It was touted to be ” A match made in gastronomic heaven” and we would soon find out, just how magical dinner could be, at the skilled hands of Chef Sherson Lian and Chef Johnny Fua.
Arriving at Elegantology, it was literally “lights, camera, action” from the word go. It was strange talking to Chef Sherson with a camera crew holding a mike just inches from your head and still trying to act natural. Well, in the end I think it worked out well.
Anyway speaking to Chef Sherson, he told me that he was elated that the show Great Dinners of the World, had been such a huge success. Initially he was worried because though he is an outstanding chef, he didn’t have any formal training in the kitchen, so he was worried he might make a fool of himself on international TV, also jeopardizing his career and reputation on his other programme 5 rencah 5 rasa. But as it turns out, Chef Sherson had nothing to fear, because the show was a raging success, and his skills as a chef, really shone during his episode, shot in France.
Anyway, just like its name, Reality Bites, this current programme they are in the midst of filming, will be about the struggles and inside angle on what it takes to be a Chef at Elegantology.
Which brings us to Elegantology. The Chef Sherson and Chef Johnny would be cooking up a storm and presenting to us a specially crafted cognac-food pairing dinner, and it was supposed to be a match made in gastronomic heaven, otherwise, our money back;)
To start off the dinner, there was a gorgeous spread of canapés on an equally gorgeous looking table out front of the restaurant. Guests mingled and chatted with each other and the chefs, over Martell cocktails.
You can’t help but notice that Elegantology is different from other restaurants mainly because it is integrated into a couture gallery that carries exclusive men’s fashion and lifestyle accessories designed by local aspiring fashion designers. It is quite unique how customers get to dine amidst trendy, baroque inspired wear as well as limited edition clothes and accessories – the temptation to shop is huge (Cumi tells me, because there’s hardly anything here for women!)
At this point, I meet the other owner of Elegantology, Beatrice Looi, fashion designer who has influenced the shaping of the Malaysian fashion industry for more than 18 years. It was cool meeting her and listening to her talk about her inspirations behind, and aspirations for Elegantology. Like I said, a real shame it specializes in men’s wear.. I was all dying to shop already!
Oh well, saved by the bell, as it was time to have dinner.
The table was set, and it was time to eat. I was seated next to Christophe Pienkowski from Martell, who dropped by for this special occasion, and he would soon walk us through the dinner, and why they chose to pair each Martell cognac with each of the 6-course dinner dishes, crafted by the Elegantology chefs.
Christophe Pienkowski from Martell talks about the subtle differences between each of the Martell Cognacs
Amuse bouche – a salmon tartare and gazpacho, paired with the Martell Cordon Blue
We were advised to eat the spoonful of salmon and then chase it with the gazpacho soup. Refreshing and tangy, this paired well with the elegant Martell Cordon Blue – aromas and flavours of cinnamon, citrus peel and spices complemented the salmon and cold soup rather well.
1st Teaser – Hokkaido Scallop, Cauliflower Puree, Fish Skin Cracker and fine mixed Mesclun paired with the Martell Cordon Blue
This first starter was one of my favourites – a thick, succulent scallop medallion, which was just screaming freshness. The briny, oceanic taste of the scallop married well with the dense fruit, sweet spice and chestnut flavours of the Martell Cordon Blue.
Then it was time to bring forth the Martell Chanteloup Perspective
Chanteloup Perspective is an Extra Cognac composed of a blend of Borderies, Grande and Petite Champagne eaux-de-vie. Dominated by the distinctive and highly sought-after Borderies eaux-de-vie, it is closer in taste to Martell’s Cordon Bleu, the brand’s signature cognac. I loved the elegantly curved bottle with an elaborate silver scroll motif in reference to the gate leading to the well-guarded warehouse that houses Martell’s oldest and most exclusive eaux de vie.
Cognac and all things fine… Elegantology!
Zuppa – Foie Gras Veloute, smoked Garlic Toast Citrus Tomato Salsa paired with the Martell Chanteloup Perspective
Velouté is one of the five “mother” sauces of French cuisine. It is made with a light stock and a blond roux and if you are blending foie gras into it, just imagine the level of unctuousness it will be elevated to! Anyway this was my favourite course of the night (simply because I am ga-ga over foie gras) because it was the first time I had foie gras presented this way. I liked the way dunking the crispy smoked Garlic Toast Citrus Tomato Salsa crouton made it dissolved in the Velouté. The citrus tomato salsa added a nice tart dimension to the rich soup.
This was well paired with the Martell Chanteloup Perspective – on the nose, the cognac reveals a full and rich fruit aroma of apricots. The taste was that of honey, then black currant and finally finishing with some lovely fruit aromas. The after taste was sweet, long lasting and complex. This really tempered the richness of the creamy Foie Gras Veloute perfectly.
Sorbet – Passion fruit Granita
Refreshing sorbets and granitas make for a perfect fruity intermission to an exquisitely well crafted meal.. this one was no exception. Loved the sweet-sour tangy explosions of passion fruit seeds that left a mild sting on the palate. I felt ready for my mains now.
Chef Sherson and Johnny, working their magic in the kitchen
Putting the finishing touches on the mains..
Enter the Martell XO
Of all the Martell cognacs, this was the most oaky one. Good thing I chose Kobe beef for my mains. It would definitely call for some muscle to temper and balance this big boy of Cognac. From the oldest house in Cognac, Martell XO is often overlooked for more commercial counterparts. Those in the know realise that with such a great history and cellar-stock to draw upon, this is one of the most complex, well-made Cognacs produced in the great region.
Mains – Master Kobe MB10+, Natural Beef Jus, Fried Glutinous Rice & Muscovy Duck, Arugula Leaves paired with the Martell XO
Sniffing the cognac, I found the spirit pleasantly prickly with loads of character. Taking a nice, generous cut of Kobe beef I noticed it was the perfect medium rare. As I drew an appreciative swig of my XO cognac and ate my superbly marbled Kobe beef, only one thought came to mind. If I died now, I’d die a happy person.
Nice oaky aromas of toasted marshmallow, raisins, cherries that followed through on a soft entry to a dry, medium body was the perfect complement to this prized cut of Kobe beef. Neither stole the show from the other. Both worked in perfect synchronicity to deliver the ultimate cognac-food pair.
Loved the Fried Glutinous Rice & Muscovy Duck .. was just like eating lor mai farn ! (chinese glutinous rice)
US Black Cod, Butternut Pumpkin Gnocchi, Chili Oil, Classic Cream Carbonara paired with the Martell Chanteloup Perspective – something my other dinner companions ordered. Apparently very good too.
Dessert – Baked Cheesecake, Fireworks Crumble Kamquat Confit in Tarragon Infused Syrup paired with Martell Chanteloup Perspective
Here was a rather clever, well executed dessert worth writing about. I guess you could call it a deconstructed cheesecake. The ‘fireworks’ literally came in the form of crackling and sizzling crumbles (kind of reminds me of the fizzy crackling candy we used to eat when we were kids), whose bite and fizzle was then smothered by a creamy dollop of cheesecake. The kamquat element certainly reduced the richness in this dessert and gave it a nice, tart, finish. I found the tarragon infused syrup redundant but it did add a nice, pale, apple-green color to the plate I suppose. Again paired with the ultra smooth Martell Chanteloup Perspective, this dessert would be something I’d remember eating for a long time.
All in all a lovely, well thought out dinner. The ingredients for this specific cognac-food pairing event were of stellar quality. Will definitely be back to Elegantology for dinner soon, to check out they regular menu.Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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35, Level G2, Publika,
Solaris Dutamas, 1 Jalan Dutamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel : +603-6206 5577