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A couple weeks ago I participated in a pretty special gastronomical event – the Martell Tricentenaire Gala Dinner at Genting Highland. I think it is safe to say that having a product on the market for 300 years is an amazing feat.

Martell Tricentenaire Gala Dinner, Genting Highland
Martell Tricentenaire Gala Dinner, Genting Highland

When the house of Martell was founded in 1715, the Ottoman Empire still exists, United States as a country has yet to be formed for another 60 years, and KangXi emperor was ruling China (there’s a joke that goes “which Chinese emporer is blind?”). Who would have thought that the same product still exists after a dozen generations later?

Martell Cordon Bleu, Martell Cordon Bleu 1912, Martell XO
Martell Cordon Bleu, Martell Cordon Bleu 1912, Martell XO

To celebrate this occasion, Martell hosted a grand gala dinner at Genting International Convention Centre, and I was very lucky to be among the invitees. The gala dinner drew from the tradition of Jean Martell, the creator of this fine cognac 300 years ago, who loved to host his friends at Chateau de Chanteloup, purchased by the Martell family to receive prestigious personalities from around the world.

As a celebration of the art of gastronomy, Martell arranged for Elegantology to prepare food. I’ve sampled their food on a previous occasion before, so you could say that I have some high expectations.

Citrus Infused King Prawn & Salmon Tartare
Citrus Infused King Prawn & Salmon Tartare

We started the night with Citrus Infused King Prawn and Salmon Tartare. The dish came with poached king prawns on skewer with avocado, and marinated salmon tartare & a side of yee sang to keep honor the Malaysian Chinese New Year tradition of “Lou Sang” (which was done on stage as well). We paired the starter with Martell Cordon Bleu.

Black Chicken Ginseng Soup with Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Scallops, and Fish Maw
Black Chicken Ginseng Soup with Abalone, Sea Cucumber, Scallops, Fish Maw

The second dish was not on the menu, but turned out to be our favorite of the night. A luxurious black chicken ginseng soup that is laden with abalone, sea cucumber, scallops, fish maw, and mushroom.

It was one of the best double boiled soup I’ve ever had, I would place it even higher than the one from Elegant Inn, which I really liked. It was complex, sweet, and yet not overly thick or complicated. If I can have one soup for the rest of my life, it’ll be a toss up between this and the best of what bak kut teh can offer.

Peppercorn Marinated Smoked Duck & Foie Gras Terrine
Peppercorn Marinated Smoked Duck & Foie Gras Terrine
Sea Bass, Steamed on Rich and Spicy Broth Infused with Tumeric & Egg

Continuing with the European theme, we then had peppercorn marinated smoked duck & foie gras terrine served on onion confit and raspberry vinaigrette. Smoked duck did not disappoint, but I had wished that they would serve foie gras as is instead of in the form of terrine. Then again, if you have to prepare food for some 1000 people, I suppose getting perfectly seared foie gras and served while hot may be a tall order.

Next up was steamed sea bass on rich and spicy broth infused with turmeric and egg white on asparagus. We paired this seafood with Martell Cordon Bleu 1912, a special re-edition of the classic cognac Martell Cordon Bleu, originally created by Edouard Martell in 1912.

The spicy broth gave the dish a hint of South Asian style, which is just as well since a slice of pita bread is served along side with the fish. Quite a bold play, and I think it worked.

Mediterranean Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb
Mediterranean Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb

Mediterranean Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb was our main dish – oven baked lamb with a medley of braised rice cake, cep mushroom essence and truffle. The lamb went really well with Martell XO, as with any perfectly prepared red meat would.

The herbal crust gave the lamb a bit of texture and character, while the truffle infused sauce made it richer, thus perfect for XO as a companion.

Ashley, KY, Haze, Garick, Sam, Michael
Ashley, KY, Haze, Garick, Sam, Michael

We did not stay for dessert as we had something planned early in next morning. The gala dinner, like other Martell gastronomy events I had the privilege to attend, was grand and impressive. I want to thank Angie for the invitation, until next time!

Thanks to the good people at ROYCE, I got my hands on a few limited edition chocolates slated for their upcoming ROYCE Maccha Fair (available from 1st August, 2013 for limited time) a short while ago. Since Lance invited us for his almost-birthday BBQ party at Genting last week, I took the opportunity to bring those chocolates some 1000 meters above sea level for sharing.

ROYCE Maccha Fair chocolates and the bunch at Genting
ROYCE Maccha Fair chocolates and the bunch at Genting

I’ve previously wrote an entry on ROYCE chocolate and was impressed with the quality of this chocolate maker from Hokkaido, therefore I was quite keen to sample this latest offering.

While many choose to buy chocolates in duty free shops, ROYCE is one of the very few brands that have their outlets in various malls around Klang Valley (check location here), offering a wide range of chocolate products.

To me, the only downside is that they don’t serve coffee on location since these two goes so well together.

ROYCE Maccha Almond chocolate, Kerol as the model
ROYCE Maccha Almond chocolate, Kerol as the model

Anyway, lets talk about these Maccha Fair chocolates.

The Maccha Almond chocolate is pretty self explanatory. Roasted almond coated with green tea flavoured chocolate on the outside. There is something about nuts that always goes well with chocolates, and I think this goes extremely well with beer too.

Lance & Haze with ROYCE's Prafeuille Chocolat
Lance & Haze with ROYCE’s Prafeuille Chocolat

ROYCE’s Prafeuille Chocolat made by having fragrant green tea sauce sandwiched between light-textured chocolate and mixed with powdered green tea leaves. A box of this contains 30 pieces of chocolates, all individually wrapped.

The taste of green tea is very strong and suppresses the aroma of chocolate somewhat. Whisky did not go well with this, but I believe coffee would be lovely. Kinda reminds me of those minty chocolates you get for Christmas, except this one tastes a whole lot better. Perfect for those who loves green tea, but if you just want the taste of chocolates, this might not suit.

Michael enjoying some ROYCE Nama chocolate - Machha
Michael enjoying some ROYCE Nama chocolate – Machha

Then there’s the Nama chocolate, ROYCE’s most famed product. This is one of the smoothest and tastiest chocolate you can get. Laced with a hint of liquor with perfect balance between the aroma of green tea and fragrances of chocolate, this was pretty much everyone’s favorite of the night, including myself.

If calorie intake and money isn’t a problem, I want ROYCE Nama chocolate to be in my fridge at all time. So good!

You can find locations of Royce’ stores in Malaysia from http://www.e-royce.com/english/shop/shopintheworld/malaysia.html and their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ROYCEMalaysia

it was Lance's birthday BBQ celebration, did it like a rock star
it was Lance’s birthday BBQ celebration, did it like a rock star

Well, the chocolate was just desserts for this awesome BBQ party that we had. Lance made us plenty of awesome BBQ goodness, which includes lamb rack, steak, bacon, mushroom with cheese, chicken, salad, clam chowder, and more.

The birthday cake for the boy was a pavlova cake from Alexis at Bangsar, which is of course, one of the best pavlova cakes you can get (Serai serves pretty good pavlova too).

plenty of drinks, meat, and good times with friends
plenty of drinks, meat, and good times with friends

Mike’s job for the night was handling all the alcohol related drinks since Ahfa was unable to join us on to night. We had great fun as always, and as always, looking forward to the next session!

How many times have you gone up to Genting Highland, had all the fun with the less than thrilling rides, the cooling air, and losing money to the late Uncle Lim, just to be disappointed with the dining options at the end? (they’re usually either lousy, or too expensive).

Most of the time, I avoid this by stopping over at Hock Lay, Ulu Yam, or just give up and get something fast from Mary Brown since paying extra for McD and KFC just doesn’t seem right. I know, I know, Mary Brown is cheaper at Pudu, but they get preferential treatment since they are local.

Qui Lin seafood restaurant
Qui Lin Seafood Restaurant at Gohtong Jaya, Genting Highland

And then there’s Gohtong Jaya. I used to think that at half way to Genting, the restaurants at this area must be slaughter houses like those on top of the mountain. I couldn’t be more wrong, this is actually the place where people who lives in Genting goes to eat, and the price is actually more than reasonable.

That was from the sample size of 2 places I had been, and lets look at one of them here: Qui Lin Seafood Restaurant

wild boar curry and clay pot seafood
wild boar curry and clay pot seafood

We chose to eat here since Kim’s dad (who used to run a restaurant) gave his approval. The 8 of us went up to Genting several weeks ago, and we stopped by Gohtong Jaya for a late dinner. Six of us were eating, and we ordered 4 pretty diverse dishes to go with rice.

The wild boar curry – a little bit gamy but perfect for curry. I guess curry isn’t exactly a traditional way to prepare pork, but they do it pretty well here, you have to avoid biting those chili padi though. *slurps*

Funny how a restaurant located 920 meter above sea level offers seafood, but that is exactly what happens here. Our clay pot seafood was an amazing dish, with plenty of sea cucumber, clams, mushrooms, prawns, peas, and fish maws in a very fragrant and addictive broth. I loved it!

vegetable, salted fish with egg plant
vegetable, salted fish with egg plant, and #porkgang

Another dish that I would positively recommend is the clay pot egg plant with salted fish (brinjal, aubergine, whatever you wanna call it). This unorthodox combination turned out to be very good, a bit salty, a bit sweet, and really yummy.

Then of course, we ordered a plate of vegetable for the color and a false sense of a complete healthy meal. It was decent, and the vegetable’s probably planted nearby.

Gohtong Jaya map

The dinner for 6 (Kim and Gareth was on diet), came to RM 88, or less than RM 15 per pax. Now who said you can’t get cheap and decent meal near Genting?

Address:
Qui Lin Seafood Restaurant
No. 58 Jalan Jati 1,
Taman Gohtong Jaya
Genting Highland
69000 Pahang
GPS: 3.394413,101.769061
Tel: 019-321 3609