VEGAN FOOD & BEER MATCHING AT CLAY’S HYDERABADI KITCHEN
Last week I was lucky enough to be invited to Clay’s to try their delicious food and match some of the dishes to a few of our Renegade range of beers. Clay’s is an Indian restaurant specialising in the regional cuisine that comes from the kitchens of the Royal Kings (Nawabs) of Hyderabad in the South of India and is only a short walk from Reading town centre and train station.
The owners obviously have fantastic palates as they’ve chosen to fill their bar with various beers that go perfectly with their dishes and that aren’t available in close proximity, they’ve really thought about what they can provide their customers that others cannot and it’s the attention to detail that really makes a difference for me.
Read on to discover the delights Clay’s have to offer…
Idli bites with chia seed spice powder | Steamed soft dumplings made out of fermented batter of rice and black gram, tossed in chia seed spice powder and served with coconut chutney. (Top & Above Left)
The toasty character within this dish marries perfectly with the rich toasted malt flavours within our Renegade Vienna Lager 4.8% ABV, the sweetness from the coconut chutney complimenting the understated caramel notes in the beer and the warming spice from the chia seed spice powder amplifying this sweetness.
I also paired this dish with our Tropic Like It’s Hot, Pineapple Pale Ale 4.8% ABV because of the complimentary coconut nuances contributed by the Sorachi Ace hops. Whilst Tropic isn’t available at Clay’s bar, they do have Mongozo Coconut 3.6% ABV which is bursting with fresh coconut aroma & flavour and would sit well with this starter.
A duo of mini dosa with potato filling | An Indian crepe made out of fermented batter of rice and black gram, with a filling of potatoes and Indian spices. (Above Right)
The bitterness from our Renegade India Session Ale 4.2% ABV cleanses your palate after every mouthful whilst at the same time applauding the Indian spices running through the potato filling. You can purchase 330ml bottles of ISA at Clay’s so you can try out this combo. We brew India Session Ale with Mosaic & Citra hops which provide a smack of tropical fruit with a balanced bitterness and we add oats for a full, rounded body.
This cabbage pakora really is light, crispy and utterly addictive with it's delightfully minty, citrusy vegan yogurt pulling out all the citrus and herbal hop characteristics in our Renegade Craft Lager 4.5% ABV. The pakora also goes fantastically with our current special Whitness The Citrus, Tangerine White Beer 4.5% by contributing to the fresh fruitiness within the yogurt and cutting through the perfectly spiced crisp cabbage. The bitterness holds up superbly to the slight saltiness of the fritters.
This would also go brilliantly with Home 2.0 Mango Milkshake 5.2% ABV (although this beer includes lactose and so not vegan) for the same reason as the Whitness. The mangos they use to produce this beer are imported from South India & this particular beer is available on tap at Clay's.
If you're looking for a match made in heaven then you absolutely have to try a Vienna Lager with Achar Ke Aloo. The creeping heat, acidic tomato and subtle sweetness from the potato form a tasty counterpart to the complex toasted malt characteristics and balanced sweetness within this particular style of beer. This is recommended to be served with either rice or Puri | Fluffy, fried Indian bread made with wheat flour. The choice is yours, you wont be disappointed in either case, this really is one of the most delicious dishes I've come across as a vegan and I can't wait to devour it again!
Hyderabadi Khatti Dal | A smooth and silky preparation of lentils (Dal) soured with tamarind and tempered with Hyderabadi spices. (Above Right)
The aromatics and strong tropical hop character in Hyderabadi IPA marry wonderfully with the Hyderabadi spice mix and tamarind creating a blend of flavours that culminate in a smooth, light, warming dish to be served again with either rice or Puri. The light, pine notes within the brew draw out the subtle citrus hints within the Dal and the bitterness intensifies the medium heat.
Hyderabadi IPA 5.1% ABV
CRISP | TROPICAL | BITTER
The bitterness in this exclusive IPA lends itself perfectly to spicy cuisine. Flavours of mango, pineapple and papaya refresh the palate between mouthfuls whilst the earthy pine notes accentuate the complex mix of traditional Hyderabadi herbs & spices.
Bhindi Fry | A dish with Andhra influence, okra fry with peanuts and fried onions. (Above Left)
Although this is really considered a side dish, it stands up extremely well on it’s own with sophisticated sweetness from the peanuts and fried onions along with fresh, crisp, slightly salty okra. I’d love to have this on the table to share whilst waiting for everything else or even to add to other dishes for some crunch.
Everything I tried was exceptional, exciting and vegan. I personally find it so difficult to go out for a meal in this area and not feel like an afterthought, Clay’s has made vegan cuisine not just delicious but refined and with it’s own place on the menu. The staff were training when we went in to match the food and were super polite, friendly and helpful & also trying the food and learning about the history of the dishes as well as ingredients and flavours. Training is one of the most important things for a business and they’re clearly very passionate about everything they do at Clay’s.
It’s not only vegan food that they do here, they also have a wide range of carnivore friendly fayre, the menu will be online very soon! Not to mention all of the cider, wines, spirits and soft drinks.
Clay’s Hyderabadi Kitchen officially opened on Monday 18th June 5.30pm & from then on is open Tuesday – Sunday 12pm – 2.30pm and 5.30pm – 10.30pm If you head there over the next two weeks you could be in with a chance to win some WBB goodies including brewery tour vouchers, merch and beer! For more info please ask your server.
CLAY’S HYDERABADI KITCHEN
45 LONDON STREET
For more information about Clay’s please click on one of the links below to take you to the relevant page.
Photography by Philip Hardman Photography.