Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Paul Jaboulet Aine Wines at Graze KL Hilton - nice!

The Lenglui resplendent in pastel blue. Ho leng hor?
June 7th 2016

Been a bit lax on the food writing of late. Raya holidays, Cruise around the Greek Isles, Raya holidays, Euro football and Wimbledon along with the usual IWFS and daily email management takes a mental toll. Also doing a lot of writing and recording for my Wikiloops and Youtube Rock Music projects. And being hugely envious of my foodie friend Julian who recently went for lunch at the Paul Bocuse in Lyon. Twice. Read it here. 

Not to say there haven't been a few dinners along the way. Just that the brain didn't seem to want to kick into gear and mood to tap out the matchless prose on the Mac. Anyhow, today seems possible, so here goes. 

One dinner we enjoyed was the Paul Jaboulet Aine Wine Dinner at Graze in the KL Hilton. We got a Whatsapp from Bobby offering the usual discount so ahead we went and signed up. Texas and FBQ also made it to the dinner. 

Graze is the now renamed Senses and targets a Bistro style in both ambience and food offerings. The room was arranged in table rows of ten to accommodate. About forty people seemed to be in attendance for this one. 

I quite like Graze. Light and airy in ambience, mirrors on the ceiling and the staff are warm. Chef Marc seems to control both the upstairs Graze and the downstairs Chambers - must be a stairway between them. He must be fit...

Sometimes I find that the company or the mood or something is not right for me to make notes at the table or photograph the food. FBQ takes good shots so when she is in company I often put the camera away. When this is the case, I assign a "tick" system on the menu - one is good, two is very good and three is excellent whilst no tick is okay only. 

The Salmon got two and the yuzu caviar got three - I remember a wonderful lightly oily piece of fish that slipped so easily between teeth and tongue and a lemon spritzing salt shave in the mouth from these fellows - great way to wake up the senses and slap the brain into gear. The CdR Blanc got one tick.

The Salmon
Both the Pot-Au-Feu and CdR Rouge got two ticks each, though I now have little memory of either. 

Spanish Roast Chicken pot-au-feu
The quail and truffle mash was darned good, all blended together with the reduction to create a mouth slathering meaty goo that zapped all the right places. Rich, taste, aroma - made the cheeks feel that kind of squeaky high pitched Betty Boop style "oooooo" as it pinched and tweaked. So, so yumyum. 

Seared French Quail
And the pairing of the Crozes with the quail made the wine sing La Marseillaise - the slightly sweet yet peppered Hermitage got well spritzed, giving off fresh fruit berries and green pastures. My new friend next to me raised the glass and said "Ho Seck hor?" Indeed. Ho seck (which i take to mean unbelievably good).

Was a bit apprehensive about the cheeks, given that the last time we had it downstairs at the Chambers it was dry and barren. Chef redeemed himself on the night - this one had full on rich beefy Bistro gravy taste and the texture of the cheek was very good. That kind of midway between melt and chew that lets the gravy seep in and infuse the meat. Belter. With the lentil and potato strips adding salt and vegetal crunch and the tomato giving a zap of cherry sweetness, the whole ensemble came into wonderful harmony. 

Australian Wagyu Beef Cheek - belter!
Dessert was rich and creamy as ever, and for the second time at the Graze I did not get my coffee. Hmmm….   For revenge, I hid the remains of a bottle of La Chapelle for the wine staff to get a taste. Hope they got there.   

Don't remember too much about the wines, though they were supposed to be stellar examples of the style. Don't get me wrong, the wines were delightful and it was a real privilege to sit down and sup them. Indeed, it was good enough that we made enquiries as to price, but subsequently somewhere down the road opted not to buy. They didn't leap out as something that was a "must buy" or that would pair with much of the cuisine we normally eat. Though Lenglui's Beef Stew might be a contender - we normally have a good Bordeaux with it, though a meaty CdP would also stand up well. Have to break out some Rhone next time Lenglui gets the Mastercook urge. 

For some reason, FBQ did not seem to take many pictures. At least I couldn't find them on the FB page. There are a couple of manky ones on my handphone which hopefully serve to give a sense of visual. Must get a decent phone camera soon. 

In all, redemption for the beef cheeks, tasty menu and well thought through combinations that entertained both visually and tastewise. Wines felt a bit forgettable. But credit for looking to keep the wine dinner punters engaged - just have to wait for the unmissables. Cheers!


Citrus Cured Scottish Loch Fune salmon, mesclun leaves, cherry tomatoes and green peas, yuzu caviar
2013 Cotes du Rhone Blanc Parallele 45

Spanish style roast chicken, smoked paprika & Cotes du Rhone pot-aux-feu, herbal aioli crostini
2013 Cotes du Rhone Rouge Paralllele 45

Seared French quail, baby spinach salad, truffled celeriac puree, red wine reduction
2013 Crozes Hermitage "Les Jalets" Rouge

Braised Australian Wagyu beef cheek, Le Puy lentils, tomatoes and spring onions, crispy potatoes
2010 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Les Cedres
2007 Hermitage La Chapelle

Black Olive & chocolate tart homemade vanilla ice cream

Premium tea and coffee selection

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