this trend and has begun to aggressively promote healthy cuisines. Kombucha comes all the way from ancient China and has travelled around the world, now making a mark in Goa.Consuming good food is always an entertaining and nutritious experience. It also makes for a very good time. However, the importance of eating healthy can never be discounted. The opportunity to learn something new could not be passed indifferently. On a Sunday, the Radisson Blu Resort, Goa Cavelossim Beach organised a first of its kind Kombucha pairing dinner.
For the uninitiated, kombucha is a quirky-tasting drink. Depending on what’s added to it, it’s best described as a sour apple cider, perhaps with vinegary notes. Kombucha is an ancient beverage that was originally consumed in China more than 2,200 years ago for its detoxifying and energising properties. As trade routes expanded, kombucha found its way to Russia and then into other eastern European areas. Fair enough, you might say, but then what are the benefits. Chef Mahesh, the Executive Chef at the hotel, said, “Kombucha has various health benefits as it boosts gut health and immunity through providing the human body with the essential microbes required to maintain our digestive system healthy.” It is made by fermenting tea with the help of a symbiotic culture of bacterial yeast. General kombucha is made with black tea but many variants have emerged since the time he started experimenting with kombucha.Kombucha isn’t popular at the moment and the process is on to educate the masses on the benefits of it and how it can be a healthy substitute for carbonated beverages to be a relatable medium to the common man. Importantly, kombucha can be paired with any cuisine provided it has been customised to incorporate the ideal flavour required to suit the dish and enhance the overall appeal of the dish.On Sunday, at the gastro pub Sagres, a kombucha paired degustation menu was presented to guests. Corporate Executive chef Mahesh, Sous Chef Monish Santosh and chef de cuisine Pranav Redker presented the menu.Fish course: Lapsang souchong tea smoked mackrels with pomme fondants, salsa verde and lemon thyme air. This course was paired with a black tea kombucha as the robust nature of the black tea kombucha compliments this complex flavoured dish.Poultry course: “Chicken three ways”- Confit chicken drummet, chicken mosaic, chicken crackling with saffron corn puree and orange ouzo gastric. This course was paired with an orange kombucha to enhance the floral notes of the saffron and compliment the chicken’s subtle flavour.Main course: Ras el hanout spiced beef with cinnamon apricot jus, wine glazed carrots and potato glass. This course was paired with a tamarind kombucha to help accentuate the spice notes in the dish.Dessert: Dark chocolate glazed angostura mousse with honeycomb, beet caviar and white chocolate splatter. This course was paired with a mango kombucha to bridge the balance of sweet and tart tastes that have been purposefully omitted in the dish.It made for a fabulous evening. As a fan of various kinds of meats, the journey through chicken and beef was fascinating. Cooked with finesse and presented with panache, it was delicious food in a heath framework.