The Royal Croquet Club always delivers a roaring food trade, but this year the Adelaide Fringe hub has upped its culinary offering with Utopian State Supper Club.
The interactive tasting event is hosted by DJ and musician Surahn Sidhu (The Swiss, Empire Of The Sun), and friend and wine writer Nick Stock. The pair has previously collaborated on dining experiences at Margaret River Gourmet Escape. “Nick and I have loads of experience in this space and love fusing our worlds of wine and music together to create unique events,” Sidhu says.
In a tent positioned on the water’s edge at the eastern end of Pinky Flat, Yalumba’s top-tier wines are matched to food by chef Andre Ursini. Expect “casual luxury” canapés such as kingfish carpaccio with vanilla bean oil, lemon, mint and black risotto crisp. And baked eggplant “timballo” with mozzarella, pickled zucchini and baby basil.
“All three of us share a love of fresh and delicious food,” says Sidhu. “Keeping the fun of the tasting game [is] at the core of the experience.”
Not just about food and wine, Sidhu and Stock have incorporated another element to their supper club. Guests receive a playing card on entry that’s used to initiate mingling. “Throughout the course of the night you’re encouraged to find a group of five to make a Royal Croquet Flush,” says Sidhu. “Whoever can find it wins a bottle to share with their new friends.”
The event – an extension of Sidhu’s Utopian State record label – is something of a pushback against “serious” wine tasting events Sidhu and Stock have experienced in the past. “We wanted to create a situation where strangers at a festival of the calibre of RCC were swept away by getting to know the rest of the people in the tent through tasting wine and eating casual, delicious food. The card game is a way of breaking the tasting bracket up with some fun.”
The event also features live music from Sidhu and local singer-songwriters.
Utopian State Supper Club runs until Saturday March 18. Tickets are $60 and available online.