This month, the head chef at Glasgow’s vegan cafe bar, Mono, Anne McWilliam, will be temporarily heading The Scotch Malt Whisky Society kitchen at their 38 Bath Street premises. Proving that whisky doesn’t always have to be teamed with venison and haggis, she’s created a menu of six vegan tapas options, each of which is inspired by the notes of a SMWS cask whisky and will be teamed with its matching dram.
These will be showcased at a members-only event with live jazz on Saturday August 28, which is £10 per person and available to attend at sessions that run from 1-3pm or 4.30-6.30pm. However, a selection of these dishes, along with three drams, all for £25, will be available for non-members to try every Tuesday at the Bath Street Members’ Room of this venue, which opened just last year, until the end of August.
The plant-based selection of dishes, which also have a global or fusion influence, include the Ethiopian-inspired jackfruit tibs with kik alicha (a yellow split pea stew), which is paired with dram, Sweet, Fruity & Mellow - chosen for its ability to temper the heat of this spicy dish. They’ll also be serving a Goan curry with chickpeas, potatoes and coconut, along with a measure of Juicy, Oak & Vanilla. According to them,“The juicy fruit and woodiness of the whisky adds an amazing new dimension to this curry while the coconut gives harmony and balance between the pairing”.
There’s also Caesar salad with smoked quinoa, teamed with the sharp Young & Spritely, with its “waxy mouthfeel”, and the Italian style fennel arancini with caponata chutney paired with Spicy & Dry, which they say is “brought to life with the woody, spicy notes of the whisky”. Similar to a dish that’s already a popular choice in McWiliam’s 19-year-old restaurant, Mono, which is situated in Merchant City, she’ll also be making a “to-fish” taco with Baja seasoning, pico-de-gallo, avocado and lime crema, paired with a nip of Lightly Peated. There’s just one sweet course, to round everything off - chocolate cheesecake with raspberries, along with its natural partner of Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits.
As Anne McWilliam, says: “The tasting notes for each of the Society’s whiskies are unique and make it very exciting when it comes to matching whisky with fresh produce. The beauty of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s flavour profiles is that they can be matched with a broad range of ingredients, and the dishes we’ve created include Mono’s take on a Mexican classic, a fresh Mediterranean salad and a rich decadent dessert. Each dish is made from local ingredients, is free from all animal produce, and has been designed to enhance and complement one of the Society’s chosen whisky flavour profiles.”
From now until the end of September, annual membership of The Scotch Malt Whisky Society is reduced to £54.50, usually £65, when you use the code GAMECHANGER at the online checkout, see www.smws.com