Tiki Dinner with Beachbum Berry


I just got back from the Tiki Dinner with cocktails designed and mixed by Jeff ‘Beachbum’ Berry and Wayne Curtis.  A last minute and little advertised change of venue almost saw me miss the thing completely, but after a little running around I eventually got there only slightly late, and just in time for an excellent meal.  I meant to pinch a copy of the menu for reference, but since it somehow got lost in the last minute confusion of leaving, this account is a little cursory.


We had four tiki drinks and a succession of tiki inspired dishes.  The stand-out drink was the  ’Luau Coconut’.  This was served in a coconut shell, and the combination of rum, lime, coconut water and coconut milk made for something ‘more coconut than coconut’.  This was a totally exceptional drink, and as luck would have it The Bum himself came past to give us a refill.  Generally I find coconut water drinks a little austere and coconut milk drinks a little creamy.  The mixture of  coconut water and coconut milk in this drink struck just the right balance.


The second high point of the meal was the desert, a massive rum-soaked merangue, served in a ring of flaming rum.  A common weakness of booze inspired deserts is a light hand with the actual booze.  This desert suffered no such issue.


Besides those two highlights there was Kahlua flavored pork belly, a subtle and interesting fish, bitters, maraschino liqueur and mashed parsnip dish (weird sounding but really good), poison cru, sashimi, and a bunch of other delicious things.  At the end we also tried some 10 year old rum from the New Orleans rum company.  This stuff was very enjoyable – a little rough around the edges but packed with intense flavors.  You could almost have mistaken it for a scotch there was so much going on.  I could have sworn it was overproof, but it turned out to be just 40%.  Great stuff.


After dinner I had a bit more of a chat with a few bloggers – from Gumbo Pages, Kaiser Penguin and Trader Tiki – then headed back to the Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone where I ran into Edward Hamilton.  We headed up to to a party in one of the hotel suites where there was some dutch Genever on offer from an obscure company I had never heard of.  After all the Tiki drinks it was a little hard to give a comprehensive assessment of the genever but no doubting it was interesting stuff.  The weird thing to me was that their ‘XO’ genever was aged jongue style genever (i.e. a light style with a high ratio of ‘vodka’ type spirit), while their more heavily malted oude styles seemed less aged.


One Response to “Tiki Dinner with Beachbum Berry”

  1. Chef Chris DeBarr Says:


    Drop me an email, and I will snail mail you a menu. Glad you enjoyed our Tikilicious Luau with Beachbum Berry and Wayne Curtis.

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