LOUIS XIII has collaborated with Chef James Won to create a one-of-a-kind pairing that highlights the exceptional LOUIS XIII and homegrown Malaysian ingredients – T’lur. The pairing took place at Shin’Labo, a restaurant lauded for its success in reinventing the omakase experience by fusing Japanese and French cuisines with locally sourced Malaysian ingredients. The Louis XIII cognac, together with the exceptional hand-selected and crafted caviar creates a transcendental dining experience, allowing the flavours of the cognac to heighten your sensory experience.
The Louis XIII x Caviar Sensation Experience is ultimately about the decadent sensation of caviar combined with the Louis XIII cognac, which is why James Won’s Shin’Labo remains the perfect dining experience for the collaboration. James Won pairs hand-selected caviar, after having carefully crafted a menu of dishes that would pair well with the cognac. The results are a spectacular variety of dishes, some of which are paired with caviar and others that are not. Nevertheless, each dish serves its purpose in providing new heights of culinary delight only made possible by a supplementary pairing of Louis XIII cognac to go along with.
We break down each serving at Shin’Labo which, when paired with the Louis XIII, provides a luxurious dining experience like nothing you’ve had before.
The Amuse-Bouche, a French phrase for dishes that amuse the mouth, arrives with three savoury appetizers: the Omurice, Hambagu, and Korokke. These appetizers serve an important purpose by providing a light palette to whet the appetite before heavier and more complex dishes arrive later on. The Hambagu and Korokke melt in your mouth satisfyingly, and the Omurice provides a bright pairing with the Louis XIII cognac. The pairing between cognac and appetizers is something that doesn’t overpower but instead perfectly sets up the anticipation of the meal ahead. Such a pairing is ideal at this early stage of the gastronomic experience. After the Amuse-Bouche is over and you’re still digesting its delicate notes, you’re left wanting much more. This is merely a first taste of what’s to come.
As we proceed to the entrée (or starter), we continue the theme of lightness. The highlights among the starters would be the caviar and uni tart dish. Pairing with the Louis XIII cognac, the combination between the caviar and uni tart is nothing short of sensational. Louis XIII, when paired with the caviar, enhances the delicate creaminess of the fish eggs and creates a luxurious flavour explosion – for few things can be more luxurious than this combination of caviar and cognac. Cheryl Xie, the Private Client Director for Louis XIII, made the ingenious suggestion that the Louis XIII be chewed as one would chew meat, to bring out its spicy notes when paired with the caviar.
The Amuse-Bouche served its purpose in introducing you to the theme of this experience, but the entrée cements it completely. The Louis XIII cognac pairs seamlessly with each dish introduced to your palette so far, and this time the pairing leaves more complex notes dancing on your tongue.
Moving on to the Bincho Grill, the Blue Prawn with Sambal Olek made for an interesting pairing with the Louis XIII. While prawn is normally thought to be too mild a match for a rich cognac, the finesse of the Louis XIII makes this seafood pairing one that would win over even the most skeptical eater. The Louis XIII is then matched with the indulgent A5 Ohmi Hime Beef, divulging its intensity of flavour, which was heightened by only a sip of the cognac.
The Bincho Grill proves that the cognac isn’t just a suitable companion to each item of this experience, but an instrument that extracts the best from their consumption.
Simply watching desserts arrive from afar happens to be some diners’ favourite moment of a meal, and it is no different here. The first dish for the Desserts is the Japanese Musk Melon, delivering a refreshing taste that contrasts well with the spice of the Louis XIII cognac. Then, the yuzu bergamot parfait glacé, which appears as a small dollop of rich and velvety ice cream, delights the senses with its creamy texture and wonderfully sweet flavour. When paired with other desserts, like the Soba Sable, or Korean Persimmon, The Louis XIII makes sugary sweet desserts go down in a decidedly complex manner when paired than alone, each one bringing the best in the other.
Where the desserts might seem overly saccharine on their own, the cognac brings complexity to savour. Where the cognac’s bite might seem overwhelming on its own, the desserts round out its edges for a smoother flavour.
For more information on Louis XIII visit louisxiii-cognac.com.
(Photos: Louis XIII)