Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cape Mentelle Wine Pairing Lunch At Tanzini's - An Workday Afternoon of Sheer Decadence

Announcement: From 6th October till 5th December 2014, Cape Mentelle in collaboration with Tanzini will feature a pairing promotion comprising of a 4-course degustation menu for RM400++ for two persons; where each course will be paired with a bottle of Cape Mentelle Chardonnay, comprehensively showcasing the range of wines that lead the portfolio.

The thought of having a wine pairing degustation lunch on a weekday afternoon can be rather scary, especially when you know the wines are great wines.  As is always the case when the invitation comes from the MHD (Moet Hennessy Diageo) people, and the PR Company, Geometry Global.  The last Cape Mentelle event we had was memorable, and I was sure this one would be too.

The good thing about a lunchtime event, at a well illuminated venue, is that everything seems so "bright".  Held at Tanzini's, a fine dining establishment on the top floor of G Tower, the media guests were accompanied by Cameron Murphy, the dashing Cape Mentelle Estate Director.

In collaboration with Chef Fua, a lovely lunch menu paired with Cape Mentelle wines had our anticipations rocket as high as the location of Tanzini...(although this particular lunch was hosted by Chef Eugene Lee, presumably Chef Fua's Sous Chef)

Cameron is very passionate in his presentation and talk on Cape Mentelle wines, and the audience were enraptured, some probably more coz of him film star looks.  He talks about the location of Cape Mentelle, on a peninsula surrounded by three oceans... did he say three?  I know the Indian and Southern ocean meet there, but who's the third??  And spoke of the Fremantle Doctor, a cooling wind that blows on the dot every day giving the region a very mediterranean type climate.

Those numbers on the poster are the points, not the price.

We start with the 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, which is a lovely drop before a meal, light, crisp, and most importantly, served cold which suits our balmy weather to a tee.  I have always been a big fan of the Malborough Sauvignon Blancs but this combination of the two grapes are a perfect match as well.

Chef Eugene Lee explains to us the natural pairing of the Sauv Blanc Semillon with the pan Seared Hokkaido Scallop, the "aromatic purity" of the wine enhances the sweetness of the seafood.

What a wonderful sight, a plate of gorgeously plated food with a bottle of wine in the background.

Next was the Cabernet Merlot 2012, a blend that has a fine pedigree including being awarded the trophy for ‘Best Bordeaux style blend’ at the 2006 Decanter World Wine Awards paired with the Free Range Chicken Roulade and Cured Smoked Duck.

; the structure and length of the cabernet with the soft mid-palate of merlot further enhanced the dish.

This was my favourite dish, and favourite pairing.  The medium bodied red absolutely magnified and enhanced the flavours of the chicken roulade, which was also very delicious and just rolls off the palate.  Loved the gamey flavour of the duck, and the crunch of the free range chicken which you can only get WITH free range chicken.

A lovely palate cleanser, some sorbet that seemed to pop and crackle in the mouth...
My "tumpang glamour" moment.

For the mains, and I always seem to choose unwisely,  a choice of Altantic Black Cod, paired with the Chardonnay 2012....which looks superb, and had all accolades by those who chose wisely...

Chardonnay 2011 - Usually I am not a fan of Chardonnays, and according to statistics, neither are most Malaysians.  Apparently 70% of white wines sold here are Sauvignon Blancs (I gleaned that info from another event...) but as I also observed in the my previous Cape Mentelle event, their Chardonnay really is quite different, and certainly would be one of my preferred Chardonnays.

Or the Aged Striploin, paired with the Cabernet Sauvignon 2011.  Now the reason I say I chose unwisely, well, the striploin wasn't too bad, but I felt my pieces were a bit overdone, and bordered on tough, although I can see why the pairing with the Cabernet Sauvignon is a natural choice.

Sourced from Margaret Rivers first grape, their flagship Cab Sauv is an easy to drink, full bodied red wine that definitely pairs well with red meats.  Cameron also mentioned that this wine can age quite gracefully.

To end, a sublime Praline Chocolate Mousse with Crunchy Croquantine, Hazelnut Daquoise, Cherry Gel and Light Lemongrass Gelato paired with the  Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2012. I was grateful that it wasn't paired with some sickeningly sweet dessert wine, as I have still yet to acquire the taste for dessert wines.  Absolutely enjoyed the dessert, which had a cornucopia of flavours tantalising the taste buds.

"This exquisite pairing blends the tantalising flavour of the dessert with the chalky acidity flavours of lime, pear and grapefruit of the white wine", says Cameron.

And I repeat, from 6th October till 5th December 2014, Cape Mentelle in collaboration with Tanzini will feature a pairing promotion comprising of a 4-course degustation menu for RM400++ for two persons; where each course will be paired with a bottle of Cape Mentelle Chardonnay, comprehensively showcasing the range of wines that lead the portfolio.  Having tasted the meal, I'd say that is a STEAL!!!!

Cheers and Yam Sing!!!

Tanzini, located on the 28th floor of GTower, offser contemporary European cuisines with its base rooted firmly in the rich and hearty food of the Italian home kitchen. Echoing the fresh concept, its Upper Deck offers diners a unique fine dining experience right ‘under-the-stars’ with distinctive star-lights fixtures and spectacular views of Kuala Lumpur night cityscape. Set in a double volume rooftop pavilion, Upper Deck has spectacular views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline. Cuisine is presented degustation style and reservations are highly encouraged.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Good GODiva!!! A Chocolate School Session!

There are some invitations which are absolutely irresistible, and when it involves one of my favouritest chocolate in the whole wide world, well, even if it meant playing truant all afternoon, so be it.  Whilst to some, Godiva may be associated with that famous lady who pranced around naked on a horse, to me, Godiva is synonymous with sheer decadence and luxury, something that I would rarely ever buy for myself, but would buy for others as a treat, and would gladly receive as a treat.

We were treated to a Godiva workshop, which involved making truffles, and who doesn't love a good truffle, and Beijing-based, Belgian Chef Philippe Daue, the GODIVA Chef Chocolatier led the exclusive sessions.

Chef Philippe Daue

Chef Philippe introduces us what is a good chocolate, starting with the packaging, followed by the smell, then followed by a "snap", a good chocolate should have  nice snapping sound as you break it, and of course, finally the taste.  Godiva of course is right up there as far as chocolates are concerned.
We were taught to break it, put a piece on top of the palate  and let it melt by itself.

Everything about Godiva screams elegance and class.

To make truffles, we were taught how to first make the truffle shells, which involved pouring the melted chocolate into the moulds.

The chef here is stirring the melted chocolate which is kept at a constant melted temperature of about 23C if I remember correctly.
Chris of Broughtuptoshare...
After filling the mould, and tapping to release all the air bubbles, the mould is then inverted and the balance of the flowy chocolate is released back into the bowl, leaving a thinner layer of chocolate coating the mould. The moulds are then refrigerated.

Moulds filled with chocolate....

Moulds after the excess chocolate has been released back into the bowl.

While waiting for the truffles shell to refrigerate, and harden, Chef demonstrates how to make these lovely chocolate discs, topped with toppings of our choice.

Back to the truffles, they're filled with a chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream mixture), using a piping bag, after which another layer of melted chocolate is placed to seal in the ganache.

The lovely other half of Broughtuptoshare...

The filled shells with ganache...

After a stint in the chiller, voila, out pop these beauteous truffles.  Which to me, are good as it is...although Chef went a step further to show us how to coat them.

Basically the naked truffles are coated with more chocolate, and tossed around in whatever topping you choose.  In this case, it's crushed hazelnuts.

About Chef Philippe
Born in Belgium where GODIVA is from, Chef Philippe is a fourth generation chef and son of a
famous Michelin 2-star chef in Belgium. Chef was born in a family that has a tradition of producing
top quality Chefs and has taken several studies in France and Belgium. The multi-lingual Chef
Philippe has worked as Executive Pastry Chef in several leading five star hotels, such as Shangri-La
Hotel, Mandarin Oriental and Hilton Hotel in various countries around the world and provided the
finest pastries for Belgian Royals in his own boutique hotel. His passion and creativity in culinary has
led him to join GODIVA as Chef Chocolatier, with primary focus on pastry products for China and
the whole Pacific Rim markets. He works closely with the team of GODIVA chefs around the world
(there are three other GODIVA Chocolatier chefs) and together, they meet twice a year to
develop new chocolates and further elevate the brand to new heights with dedication and
professional craftsmanship.

Some Trivia ...

The Legend of Lady GODIVA

When Lady Godiva, wife of Lord Leofric, protested against the taxation of his subjects, she
agreed to ride through the streets of Coventry "clad in naught but her long tresses", and so long
as the residents remained in shuttered buildings their tax burden would be lifted. The following
morning she made her famous ride and, despite being the ultimate temptation, the citizens
graciously remained indoors. Leofric kept his word and reduced the taxes to the delight of his
subjects, ensuring Godiva's legendary status throughout the centuries.

With a Belgian heritage dating back to 1926, GODIVA Chocolatier is the global leader in
premium chocolate. Inspired by the values of Lady Godiva – her passion, generosity, and
pioneering spirit -- GODIVA’s legendary name has become a universal symbol of luxury, quality
and the most delicious chocolate.

The company has a presence in more than 80 countries with distribution in over 500 boutiques,
Global Travel Retail, department and specialty stores, and online. GODIVA offers a range of
chocolate creations and is dedicated to innovation and excellence in the Belgian
tradition. From its famous truffles and shell-molded chocolate pieces to its European-style
biscuits, individually wrapped chocolates, gourmet coffees, hot cocoa and other indulgences,
GODIVA is committed to bringing the ultimate chocolate experience to the world.


Diana Roslam Fateh Hana
Assistant Marketing Manager Marketing Executive
Valiram Group Valiram Group
Tel: +603 2380 9888 ext. 5534 Tel: +603 2380 9888 ext. 5534
diana.roslam@valiram.com fateh.hana@valiram.com