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.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Shook! at Starhill. Yes we were...

Lenglui loves signing up for these hotel cards which give you various freebies which often include dining at the restaurant outlets there. So it was with the YTL platinum card she had recently been sold on - we got a free set dinner for two at the Shook! in the Starhill on Jalan Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur. 

We figured the last time we had eaten there together was over a decade ago - I remember a wine dinner with some lovely Virgin Hills red in the early days of our journey into wine. But no memories surface of having eaten there since. It is not really on the dining map for us. Actually, none of the hotel restaurants seem to have been on the map of late, with the exception of the Hilton and the excellent Iketeru and Le Meridien with the equally excellent Prime. Used to be we'd be all over the place - Lai Po Heen at the Renaissance and the Regent, Shangri-La Lafite and Zipangu, Ming Court Palace - we don't seem to find reasons to go there anymore. Probably the massive car parking all the hotels are charging these days - don't feel the need to get scalped anymore than necessary.

So it was with some degree of hope for a good evening that we parked up and wandered around the Pavilion and the Starhill killing time ahead of our 7.30pm date. Never knew there was a Debenhams in the Starhill. Time came and down we sat. The band had started up, a jazz quintet which proved somewhat overpowering in terms of both volume and song selection. It might have been entertaining for the patrons wandering around the Starhill but for those looking to enjoy a quiet meal it was not at all so. 

Don't get me wrong - normally I like my music and in a different context the band would have been very entertaining. A Blues band with a burger and beer at the Bulldog is Hartamas is a good night for me. But for diners looking for quiet romance, this was very jarring. One song belted out just before they took a break had all five seeming to want to bust a gut to outdo each other in thrash terms. Possibly playing for themselves and not for the patrons. I understand - I've been there.

But now being sat on the other side of the table, it really doesn't fit. Five was at least two and probably three musicians too many for a restaurant, though I understand that musos must be hired to keep certain people happy. When the band stopped and the piped lounge jazz got played it did make for a much more pleasant experience. And the Shook! ambiance is geared nicely for intimate business and romantic seduction - one of the prettier restaurants I have been in for a while. But serious thought needs to be given as to whether the band is an attraction or a nuisance. We found them a nuisance which is Reason One why won't be going back to Shook! Which is a shame because there was a very attractive looking wine dinner being promoted for one week's time. We seriously considered booking but when the band got going we now fear the same will happen on the Wine Dinner night and wreck the whole evening for us. No confidence. Not going to take the chance. 

The other reason we won't be going back (though possibly a bit unfair) is that the food was not really of a standard that we have gotten used to. The starter salad was fair, but the sashimi was bland and some of it (to my taste) not fresh. We sent one serving back, saying there was something definitely fishy in the tuna and perhaps chef could give an opinion for us. The replacement came without tuna and though the whitefish was very good the salmon remained bland. The waitress assured us that the tuna was indeed fresh and possibly it was because we might not like the taste of it. Which felt a bit condescending but there you go. I think I've eaten enough sashimi to know which is fresh and which is not. You don't go to Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo and come away without learning what is the dogs in sashimi. This offering of tuna at the Shook! was nowhere near. Maybe it had been left on the plate in some heat somewhere a bit too long. One does kind of expect a bit more from a place affiliated to a top star hotel. Fail.

The Salmon Terikayi was overcooked and the Chicken Teriyaki was massively sweet though the Miso had good umami without being too salted. The dessert was pleasant in a chocolate stodgy kind of way. No coffee but warm water and car parking were free. Got a free bottle of wine when the waiter slightly bent the rule for voucher redemption which was nice. Should have tipped him but the rest of the night kind of made me forget to do so. 

On top of all this, the a la carte menu felt a bit all over the place - western, eastern, meat, fish - and in various styles and presentations. Prices felt a bit hefty too, at least on the meats. And the wine prices I saw were, er, shooking. RM100 corkage was standard and this just seemed to have been added to the supermarket price of the wines on offer. Didn't feel like much imagination here. Maybe we'd have to give the place another shot for fairness, but given the prices and markups for booze I'm a bit loath to do so - rather go somewhere we know and like rather than look for hopeful new venues. 

Having said this, the place was clearly doing decent trade. Folks were sat at the bar with drinks and young trendies and business types with partners were getting seated and ordering up the food with abandon. And on a Thursday in the dead centre of KL town where the traffic is the most horrific. So it must be doing something right. Though I did see one group flashing the YTL Card so possibly this was it. Maybe I'm getting crusty and aged and prefer somewhere less musically loud when dining. But I don't see a strong reason to return any time soon to the place. Shook!? By the band it certainly felt like we had been. Lenglui gave formal feedback - we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Spanish Rioja Wine Dinner at Ribs Damansara

12th June 2014

Got in a bit late to this one so only snaffled a swift glass of the welcome Monopole Viura 2011 as we made the rounds to friends assembled. Can't remember much about the wine. Pleasant, but not much in character terms. Also missed the Trio of Canapes, though a quick bite of the Jamon on the rock melon felt a bit thin in salty texture on the tongue. The melon also felt a bit thin in taste terms. Our locally grown Rock Melons from the supermarket don't quite have the sweetness of the overseas. I am indeed getting picky. Which is part of the reason I blog - picky keeps these places honest, no? Only if they read it…  which is perhaps why I didn't take many notes or photos for this one. Getting a bit despondent, plus the fact that there seem to be so many wine dinners at the moment that it seems a bit overkill. No point to write if the mood is not there - not fair to the reader or the restaurant. So treat this one as more a record than a report, eh?

Whole Grilled Squid - belter
Some of the Porkies had booked independently and were all looking forward to sampling Ribs' best. Which came in quick order in the form of a charming Whole Grilled Squid in Chimichurri sauce. Having the whole squid was a new experience and a tasty one at that. The contrasts in texture between body and tentacles was clear, and the grilling lent some char which offset the slight rubbery feel of the squid very nicely. The texture was excellent, not chewy as I usually find this sea mollusc to be. It was so refreshing not to have to work hard at eating squid. Chewy and chili but not overpoweringly so. Didn't know the Ribs could do seafood. Good start.

Wine Man Mr Bruno entertaining
It got paired with the Vina Real Barrel Fermented Viura 2011, which I can't remember a great deal about. Bit more of a full body than the starter, got half a memory of a nutty taste to it not unlike a fino sherry. But it all got finished so it couldn't have been bad. As they say, life's too short to drink bad wine. All got polished off on our table. But then it probably would - we seemed to have aggregated as a gathering of guzzlers. Birds of a feather, eh?

Winemaker for the CVNE range Mr Bruno got up to share some stories for a while and explain the wine and its history. Probably also to help let the kitchen get the next dish ready. I didn't take notes, but he was entertaining.

Next out were the Grilled Chorizo and Pork Skewers which were hot and spicy and very filling. Sadly the Capsicum did its repeating work very quickly and left me tasting the thing all night and the day after. Don't understand it - it is the only food ingredient that does this to me. And I'm pretty careful not to touch it. But even if it slightly taints the meat, I get hit. Notwithstanding, the pork and chorizo were excellent and paired with the Cvne Reserve 2009 of which I have no memory whatsoever. Perhaps a bit on the thin side for fruit. But better don't trust memory when the capsicum is working its dark gastric magic. Bad form me.

Baked Basil Iberico Ribs - bone sucking good
The Baked Basil Iberico Pork Ribs was the star of the night. Served with balsamic glazed walnuts and grilled pumpkin, they were simple, tasty and wonderful. Paired with two wines, the Contino Reserve 2006 and the Imperial Reserve 2007 which had substantially more body and taste than the preceding wines. More belt was clearly needed for the more robust food and these delivered. There was a great silky feel to the Imperial over the Contino - a velvet touch that oozed that bit of class. Close the eyes and you'd be transported to some palace on the Spanish Main surrounded by noblemen all cursing in fluent Espanol. Especially after the showing of the National Team in the World Cup. Damn sad. Maybe the new King will restore a bit of morale and direction. Hope so. I like the Iberian people. Know how to enjoy themselves. 

Someone stole my dessert as I was guzzling the remains of the wines being poured out. David paid for dinner. 

A most pleasant evening at the Ribs. They do their pork there very nicely. Well worth the admission price.

As postcript, happened to walk past the Vintry outlet in Ampang at about 8pm one Friday. We were on the way to perform at La Risata with our Six2Eight accapella group for a new friend who wanted us to help him propose to his girlfriend. It was looking decidedly sad - one couple there with a bottle and bordering on the dingy. Neighbour La Maison French restaurant was closed and didn't look like it would be reopening any time soon. Not looking good, though La Risata was full and buzzing. Good food too. In contrast, the La Risata just up from the Ribs in Damansara looks like it is struggling. Maybe they should just straight swap premises and expand?

Ribs by Vintry
Address: 120-122, Jalan Kasah, Medan Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: +(603) 2096 1645


Trio of Canapes
Tortilla Wedges, Duo of Cherry Tomatoes and San Simon cheese, Rock Melon wrapped with Jamon Slices
Monopole Viura 2011

Whole Grilled Squid
Served with a piquant chimichurri sauce
Vina Real Barrel Fermented Viura 2011

Grilled Chorizo and Pork Skewers
Served with capsicums and aubergines
Cvne Reserve 2009

Bakde Basil Iberico Pork Ribs
Served with balsamic glazed walnuts, grilled pumpkin, rocket and water chestnut salad
Contino Reserve 2006
Imperial Reserve 2007

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hoi Kee in Taman Desa - well tasty Hokkien food!

Gwailoah, where's the food ah?

Scouting around for a venue for a gathering of our occasional Pork Luck Club of foodies, the Doc revealed that he had been recently reconnected with the Hoi Kee. 

One of the treasures of The Pines row of restaurants and a regular haunt of the Lenglui and I, it got lost when the DBKL came along and demolished the whole row about five years ago. We heard that the husband and wife team were still cooking but had no idea where they were. The Doc revealed that he had found out the new location off Jalan Klang Lama and that the food was still excellent. They focus on what is called the "Heng Hua" cuisine, which is essentially Hokkien style home cooked comfort food, the stuff that satisfies the belly and the soul. Also now got airconditioning. It was decided. We should all go eat there. 

The scrumptious Fried Chicken
And so it was that our Pork Luck Club gathered with our wines and glasses to taste the delights of Chef Thomas Yee at the restaurant. And delights indeed they were. Though the first delight was not from the kitchen. We actually started with the Doc's home made soup, a Pork and vinegar concoction in which he had reluctantly gone easy with the chili out of respect for the Gwailo. Very tasty, all sour and full bodied. Excellent counterpoint to the four bottles of fizz that had got popped and getting rapidly swallowed. We can be quite thirsty, the PLC.

Next out was the Deep Fried Chicken which went exceptionally well with some, er, chili and the hugely spritzy Dona Paula Sauvignon Blanc 2013 that YC had brought. Not as grassy or flinty as the New Zealand SBs tend to be, the Dona had a firm crunch of guava and a good hint of green pepper on the front end. The chicken was wonderfully juicy and succulent and the skin had a good oily crunch. The deep fried and equally crispy skinned Tau Foo followed fast (which again benefitted from a dab of the chili sauce) as did the magnificent O-Tien Oyster Omelette and then we were on to the Grouper. Perfectly steamed and soused with cilantro and spring onion, it was champion. By this time we were on to the reds, Tony's Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2012 and the last of my Villa Maria Cellar Reserve 2008. Both were sleek and full bodied and fairly voluptuous with dark pepper cherry to the fore on both. The Villa Maria had slightly more fire and attack though both were totally enjoyable and light enough not to kill the fish. 

Remains of the Grouper
The star of the night was the braised Pork Trotters - dark rich sauce and roasted trotter braised for a couple of hours. O beautiful. Salivating now just thinking about it. Sucky gravy, next time must bring some crusty Baguettes to soak it up. And there will be a next time. My memories of Hoi Kee food include the Lemon Chicken and the fried noodles which were our staple orders. Have to see if it is as good as my memory says. Lot of good times at the old shack in Brickfields. 

We finished the night with a very pleasant Chateau St Michelle Merlot from Toru-san which paired nicely with the Trotters and toasted our first anniversary of the Pork Luck Club. Good fun group, the porkies. Know how to enjoy their food and wine. And so happy to have reconnected with the Hoi Kee. 

Braised Pork Trotters - total Yum. Needed bread to suck up the gravy
Restoren Hoi Kee Heng Hwa
16 Jalan 1/109E, Desa Business Park, Taman Desa
off Jalan Klang Lama, 58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 79818878

May checking out the Trotters
Just by way of post script, Lenglui and I had opted to go straight from the office for fear of Klang Lama traffic and headed for the RT Cake House in Taman Danau Desa to buy up some loaves of their excellent Walnut Bread. Toasted with a lash of butter, is a perfect partner for eggs or stew. Finding ourselves with an hour to kill we stumbled upon two wine resources. The first was the Wine Shop attached to the Sri Kota supermarket there. When we lived in Brickfields, the Sri Kota supermarket there was our source for wine in our early drinking days. We would buy up the Carlo Rossi for RM16.90 on special and guzzle and thought it was the total business. This wine store had some excellent selections and a wide range from First and Second growth Bordeaux to good value Chilean and Australian chuggers. The prices felt quite reasonable, not too far from what we get direct from the distributors. Have to come back and spend more time. 

The second wine resource was directly across the road from the Sri Kota Wine Store. It was called the Board Room. From the outside it looked like a pretty innocuous wine store. But at the back it opened out into a delightful lounge where couples could sit in relaxed splendour with a bottle of something from the well stocked wine fridge. They also serve snacks of porky bits. Manager Bibi shared some very tasty beef bacon and gave a free bowl of potato chips to munch with our very pleasant Prosecco. Wine prices were not unreasonable for takeaway, though they up the rate for those who want to drink there. Fair enough. We figured our Pork Luck Club should have a gathering there, either a full evening or as a meet up before going on somewhere. Only downside is trying to find parking close to the place. Everyone is constantly fighting to get in or get out of the area and double parked is the rule. Better to park out on the main road and walk in, which we did. Even so, a good find and one to which we will return. 

Chef Thomas and wife Ai Yan

Board Room
9-0-5 Jalan 3/109F Danau Business Centre
Taman Danau Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03 79846380

Monday, June 2, 2014

Pontet Canet and Noble House Food - Yum!

Display for the Pontet-Canet

That dull ache at the back of the neck and across the temples. sure signs of a good full and satisfying night. 

This is the morning after feeling following the previous evening's pairing of Noble House Cantonese cuisine with various vintages from the cellars of Chateau Pontet Canet. Organised by Ivy Lim from Vinum, the paring would showcase the vintages of 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2010 and offer a taste ot the Tesseron cognac to see if the assembled liked it enough to want to buy.

Most times, this muzziness gets in the way of being productive. Not strangely so with the writing, though one does still need a coffee kickstart to get the brian in focus and the words flowing. Hard life, eh? I should complain. Be nice to get some income from all this nonsense though. Any suggestions anyone?

Armed and ready...
There was a fairly full turnout of just under fifty for the dinner. Seems the numbers had been increased to accommodate the demand for the dinner. Indeed, at RM380 for all the food and the wines being poured, it was a very good deal. And starting with the Bruno Paillard champagne being generously poured into our flutes set a most delightful easy tone for the night. Nice biscuit on the nose, clean and firm, somewhat acidic fruit - sharply bracing but pleasantly so. Everyone got warmly greeted by Melanie Tesseron from Pontet Canet who seemed to half recognise faces from her previous visit to KL last year. I didn't - felt and looked a totally different crowd possibly due to a different organising wine distributor. Professionally warm and smooth - as said in a previous posting, Mme Tesseron is a superb ambassador for the Chateau and the wine. See my previous post for Chateau Pontet-Canet at Prime Restaurant.

On the table were goodie bags with a glass bung and drip pourer and a cute thank you note from organiser Ivy. Nice touches. They do make the effort to show we as punters are appreciated. That's how you keep a customer. 

We were seated in a private room that was large enough to take all forty diners with good space for pre dinner mingling and relaxing. Set with traditional round tables, the ambience was easy, light and with lots of space to breathe between seats and tables. Little earth tone touches on the walls and visual displays contrasted the generally light coloured tablecloths.

Lenglui, Lengjai and Melanie Tesseron of Chateau Pontet-Canet
Kicking off the evening with a Powerpoint and a friendly chat, Melanie shared the history of the vineyard and its accolades through the years. Highlight was us learning that the horses they use to till the land and carry the produce like to eat the grapes. As a result they literally put the cart before the horse so that they get picked before Dobbin can get his teeth into them. Presumably it also works the same way a carrot would before a donkey. Someone wondered whether the horses like to drink the wine as well, but that was sotto voce. 

Pan Fried Foie Gras with Teriyaki Sauce and Stuffed Scallop. And handphone.
The food followed fast. First course of pairing a scallop with seared Foie Gras and Teriyaki sauce felt a shade over the top, with neither really helping the other in terms of taste. Separately, though, they were stunning, the scallop especially - firm yet light, great bounce on the chew with the freshest of tingles on the tongue and teeth. And coated with a light crisp batter lent a delightful (I think) peanut oil crunch to the experience. Stellar. I think sometimes a restaurant will add loads of Foie Gras to a menu to give the impression of grandeur and getting bang for the buck. Often, it doesn't really add anything - they would certainly have been better as two separate dishes. 

The Bruno clared the gunky sauce very nicely which tamed his acidity to a more easygoing level and let a bit of stewed apple come through.

Lenglui, Vinum's Ivy Lim and friend YC
Somehow the wines got crossed and the first course got paired with the 2008. Whether a happy accident or a deliberate choice, it proved a better match. Soup can rarely pair with anything and had the bold and fruit driven 2003 come out with it, they would have done each other no favours. As it was, the lighter, tighter, lean and clean 2008 made for as good a bedfellow as one could reasonably hope for. Good berries, cassis and chocolate with some green pepper. Nice chewy tannins with good acidity, though the fruit felt a bit thin in balance terms. Drinking nicely now, it didn't feel as there was much left in it. It felt a bit ordinary, though it would eventually prove to give more sleekness and complexity further down the bottle. 

The Double Boiled Soup was that odd combination of salt and sugar and oil that somehow comes together in a full bodied satisfying blend. The beef had been wrapped around bunches of enoki mushroom and half mushroom and cilantro which made for a nice fresh bite. Came across as a kind of fusion Sukiyaki in Chinse broth. Interesting. And international.

Double Boiled Superior Soup with Beef and Enoki Mushroom in Japanese Paper Work
Some Bruno had miraculously escaped earlier oblivion and actually made for a pleasant match with the soup, bringing out more fruit in the fizz. 

The 2003 was big and full on. Massive fruit on the nose and mouth, big body and firm tannins, all very nicely balanced. One felt that this one had a lot longer to go. The story was that 2003 was a big sun summer so the fruit got a bit baked on the vine and concentrated the flavours. I got a slight stalky note somewhere, a hint of bitter pepper. But it was only on one taste - the rest was quaffed and sipped with the reverence one should normally accord such delightful wine. 

The Pigeon was very tasty. It had that air of game about it - that whiff and taste of age and oily wildness that pinches the cheeks and somehow makes you want to hawk and spit and swallow at the same time. This one had a dry crisp skin, with a smoky taste that suggested it had been charred over oak chips. It was also very salty, suggesting a dab of soy sauce or MSG had been rubbed into it. Darn tasty, and the 2003 went gangbusters with it, exploding the mouth with its fruit and tannin and melting the pigeon into lean cuisine. Some started with the knife and fork but ended up using fingers. Small birds need the human touch. 

Roasted Pigeon. And handphone.
The 2000 had a somewhat tight nose at first blush, though the swirl revealed lots of nasal layers and the promise of complexity. Immediate spice and tobacco and full earth.

The Lamb Cutlet was nicely warmed and peppered with excellent fat and basted with a smooth hoisin sauce, giving it a barbecued and slight charred feel as a result of being grilled. It was most tasty and excellent, borderline outstanding. Got fire, got heat, got pepper, got sweet, got juicy meat and texture - eat this and die. Ho Seck as the Chinese might say, though Dam Siok would also fit the bill.

Grilled Lamb Cutlet with Garden Green Salad
The 2000 did very well, though its sleek complexity lost the battle with the Hoisin sauce. It needed bigger fruit to stand up to it. In this, the 2003 was the better match on the day. It faced down the sauce with its bold mouth and flavours and both lamb and 2003 CPC each brought out layers of taste and suppleness in the other. Total back of the net. The 2000 felt a shade old. Not to say that there is no life left there, not at all. Just a little out of its depth given the relative youthfulness of the other wines and the power of the sauces in the food. A sipping wine rather than the food chuggers than the 2003 and to a lesser extent the 2008. 

Pan Fried Australian Beef Steak served with Garlic Fried Rice topped with Foie Gras
The Beef Steak had a sweet smoky taste to it, as though it had been basted with the same sauce. Texture wise, it was excellent, just that….  the sweet sauce rendered it to taste pretty much the same as the previous dish. Perhaps the sauce from the lamb had got stuck on the tongue and it was this that was getting in the way. Kind of like the tongue had been sugared out and everything was tasting sweet. Well, and maybe no - Noble House does ilke its sweet sauce. There really felt like a generous dab of it on the steak, which was a pity. Contraryt to perception, we westerners do like an occasional bit of variety between our dishes. 

We had a VERY good time! 
The Fried Garlic Rice with Foie Gras was revelatory. The sweet oily fat of the FG paired wonderfully with the dryish starchy rice and mellowed across the mouth in a sumptuous gunky chew and textured swallow. Nice blending of textures. So good. Perhaps a bit too much rice on the night, though I understand it is often considered good manners in a Chinese situation to not eat the rice - to do so can be seen as a signal that the preceding dishes were insufficient to satisfy. Certainly felt a bit bloated at the end of it all.

Again, the big fruit of the 2003 on the table worked well with the steak, though the 2010 was total magnificence. Full in the mouth with a frisk of pepper  and beautifully balance, it gave off spice and umami when paired with the sweet steak. The 2010 is a big sucker of a wine and clearly in need of good food to showcase it. Total, total belter. Though at SGD360 a bottle it's a bit of a whack to the wallet. Much as my head tells me to buy, my Scotsman heart winces at the thought of parting with that kind of cash for a bottle of wine. Can get a lot of outstanding Chilean and American for that kind of wedge. 

Chinese Pancake and Tesseron Cognac
The 2008 was still on the table and some was still getting poured and gratefully received. It got better down the bottle, maybe needing a bit of air to bring it out. None of the wine had been decanted, and whilst I am not a fan of either in some situations a wine can benefit from being poured. The 2000 might also have benefited, though perhaps there were not enough decanters to cater for the forty plus in attendance. Nicely elegant, this 2008. Reminiscent of a 1997 Rauzan-Segla I had years ago when I was just getting into wine - understated power, good sleek and a bit lively. 

We were winding down and the brandies made it to the table with the Chinese Pancake dessert. All of the glasses had paper labels on their stems indicating what wine was contained and the cognac glasses were no different. Very nice touches. It takes time and care to do this which are not always in large supply at wine dinners. And there didn't feel any stinge on the wine pourings. Vinum is to be commended in this. The 76 felt sweeter whilst the 53 was more fierce and fiery. Cognac is not a strength in the palate and is not something that gets drunk regularly enough to claim connoisseur. But it was a pleasant end to a most enjoyable and pleasant evening. Chef came out and got introduced and Melanie ended up getting photographed and signing empty bottles for the guests to have as a souvenir of an excellent night. Everyone was clearly happy with the evening, the wines and the food. 

Can I have your autograph please? 
In retrospect, the mains were quite Western in content and presentation, though the preparation was in Cantonese style. Indeed, the fork and knife on the table next to the chopsticks gave the lie to the idea that this was in any way true Chinese cuisine. But it was very tasty. As noted elsewhere in this blog, my Chinese food guru refuses to eat at the Noble House, saying it is too "gwailo" and sweet for his taste. Fair, but the lamb was beautiful and the steak was good. Just a bit of a shame that they tasted the same.  The vintages showed the infinite variety of style that Bordeaux is capable of producing. The 2000 was showing nicely with great elegance and balance, the 2003 has tremendous power across all levels and clearly has a long time yet in the bottle, the 2008 was somewhat lean and austere whilst the 2010 had a depth and complexity that is probably worth the price being charged for it. Vinum were also giving 10% off their Bordeaux selection in Singapore, and special prices on the Pontet Canet for the night. Still thinking about this - the 2010 has a large price tag, double that of the 2003 and 2008 though Ivy just sent me a text saying that the 2003, 2006 and 2008 have all gone. Belter though it is, it's a bit beyond the comfortable range - can buy a lot of decent and reasonable claret for the price of a single bottle. But then that's me - skinflint when it comes to spending. We'll see - still got a few days to consider. The 2010 is very nice….

Pan Fried Foie Gras with Teriyaki Sauce and Stuffed Scallop
Bruno Paillard Brut Premiere Cuvee NV

Double Boiled Superior Soup with Beef and Enoki Mushroom in Japanese Paper Work
Ch Pontet-Canet 2003

Roasted Pigeon
Ch Pontet-Canet 2008

Grilled Lamb Cutlet with Garden Green Salad
Ch Pontet-Canet 2000

Pan Fried Australian Beef Steak served with Garlic Fried Rice topped with Foie Gras
Ch Pontet-Canet 2010

Chinese Pancake
Tesseron Cognac Lot No 76 X.O. Tradition
Tesseron Cognac Lot No 53 X.O. Perfection