Thursday, August 27, 2015

Getting Stoked With Cape Mentelle

How quickly time flies, it seemed like yesterday, ...well, maybe not quite yesterday, but a few months ago, that we had a Cape Mentelle wine pairing meal, and thank goodness for web logs, our online, forever immortalized in the hearts of google, life journals, our life events are captured for posterity and for reference, and it was by referring to THIS POST that I knew the circa of the last Cape Mentelle event.
A now familiar face, Cameron Murphy, Cape Mentelle's Estate Director, presented us with five award winning bottles from the Cape Mentelle Portfolio, at the newly opened STOKED in Medan Damansara.

Cameron has been with the Moet Hennessy Group since 2005, and has recently moved to Margaret River as Cape Mentelle's Estate Director.

Owner of Stoked chips in with his perspective on the food, and tells us a little bit about Stoked, and their pride and joy, the BERTHA oven, which he described as a fat woman with heart.  (but my handwriting is so bad these days, I originally misread my scrawls as "a fat woman in heat").  Charcoal and wood flamed, the oven would give birth to many of our lunch creations.

Pairing with the Uni Sashimi with Tofu Puree and Consomme Jelly, the Sauvignon Blanc Semillion 2013, one of their easiest drinking wines, that in my opinion pairs with just about anything.  I am partial to sauvignon blancs in general.  The fruit flavours with the hint of lime, passionfruit melded together with the briney uni (Sea Urchin), eradicating any possible hint of "fishiness" of the raw urchin.

The lovely crusty breads which are spawned from Bertha's belly...

Bertha in action.

Steamed Coral Trout With Kale, Tomato, Served with Caper Beurre Blanc Sauce With the 2102 Chardonnay.

For the nose, the Chardonnay has lime, lemon, cashew, and for the palate, lime pear and grapefruit.  We had the chance to interchange the SBS with the Chardonnay, and CCFoodtravel, who was so late that she managed to have the 1st and 2nd course together, preferred the Chardonnay to pair with both the urchin and the trout (ooh, that's a good name for a pub, THE URCHIN & THE TROUT), whilst I preferred the SBS with both the fruits of Poseidon.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am generally not a Chardonnay fan, but Cape Mentelle's Chardonnay, ...I don't know if it is the atmosphere in which it is drunk, or the food that embellishes, but I always find their's most palatable.

Foie Gras and Duck Pate en croute with the Cabernet Merlot 2012, which to me, was the piece resistance of the day, both for wine and food.  I totally LOVED this dish, and paired with the wine, really, I could just go back and have this combination over and over again.    The gameyness of the dish, the decadent pastry casing, the elegant reduction sauce, just perfect, and that bright crimson Cabernet Merlot to further fortify the entire combination.  It was like the food equivalent of an ancient castle, decadent, elegant, strong, solid, muscular.

The final dish, the Slow Roasted Lamb, served with 2012 Shiraz and 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Gorrrgeous peeps across the table....

The lamb was a tad overcooked, maybe Bertha was too on heat, but the overall flavours were great and the wines, wow...that Cabernet Sauvignon, so complex and intense, with flavours of black currant, and firm structural tannins, that exudes upper crustiness, if you know what I mean.  Basically, a lovely cut of meat with a damn good full bodied wine.  The Shiraz, apparently the most commonly planted, and most unheralded grape (aww poor thing) in Margaret River, has inky purple hues, and is plush and rich on the palate with plums, mulberry and hints of spice.

To end the perfect afternoon, and it was a Friday, White Chocolate Mousse with Mixed Berries and Crumble With Rasberry Sauce.

Cameron and I.


Cape Mentelle, a founding windery of Australia's Margaret River wine region, is one of the most remoted wine regions in the world located in the south west corner of Australia.  The maritime influence of the Indian Ocean ensures even temperatures, providing consistently excellent vintage conditions.

Local Distributors of Cape Mentelle : Moet Hennessy Diageo

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Over the Moon With Veuve Clicquot..And More Moon Cake - This Season For RM288 nett

Who was it who said that "CHAMPAGNE goes with everything"?  Well, I'm not sure it has been said, but if it hasn't been said by anyone famous, it SHOULD, because I reckon it's true, it does, and Moet Hennessy Diageo & Grand Imperial Chinese Restaurants have just bumped up their mooncakes by pairing it with the inimitable Veuve Clicquot.  In local terms, they have "atas"-ified mooncakes and the art of mooncake giving.

In summary, a box of four delectable mooncakes is packed with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, at RM288 nett, which is a spanking good deal if you ask me.  These days, a decent blob of mooncake hovers around the RM20-25 region, and a bottle of VC retail is around RM240-260 at least, (at least the places I've seen them), so do the math.....

Presented in this gilded box, it really exudes stylo mylo-ness.  I mean, WHO would not be thrilled to receive one of these.

To launch these (at the time of launch, already 400 boxes or so had been preordered, and there are only 1000 boxes), a luncheon was held at Grand Imperial Sunway.

Just the sight of these bright orange ice buckets was enough to wash away any doom and gloom that might have been lingering over us, I mean, you know, without referring to anything specific, except the tumbling of our ringgit, etc... But, we must be thankful for our blessings..

Luscious pandan lotus paste with that orange sphere of heavenly delight, ...a bit of trivia, the ORANGE colour in the Veuve Clicquot labelling WAS inspired by the yolk, when Madame Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, that grand old dame of Champagne, happened to be looking at yolks when deciding the colour.  And that is no yolk I tell you.

Almond with Sesame White Lotus Paste, a lovely crunch of sesame in the skin.

Assorted Fruits and Nuts With Chicken Bits...Actually this particular one is almost a match made in heaven with the VC.

White Lotus Single Egg Yolk Paired With Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label

The lovely Cherry Koh of MHD introducing the Chef of Grand Imperial responsible for the mooncake creations...

And brand ambassador Chong Wai Keng of MHD introducing the package

Mustn't miss the photo opp with the lovely Kelly Thean, and famed TMI writer, Julia Yeow....

They always feed us well in MHD functions...padding our stomach to be able to absord the wonderful effervescence afforded by that glorious bottle of green and orange.   Japanese Ayu Fish, though it does look like Vlad the Impaler .. or rather Vlad the Impaled.

Deep Fried Crispy Oyster With Bacon and Salted Egg, all food that match VC seamlessly and effortlessly.

VC and suckling pig....always a welcome treat.  The fruity notes and subtle aromas of brioche and vanilla and slight acidity counters the fattiness of the piglet, almost washing it down like detergent. Except of course, it doesn't taste like detergent, by any stretch of the imagination.

I was lucky that I was seated in the main stream media's table, where diners are less exuberant about photo taking, unlike the neighbouring table of food bloggers.  Needless to say, our table was always one course ahead.

Deep Fried Century Egg with Prawn Paste, JUST IN CASE the eggs in the mooncake, AND the oyster, were not enough...

Baked River Prawns... actually, as we worked our way through the meal, it occured to me how Chinese cuisine is such an ally for champagne.  It's almost a given.  I can't think of a single dish that does not pair well with the bubbly.

Sliced Duck Breast With Jelly Fish and Crispy Scallops .... this is such alcohol snack food if ever!!!!

Poached Grouper With Enoki Mushrooms, Rice Vermicelli and Fish Stock, Grand Imperial's signature dish.

Just to recap.....

Available from 15th August to 27th September 2015, this limited edition Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and Mooncake Gift Set features a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label (75 cl) with four delectable mooncakes including Assorted Fruits and Nuts with Chicken Bits, White Lotus Single Yolk, Almond with Sesame White Lotus Paste, and Pandan Lotus Paste Single Yolk.

Limited to only 1000 orders, this exclusive gift set is available at all Grand Imperial Group of Restaurants at RM288 nett. For purchases, kindly contact the following six outlets listed below:

1) Grand Imperial Restaurant, Pinnacle Sunway (03-5888 7222/ 03-5888 7221)
2) Grand Imperial Restaurant, Bangsar Shopping Centre (03-2283 1118),
3) Grand Imperial Restaurant, Hartamas Shopping Centre (03-6201 3777),
4) Grand Imperial Restaurant, One Utama Shopping Centre (03-7729 7223),
5) Grand Imperial Restaurant, USJ19 City Mall (03-8024 8777)
6) Grand Imperial Restaurant, Casa Klang (03-3345 2118)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Moon-caking at The Intercontinental - Available till 27th September

And, the mooncake journey continues, this time, at the Intercontinental KL...  a stunning array reminding me of the United Colors of Bennetton, red and yellow black and white, they are precious in His sight, kinda array...

Specially crafted by dim sum chef Lo Tion Sion of Tao Chinese Restaurant of the hotel, flavours raneg from the more traditional lotus paste with egg yolk, to more exotic charcoal skinned with assorted nuts, which I thought was yummy.

Of course no mooncake preview is complete without a demonstration on how to make moon cake, and

Chef Demonstrating how to make the baked mooncake with pandan lotus paste.  Of course, as with all professionals, he made it look so easy, churning them out the way our local unis churn out graduates, except these were good quality.  A hint of beetroot is added into the skin to give it that nice pinkish tinge.

Next was the more exotic Snow Skin Durian Mooncake, and that yellow "pastry" is not the durian, the pale balls on the side plate are the durian, which have been frozen for ease of handling.  Yes, there is yellow coloring in the snow skin to get that summery yellow colour.

Malaysians are generally painfully shy, and trying to get the audience to volunteer was like trying to get a straight answer from a politician, so finally Lisa from the Intercontinental tried her hand at the Snow Skin Durian Mooncake, and did a sterling job I might add.  Obviously has had a lot of practice.

Chef holding up his creations.

It was then time for afternoon tea, to sample the various flavours.  Talk about sugar rush in the afternoon.

The classic baked mooncakes are priced from RM28nett per piece, starting with white lotus paste with almond nuts and single salted egg yolk (单黃榄仁白莲蓉月饼) representing the bright full moon during the festival; best-seller of white lotus paste with double salted egg yolks and almond nuts (双黃榄仁白莲蓉月饼); and pure white lotus paste with almond nuts (榄仁白莲蓉月饼).

Chef’s recommendation this festive is a new flavour with bamboo charcoal skin - a fascinating new addition to the baked skin series combining the fragrance of assorted nut (竹炭五仁月饼) in a distinctive charcoal crust. Another addition to this year’s baked skin series, the scarlet snow skin, includes the refined flavours of sweet snow skin infused with pandan and salted egg bean paste blend (雪桃红翡翠咸豆蓉月饼), promising a classic baked skin experience unlike any other.

The vibrant baked mooncake series is complemented with the endearing delights of mini snow skin mooncakes, priced from RM20nett per piece. The snow skin stars this year is a rich blend of mini “red prawn” durian moon cake with egg cream (迷妳冰皮紅蝦榴莲奶油月饼);

mini tiramisu paste with assorted honey nuts (迷妳冰皮提垃米苏蜜糖果仁干月饼);

and mini chestnut paste with diced hawthorn and pineapple paste (迷妳冰皮律子山楂鳳梨月饼), a petite beauty created with sprays of red hawthorn, making it a lovely, rosy treat perfect for picture opportunities.

Absolutely irresistible, the mini peanut butter snow skin, instilled with Japanese purple potato paste and yam omachi (迷妳花生冰皮日本紫薯芋茸麻糍月饼), is a great blend of Chinese and Japanese, with a surprise of omachi in the heart of the mooncake.

The variant of mini snow skin will enthral guests with other choices of mini snow skin with pandan coconut paste in single yolk (迷妳冰皮翡翠椰茸单黄月饼); and mini yam and white skin with pumpkin and green tea paste (迷妳鸳鸯冰皮绿茶金瓜泥月饼

The classic baked mooncakes and mini snow skin mooncakes collection comes designed in the custom InterContinental icon and imperial wording imprint, giving it a regal touch. Packed in vibrant gift boxes encased by a butterfly motif, the mooncake collection makes a great gifting choice for friends and family with elements synonymous with the illusion of mid-autumn season’s flower blossoms on a night of moon-gazing.

Enjoy the various flavours of handmade mooncake delicacies with the Early Bird discount, available for orders before 27 August with full payment received;
● 15% discount for a minimum order of 1 – 100 boxes
● 20% discount for a minimum order of over 101 boxes

Bulk purchase discounts are available for purchases from 28 August to 27 September;
● 10% discount for 51 – 100 boxes
● 15% discount for over 101 boxes and above

Complimentary delivery services within the Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Klang Valley is available upon request for purchases of 20 boxes or more (one drop only).

 Credit card users for Maybank, Citibank, and CIMB will also enjoy a 15% discount for boxes. For reservation or more information, call Tao Chinese Cuisine at 03-2782 6000 or email the team at Tao Chinese Cuisine is a pork-free restaurant and is open daily from noon to 2:30 pm for lunch and 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm for dinner.

Visit them  at,

follow their Facebook and Instagram @intercontinental.kualalumpur and Twitter @ interconkl.

The packaging comes in this elaborate intricate box :