While most people were behind desks on a sunny Thursday noon, we were treated to an exclusive preliminary food and wine pairing trail across several restaurants in the city. The wine in focus was the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 and the central theme of the food prepared was seafood.
The reason behind this special trip was to highlight the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc & Seafood Tasting Trail, happening from 1st of May till 30th of June 2014. Wine and fine food lovers will be able to embark on a journey where 18 dining establishments in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya will showcase their interpretation of a near-perfect pairing of a generous glass of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 with a luxurious seafood dish. It will be a journey like no other as Epicureans will be able to dine on delicious fresh seafood flavours with a highly acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc from one restaurant to the next.
Well, almost anyone who has wined and dined in a restaurant or has at least picked up a bottle at a wine shop, has heard of New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay.
Cloudy Bay Vineyards were established in 1985 in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough at the northern end of New Zealand’s South Island. Cloudy Bay is ranked amongst the top five in the Drinks International ‘Our World’s Most Admired Wine Brands 2013’ supplement. The pleasing characteristics of its wines has garnered the brand many fans. The label is known to be refreshing and easy to drink with or without food. The Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013, therefore is no less different from its siblings. It has strong citrus aromas on the nose and on the palate, fresh ripe citrus flavors with fennel and slight mineral notes. It is a wine that’s easy to drink but will it complement seafood? Well, we were soon to find out.
We were zipped around the city in a comfortable fully loaded MPV with chilled bottles of Sauvignon Blanc which our host gladly served us in wine glasses (yes, none of those plastics) during bouts of traffic congestion and wrong turns. On purpose? Probably so. We gladly welcomed these delays, as the yellow elixir kept flowing, the bond in the van grew stronger which led to some group vocal dis-harmonies over some popular 80s music.
Our first stop was at Gobo Upstairs. After a short wait, we were served an Atlantic Cod Bouillabaisse.
This classic seafood stew was served with mussels and fish in a broth delicately flavored with fennel. Well, there are no real rules to this dish except to use what’s fresh. This particular Bouillabaisse was slow cooked with a good fish stock, and you could tell that the different seafood had been added at different times, so nothing was under- or overcooked. The rouille sauce was delicious – traces of cayenne, garlic, bread crumbs and olive oil, met with sighs of approval – it was the perfect finishing touch.
Atlantic Cod Bouillabaisse - RM124++ per person
Pairing this with the Cloudy Bay was a good choice. Their 2013 initially displays a powerful nose of fruit and floral notes. However, going back to the glass after a minute or two reveals a deeper, richer tone of white peaches and passion fruit. The palate was vibrant with nice zings of currant – it was a great pair for the rich, thick broth of seafood it paired with.Add: Gobo Upstairs Lounge & Grill Level 6, Traders Hotel, 50088 Kuala Lumpur Tel: +603 2332 9888
The next stop was at Tujo, and we were served a platter of Pan Seared Scallop with Marinated Konbu, Medium Rare Crusted Tuna and Salmon. While the menu stated that the scallop was pan seared, our spoon servings arrived raw. We didn’t complain as it was juicy and fresh. Sometimes raw is even better than pan seared, especially if it arrived just that morning.
The konbu added a salty dimension to the scallops. The medium rare tuna had great texture, but the crust marination was too salty. This platter paired well with mineral-citrus acid backbone of the Sauvignon blanc. It would have been perfect, had it had less salt.
Platter of Pan Seared Scallop with Marinated Konbu, Medium Rare Crusted Tuna and Salmon Duo RM260++ per person
Add: Tujo Bar-sserie & Grill Ascott Kuala Lumpur, 9 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur Tel: +6012 210 3055
My third and final stop was at Shook! While the rest of the traveling media progressed on to Fisherman’s Cove and Brasserie Enfin to taste their specially crafted dishes, Shook! was my last stop due to another appointment.
This simple salad dish of yellow fin tuna, was really the highlight of the trip for me. The combination of the vegetables and pan seared medium rare yellow fin tuna simply unlocked the white wine’s full potential on the palate. A wine full of fresh herbal aromas and layers of fruit was just the thing to heighten the experience. The palate was succulent and crisp with a long flavoursome finish.. totally spot on.
Seared Yellow Fin Tuna Salad, Butter lettuce, Kalamata Olives, Sun-dried Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Asparagus, Green Beans, Artichokes, Fresh Herbs, Shaved Shallots, Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette - RM196++ per personAdd: Shook! @ Starhill Gallery Feast Village, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur Tel: +603 2782 3848
With seafood dishes from 18 restaurants, the month of May and June will be very exciting for fine food and wine lovers to indulge. It’s time to get to the gym and prepare for this rare dining experience. Watch out for the upcoming promotions from all the participating restaurants.
‘SNAP & SHARE’ TO WIN A 3D/2N STAY FOR TWO IN LANGKAWI
In conjunction with the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc & Seafood Tasting Trail, an exciting Instagram contest from Cloudy Bay Malaysia will also run from 1st May to 30th June 2014. Diners stand a chance to win a 3D/2N stay for TWO at an award-winning 5 star hotel in Langkawi. The seafood trail and contest will only be launched on 1st May so don’t start posting until then.
Follow cloudybaymsia on Instagram and simply share your best Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2013 and paired seafood menu. Remember to add #cloudybaymsia and @cloudybayseafoodtrail. The instagrammer with the most photos of paired seafood menu from as many participating restaurants will WIN.Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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