Mid way through our China trip, I received an invite to the upcoming launch of Bermondsey Bees, a honey themed event at the Delfina restaurant on Bermondsey Road.
The honey is cultivated by local beekeeper and resident, Dale Gibson. When I say local I mean local. The bees actually live about 150 metres from Delfina. Which is great for the chef as when he runs out he can always sprint round for some more.
We were promised a fantastic night of food and drink all inspired by Dale’s local honey, and a fantastic night it was.
We were welcomed by honey alcohol laden cocktails. I never knew that honey and rum would work so well together.
After a very witty talk from Dale explaining about his bees and how he is merely providing them with a house and they do all the work.
By the end of the speech we tucked into a lovely 3 course menu utilizing Dales fantastic honey.
For starters there was a Bermondsey honey, fig and shallot tart. This was paired with a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from Hacienda Araucano from Chile.
The pastry was well cooked and the tart mustard dressing balanced off the sweetness of the tart. I thought it could have used a bit of thyme to add an earthiness to the tart.
The main course of braised shoulder of Norfolk pork with Bermondsey honey and a bramley apple gratin with a cider jus.
The pork was slow cooked and rolled into a ballotine. it was juicy and seasoned to perfection. The accompaniment of the bramley apple gratin and honey was a good idea. It just needed a bit more honey to off set the tart apple. The cider jus was, as you would expect lovely and sweet. This was matched with a glass of Pinot Noir from Frances Lurton.
For the final course we were treated to a Williams pear and vanilla cheesecake, along with a quenelle of honey sorbet.
This was the highlight of the night. I’m not normally a pudding man these days, but if I was served sweets as good as this all the time, then I might easily be turned.
The light honey sorbet evaporated in the mouth with every spoonful. This worked so well with the glass of the Hungarian Royal Tokajo. A perfect match.
These three dishes are now on the Delfina menu for the next month. I’d recommend heading down for some honey treats.