This is actually something I don't do very often, but I'm thinking I should. I had dinner at a BYOB last week, and it was really fun. It's nice to do something different every now and then..
Rudy was my dining/drinking partner for this particular restaurant, and that's mainly because he's been bugging me about this place for ages – apparently it's a big deal. So I finally had some wine on hand (Austrian wine, no less) to pair with some yummy food at Kuma Inn. Supposedly Austrian wines pair well with asian cuisine, so it seemed like a good time to try both. We had a bottle of….white…..and…a bottle of….red. Yea…let me preface this by saying I was pretty shellacked after two bottles of wine, but I remember enjoying everything.
I'm not big on "white wine goes with this" and "red wine goes with that", but I can say that we started out with the white wine, which was a 2008 Graf Hardegg Gruener Veitliner, and I really liked it. It was different; spicy (I didn't even know spicy white wine existed), medium-bodied and fruity. It was a nice strong white, which held up well against a lot of the savory flavors of the food.
Ahh the food. This place is so tucked away you would never even know it's there – on the 2nd floor of a building on a crappy-ass block on the LES – it's definitely where they get the saying "hidden gem." Kuma Inn is like asian tapas – which is awesome for someone like me who loves variety. The edamame was delicious – steamed and tossed around in this basil-lime oil, the pork buns were tender and fluffy at the same time (LOVE pork buns) served with a peanut hoisin sauce (also LOVE peanut hoisin sauce), and everything went blurry after that.
Kidding. You know I could never forget something I ATE. My next favorite would have to be the steamed and fried rice crpees topped with Kuma pork bolognese. Sounds weird, but kudos to Rudy for picking that one – it was awesome. I also liked the drunken shrimp; it was jumbo shrimp in a spicy sauce. Nothing crazy, but still good. However, the wine didn't pair too well with that one because it was like spice on top of spice. Believe it or not, the red would have been a better combo.
Speaking of – the red was a 2008 Anita and Hans Nittnaus Blauer Zweigeit. Yea, let's just say it's a good thing I can get away with WRITING about this stuff as opposed to SPEAKING about it. No way in hell do I know how to pronounce that. Anyway – this wine was also really nice – very fruity, also medium bodied with a smooth finish. We had the red for our chicken wings (wings with soy, garlic and rice vinegar), spring rolls and dumplings. Loved the wings but we burnt ourselves pretty badly on the spring rolls. Damn you, hot oil. You're lucky I was too drunk to even feel it.
All in all, excellent experience with the Austrian wine (random) and Kuma Inn (also random). I would highly recommend the white wine (Gruner Veitliner), as well as the rice crepes and wings and spring rolls and….screw it. Everything.