Martell Malaysia introduced the Martell Chanteloup XXO, a remarkable blend made up of 450 Eaux-de-vie from the four finest cognac crus with an unforgettable dining experience in Genting Highlands recently. An exclusive group of guests were treated to a special dinner and cognac matching experience at E18hteen Inspired Cuisine last week. The collaboration between Martell Malaysia and E18hteen Inspired Cuisine blended East and West, pairing artisanal Chinese cuisine with the exceptional selections of Martell’s cognac.
The complex taste of Martell’s cognac enables it to be paired harmoniously with a wide variety of cuisines, from French cuisine to European dishes, and now, to Oriental cuisine as well. While the brand has had experience and is known for such pairing with Western dishes, the dinner was an excellent example of how well Oriental dishes could be paired with Martel’s range of cognacs. Each cognac was specifically and carefully selected to accentuate, highlight and harmonize with each dish in a way that tantalised the senses and ticked the tummy. Read on as we break down the experience for you.
First up, we were treated to an exciting appetiser with the Stir-Fried Crispy Abalone Mushroom with Butter & Salted Egg and Micro Crest Salad with Truffle Dressing. The whole point of appetisers is to entice you with small servings while leaving you wanting more, and the dish did a great job of doing exactly that. The stir-fried abalone was just crispy enough, and yet juicy enough, with the butter and salted egg accentuating the earthy flavour of the Abalone Mushroom. Sips of the Martell VSOP, with its spicy notes of toasted candy apple, lime, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom, enhanced the flavour of the Abalone, while complementing the freshness of the salad.
The Double-Boiled Mountain Grass Chicken with Black Mushroom & Dried Scallop soup was a delightful surprise with the mushroom and scallop providing a strong salty flavour that matched the fresh taste of the Double Boiled Mountain Grass. The sweet fruity taste of the Martell XO provided a bold contrast, with its rich sweetness and intensity. The saltyThe XO is bold on its own and so was a perfect harmony to the dish by standing up to the dish’s richness, with its powerful fruit flavours offering a nice contrast to the dish’s piquancy.
For the first dish of the mains, we were presented with the Steamed River Lampang Fish Fillet with Hot & Sour Pickled Chili and Korean Glass Noodles paired with Martell XO. It has been said that rich foods pair well with the XO, due to its sweet taste and strong finish and the Steamed River Lampang dish was no exception. The sweetness of the Steamed River Lampang Fish was matched by the spiciness of the Hot & Sour Pickled Chilli sprinkled on top. The sweetness of the XO made it a marvelous partner to the hot and sour pickled chilli, tantalising the tongue with sweet, sour and hot notes all at once.
And now we come to the star of the show. The highlight of the evening was most definitely the Oven-Baked Glazed Martell VSOP Pork Belly Ribs with Baby Romaine Lettuce Caviar, paired with the Martell Chanteloup XXO. Since the whole purpose of the dinner was to introduce the Martell Chanteloup XXO, I found myself eager to see how it paired with the Pork Belly Ribs which already had the Martell VSOP as a marinade. The Pork Belly Ribs were soft, sweet, and melted easily in the mouth, with lingering flavours of the VSOP. The complex blend of fruity and nutty notes of the Chanteloup XXO rounded out and finished off the serving, leaving the diners wanting more.
To wrap up the mains, the pairing of Glutinous Rice and Honey Cod Fish Wrapped in Bamboo Leaf with Martell Chanteloup XXO made for a late but unexpected treat. The Glutinous Rice‘s subtle nutty flavour pairs well with the Martell XXO, but the Honey Cod Fish truly brings the pairing together with its sweet, salty taste. The Martell XXO was a powerful enough partner to match the intensity of this dish. Aromas of spices, figs, and nuts rose gradually up the nostrils, and fruit and walnut on the tongue turned into a long, silky finish that remained on the tongue, and deep in the memory, long after the dinner was over.
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