Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dinner @ Grand Palace Pavilion KL

This is another one of those dinners where friends meet up, have some simple food and nice wines. Our usual hang out place would be the restaurants and particularly this place at Pavilion KL as it has a good chef, nice private rooms, convivial because we knew the staff there and it's a convenient meeting point for some of us.

We started off with Chateau Chasse Spleen Blanc 2007, a Bordeaux white made from a Semillion-Sauvignon Blanc blend from the leading estate of Moulis. While Chateau Chasse Spleen might have been listed as the Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels during the 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification which was then anulled in 2007 due to dissastisfaction from the producers, it still remains as the top of the Cru Bourgeois even when the 2010 one-tier classification was introduced. While the new Cru Bourgeois classification was being prepared, 6 out of 9 former Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel (Château Chasse Spleen, Château Les Ormes de Pez, Château de Pez, Château Potensac, Château Poujeaux and Château Siran) decided to remain outside the new one-tier classification. Instead, they formed a group named Les Exceptionnels.

This white here has a nose of minerals and lemon zest. On the palate, you can taste the honeyed fruits that is so rich and also some grapefruit and lemon notes. I love the fresh acidity which is balanced and it's a long and dry finish! It's definitely an aperitif.

Claypot Tofu with Oysters

Oysters go very well with white and thus the chef made us a special claypot tofu with big juicy oysters that are not cooked completely so that we can still taste the freshness and the sea flavours of the oysters. I like this dish very much. It's a twist from the normal appetisers I had.

One of my favourite red is also this Chateau Pontet-Canet from Pauillac. Located adjacent to Mouton in Pauillac, this estate has been in top form in recent years and now routinely produces wines of near-first growth class, with rich, concentrated cassis fruit and lush texture. That night, we are drinking a 2002 vintage which has a very densed nose on the fruits, particularly the black fruits. It's full-bodied, with generous but soft tannins and aromas and flavors of currants and wild berries with a lightly spiced finish. (Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: 88 points / Wine Spectator: 92 points / Stephen Tanzer : 91 points)

To go with the wines, we had a plate of fried Chinese ham called "Kam Wah Fo Tui" in Cantonese or also known as "Jinhua ham" in Mandarin which is a type of dry-cured ham named after the city of Jinhua in the Zhejiang province of China where it is produced. It is highly popular with the Chinese as it is used in the soup and many dishes due to its taste, and characteristics including an abundant layer of fat surrounding dark and red toned meat, a pronounced but not unpleasant odour, a fine textured meat with high levels of intramuscular fat, and a taste that is highly salty, umami, and sweet. That night, we had the fried ham served with fried roasted pork wrapped in a lettuce DIY style. It's wonderful!

The other one of my favourites is the fried fish which is fried to a crispy outer layer but still fresh and juicy inside and poured over with a bowl of warm sweet & sour gravy with cucumber and tomato cubes.

Pauillac de Chateau Latour Pauillac 2007 is actually the 3rd wine of Chateau Latour. In 1990, the estate began releasing 'Pauillac de Latour' every year, giving it the same attention and care as they do for the Grand Vin and the 2nd label, Les Forts de Latour. Wine Spectator- Offers floral and berry notes, with currant and licorice. Full-bodied, with a sweet core of fruit. There's silky tannins and a fresh, fruity finish. Reserved and balanced. Best after 2012. Score: 90 points. —James Suckling, March 31, 2010.

The pan-fried beef with garlic is also another recommended dish as it compliments the red wines very well. The beef cutlets are tender and juiciness remained intact.

As for desserts, the staff recommended these cute coconut egg custard tarts. The desicated coconut gave the egg custard filling a rough texture but at the same time it makes the tart more fragrant. The puff pastry is crispy and layered which goes so well with the filling.

All in all, it was an enjoyable night with simple dishes and good wines!


Sean said...

the jinhua ham sounds interesting. i wonder if it could be served like parma ham, instead of being fried. and now i wonder if parma ham can be served fried! heheh :D

Mun Mun said...

The food looks really good. Would like to give a try when the next time I am in KL. Wines were pretty good. Living the high life!! Lucky lady..

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