The Krug Institute of Happiness

Remarkable dinner last night at the Krug Institute of Happiness. It’s a pop-up restaurant idea based around Krug Champagne, with cooking by Nuno Mendes of Viajante (pictured above), and held in a stunning property in Highgate, 85 Swains Lane.

Olivier Krug

 

After lots of Krug Grande Cuvee and canapes, it was time to sit down. We began with cured lobster, spring onion and consomme with spruce bark. Lovely flavours, but they were inhibited a bit the the serving temperature, which was very cold. This was served with 1998 Krug.

Champagne Krug 1998
Rich, taut and dense with notes of apples and toast, as well as some pear. Lifted aromatics. Quite a rich style, with lively, precise lemony acidity acting to anchor the bold flavours. Bold and rich, and drinking brilliantly now, although it is quite structured and will last. 96/100

Next up, halibut with seaweed sofrito and a seafood rice broth. Very Japanese, and utterly delicious. This was served with the 2000.

Champagne Krug 2000
Creamy, toasty and bold. Quite rich, but very fine, linear and stylish, with lovely purity and bright citrus notes. Quite a contrast to the richer flavours of the 1998. Real precision here, but quite backward and in need of time. 95/100

I asked Olivier Krug about the difference between ageing on lees and ageing in bottle. His response: ‘It’s bullshit, and you can quote me on that.’ Krug don’t put disgorgement dates on bottles, but they do have a new device, called a Krug ID. The number on a bottle of Grande Cuvee that we were drinking from was 411046. You can go to the website, type in the ID, and get information on your bottle. Here’s a screenshot:

The next course was, for me, the finest of a very fine bunch. Aged pigeon, buried under autumn leaves, served with Krug Rose.

Champagne Krug Rose
Bold, toasty and fine with citrussy fruit, and a very subtle hint of cherry. Power and elegance combined, and tasted blind I don’t know if I’d have spotted this as a rose. Spicy, complex and fine, showing great finesse. 94/100

The final course was a remarkable dessert based solely on milk:

We had a great time. Joe Wadsack even joined in by singing alongside the talented pianist who was providing musical entertainment. You can see this, and more, in the following short film of the event.

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