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
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
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
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, 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
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 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
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!
How time flies, while many of us were still contemplating about 2015 new year resolution, the calendar indicates that it is already past mid of January, so I guess it’s time to forget about what you promised yourself one the last day of 2014 and start getting ready for Chinese New Year.
One of the things we worry about when it comes to CNY is the big “sau kong”/reunion/”hoi kong” dinner. Where to have the dinner? Is it going to be awesome? Expensive? Good? etc etc.
I’m quite happy to report that the first of such dinner I sampled this year turned out to be a gem.
Special 2015 CNY Guinness dinner menu at Grand Imperial BSC
I’ve been to Grand Imperial BSC before for a few wedding dinners and generally were quite impressed with their food. So when Guinness invited me to sample their “Guinness Chinese New Year Banquet Menu” that’s available at BSC, I was quite happy to oblige.
Haze performed a caligraphy piece for the opening of the event
Making the trip even more worthwhile is the fact that Haze was the performer of the night, showcasing her Chinese calligraphy skills on the stage. If you want to make your event/annual dinner/etc more interesting, consider hiring a speed painter/calligrapher like her, not only the performance is interesting, you also have a piece of artwork to bring back to the office.
You can contact Haze via artmisfits.com, other than speed painting, they also provide wall murals and other art related services.
yee sang with silverfish
Anyway, lets talk about food. Here’s the Guinness Chinese New Year Banquet Menu, available for table of 10 and come with 2 large bottle of Guinness for RM 1,888++
- Yee Sang with Silver Fish
- Braised Bird’s Nest with Fresh Crab Meat
- Roasted Whole Suckling Pig
- Steamed Pomfret “Traditional” Style
- Fresh Water King Prawn in Casserole
- Braised Sliced Abalone with Black Moss and Dried Oyster
- Clay pot Rice with Chinese Sausage and Dried Meat “Hong Kong” Style
- Chilled Fresh Mango Puree with Sago and Pomelo
- Deep Fried Nian Gao and Deep Fried Sweet Potato Pastries
The menu is available from January 13th until March 5th, 2015.
braised birds nest with crab meat, roasted whole suckling pig
As every CNY dinner goes, we started off with yee sang (which is invented right here in Malaysia). I really liked the interpretation of yee sang here with the usage of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as deep fried silver fish to create a crunchy and fresh feeling starter. the minimal plum sauce used also ensured that the dish did not turned out to be overly sweet. It was a good starter.
The braised birds nest with crab meat, to me, was one of the highlights of the night. The soup was infused with bits of black truffle to give it that distinct aroma, birds nest gave it the character and texture of sharks fin without the environmental impact, and fresh crab meat provided extra sweetness. I loved it!
Suckling pig was roasted to perfection, and I think we finished it in less than the time you’d take to boil a bowl of instant noodle.
steamed pomphret, fresh water king prawns, braised abalone w/ black moss
The huge pomphret was abit of a concern to me as most restaurants tend to over steamed a fish this size, but fortunately the chefs at Grand Imperial seem to know exactly what they’re doing. It was prepared expertly with top grade soya sauce and we really enjoyed the seafood.
Fresh king prawn was a pretty good dish too if not a bit messy to consume. The head of the prawn had all the right juices that’ll clog your artery, but that’s the way we love it.
Braised abalone slices with black moss and dried oyster is another well prepared traditional dish that I always enjoy having, though sometimes I wish there’s a chef somewhere who’d be bold enough to replace those dried oysters with fresh ones, or even with scallops.
clay pot rice with dried meat, Chinese desserts
Stomach filler in this CNY menu was the clay pot rice with Chinese sausage and dried meat “Hong Kong” style. The rice was alright, but those dried meat were great! I especially love the darker “lap cheong” that’s made from duck liver. If you haven’t had those, try it! It’s literally like the foie gras of wax meat.
Desserts were chilled mango puree with sago & pomelo as well as fried nian gao and deep fried sweet potato balls. I love the mango puree as well as fried nian gao that was coated with a layer of dried coconut meat, the potato balls pastries though, would be great for afternoon tea time snack instead of dessert.
I think we were the noisiest table at Grand Imperial BSC that night
Overall, it was a pretty awesome dinner, we had plenty of Guinness to go along with those awesome food. There are also other CNY menu available at various Grand Imperial branches, so be sure to check them out.
Grand Imperial Restaurant
3rd Floor, East Wing,
Bangsar Shopping Centre,
285 Jalan Maarof,
Bukit Bandaraya, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.142808, 101.667448
Tel: 03-2283 1118