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!
SS2 Monday night pasar malam is probably the 2nd largest pasar malam in Klang Valley, with Taman Connaught’s on Wednesday being slightly larger. There are well over a hundred different stalls offering anything from handphone cases, cloths, to fresh produce, and of course, food.
It’s always an adventure to go there and hunt for food every once in a while, as with most pasar malam, there are always new food offerings from time to time. After all pasar malam is probably the best place to gauge a new (al cheapo) trend, isn’t it?
Here are a few dishes we tried last Monday.
yakitori with pork, shishamo, and even smoked duck
There are a couple stalls offering yakitori, and this one we tried is situated closer to McDonald’s (nearby Taiping char kuih teow stall). We had a stick of smoked duck and a couple sticks of pork and shishamo yakitori each. The pork was succulent and delicious, smoked duck more than passable, but shishamo could be more crispy. RM 12.50 in all.
grilled scallops on stick, choose from five flavors
Next was scallop teppanyaki at this Sea King Teppanyaki stall that goes for RM 5 per stick of 3 scallops. You get to choose from 5 different flavors (bonito, black pepper, garlic, chili powder, or seaweed). We opted for original with teppanyaki sauce. It was pretty delicious too.
Less than RM 2 per scallop? Sign me up anytime.
Abang Jeff’s fried oysters omelet was actually pretty good
Then there’s Abang Jeff’s fried oyster. Being from Penang and got burnt many times ordering fried oysters in Klang Valley, I’m usually pretty skeptical with this dish, but since I was feeling adventurous anyway, we gave it a try.
The version here is a bit different as the oysters and eggs are prepared pretty much separately, but the end result turned out to be pretty decent nonetheless. RM 10 gets you 8 pretty good size oysters with more than edible omelet, so that was good. We really enjoyed this.
banchang kuih anyone?
To cap off the night, we had a crispy ban chang kuih each (RM 1.40) with plenty of sugar, corn, crushed peanuts, and even a bit of coconut inside. Perfect ending for a night of fried/grilled food. Now why don’t they serve beer at pasar malam to go with all these?
SS2 Pasar Malam
GPS: 3.117366, 101.621668
Hours: Every Monday Night
Nasi Lemak Itik Salai, now that’s something that you don’t commonly see. We are used to nasi lemak having sotong (squid), ayam goreng (fried chicken), daging rendang (beef), and for the non-halal version, even pork; but itik salai (smoked duck)? That’s pretty interesting so far as Malaysia’s national dish nasi lemak goes.
note: this place has moved. new address is at No 70 jalan Pekaka 8/3, Kota Damansara Section 8
(Same row with jabatan pendaftaran and hospital Pusrawi)
Izwan Woon Abdullah, located just behind Taman Bahagia LRT station
The restaurant that offers this dish is Izwan Woon Abdullah, located just behind Taman Bahagia LRT station at SS3, a few doors down from the famous pork noodle and Luckly Loke tai chao at the corner.
nasi lemak itik salai, you don’t see this very often
The restaurants offer nasi lemak and a few other more traditional Malay dishes, but I had to try their nasi lemak itik salai.
The plate comes with fragrant nasi lemak on a slice of banana leaf, a side of sambal, anchovies & peanuts, half a hard boiled egg, smoked duck, and some brown sauce for the duck.
The brown sauce though, was a waste of time, so we asked for more sambal instead, which more than made up for it.
the sambal and the rice itself was quite awesome too
The sambal was top notch, spicy and very flavorful, and the duck tasted pretty close to Chinese style smoked duck but with a slightly different taste that I can’t exactly point out, it was good, and certainly a different experience being paired with nasi lemak. I find myself enjoying it.
they have nasi lemak ayam too, and the otak-otak is pretty good
Their nasi lemak with chicken was able to satisfy one of the biggest nasi lemak fan in Horng, and otak-otak Johor (RM 0.80 per stick) was delicious enough we ordered second servings (even Suan who was from Johor approved of the taste).
The restaurant has been in business some 2-3 months and I sure hope it stays. I’ve only been there a couple times but looking forward to head there more often. =)
Restoran Izwan Woon Abdullah
SS 3/59E Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.109904, 101.611722
Hours: lunch and dinner