Friday, December 09, 2011

Martin Yan and Jacob's Creek Chinese Food Wine Pairing @ Mandarin Oriental Hotel KL

Mmmm... Australian wines taste great with Chinese food! :)....

Hi everyone... Just so you know - This is an invited review, k? Please find my usual disclaimers as follows:
1) I have not been paid to write this, but neither have I paid a cent for my meal, and
2) I will still be as objective as possible re. the food/wine.
The elegant ballroom in the Mandarin Oriental, where the event was held....

I am not the most pious person on earth, but when I think about it I gotta say, "Wow, thank You God(s) for all Your blessings!".

While I may not be rich/ famous/ gorgeous/ super smart, I have had the opportunity (through blogging) this year to meet with some really interesting people, whether fellow bloggers, passionate restaurateurs or (now) famous chefs!

What am I talking about? Well, just a few weeks ago, I got to attend Jacob’s Creek and Pernod Ricard (owver of Jacob’s Creek Wines) Chinese Food Wine Pairing with Chef Martin Yan!

- 1st Course: Chilled Scallop and Jellyfish
(Prepared by MO KL Chef Ricky Thein)

Matched with a Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling
3 interesting morsels....

The crisp JC Riesling....

An interesting mix of flavours and textures (sweet/ spicy/ sour, moist/ crunchy) that went well with the crisp, relatively dry wine that had slight citrus and mineral-y notes.

- 2nd course: Oven baked Sea Treasure Broth served in coconut
(Prepared by MO KL Chef Ricky Thein)

Matched with a Jacob's Creek Reeves Point Chardonnay
Rustic presentation housing a very sophisticated blend of flavours....

More robust and fruity of the 2 white wines that night (I liked this a lot)....

Delicious! :)
A generous array of seafood (abalone, fish maw, dried scallops, etc) in a clear, sweet broth that was accentuated by the underlying fragrance of the coconut.
(Strangely, the delicious coconut fragrance reminded me of laksa but not in a bad way)

This matched really well with the wine - medium finish, slightly fruity notes (peach?) and pleasantly sweet without being overpowering.
- 3rd course: Cantonese style Steamed Cod with Superior Soya Sauce
(Prepared by MO KL Chef Ricky Thein)

Matched with a Jacob's Creek Reeves Point Chardonnay
Good cod....

Prepared in the classic Cantonese styled, steamed with soya sauce - simple but well executed, with the perfect balance of salty against the natural sweetness of the tender fish.

The refreshing sweetness of the Chardonnay matched this well, with the fruity notes complementing the saltiness, somehow. :)

- 4th course: Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns
(Prepared by THE Chef Martin Yan)

Matched with a Jacob's Creek Steingarten Riesling
Big crustaceans....

The prawn was perfectly cooked (moist and bouncey meat yet lightly crispy on the outside).

I thought that the strong tasting sauce would overpower the wine but the Riesling definitely held its own, balancing out the spiciness and strong sweet and sour flavour well.

- 5th course: Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 chili sauce
(Prepared by THE Chef Martin Yan)

Matched with a Jacob's Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz
The classic pairing of red wine and lamb with an Asian twist (one of Martin Yan's signature dishes)....

Beautiful red....

Of course it's generally accepted that lamb matches with red wine, but this perfectly cooked lamb with an Asian twist went really well with this robust Shiraz and its strong berry flavours and fairly long finish.

- 6th course: Chocolate Mango Sweet Temptation
(Prepared by MO KL Chef Holger Deh)

Sweet endings....

So, who said you can't pair Asian food with wine? :)

It felt like the whole dinner was about straightforward, unpretentious flavours... (not in a bad way, mind you....).

Execution was pretty much flawless throughout and it was awesome to see/hear/meet Chef Martin Yan** - not only is he super skilled (saying that he can wield a knife well is an understatement actually!), he is also very entertaining with his brand of self depreciating humour and repeated pledges of admiration for all things (Chef) Wan.
(** I remember his TV show, Yan Can Cook, very fondly from my childhood days especially his signature line, "If Yan can cook, so can you!" and the addition of, "If Yan can't do it, don't even try!". Lol)

If you didn't already know, Chef Yan now hosts a new show on AFC called “True Passion with Martin Yan” which highlights the matching of Asian food with Australian wines (Jacob's Creek, in this case).

SHOUT OUT - Thanks a million to:
- Maggie, Joey and Pam from KTALYST International for inviting me (So honoured),
- Pernod Ricard/ Jacob's Creek for providing such excellent wines (They have more than 160 years experience in wine - Don't play play!),
- Chef Martin Yan (of course!) and the also very talented Chef Ricky Thein and Chef Holger Deh of the Mandarin Oriental,
- to my fellow bloggers there that night, nice to see you! *hugs*, and
- to all the nice people at my table that night, it was really nice to meet you and thanks for the interesting company. :)

Lastly, here's all of us with Chef Martin Yan at the end of the night:
My fellow table mates, with Martin Yan....

Contact details

Mandarin Oriental Hotel KL

Mandarin Oriental Hotel,
Jalan Ampang,
Kuala Lumpur City Centre,
50088 Kuala Lumpur

Telephone No.: 03-2380 8888
Opening Hours: 24 hours


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  1. it was an awesome night. i loved the fish and i think most of the steam fish loves would have agreed.

    didn't see you though. was at the other end of the room.

  2. I could certainly see Australian wine and Chinese food going well together... :)

  3. what's the smiley face???

    the food looks nice :D

  4. to missyblurkit:
    Darn! Didn't know. Oh well... hope we can meet some other time :)

    to Kenny Mah:
    I guess its just tricky considering the strong flavours... Trying to think - what would go well with salted egg squid? :D

    to Michelle Chin:
    I'm shy maarrrrrr. :P


Appreciate your thoughts, opinions and feedback. :)