A Malaysian Blog about Food, Family and Friends – by Lyrical Lemongrass
A couple of weeks back, my friend recommended that I use the above song as my caller ringtone, primarily as a joke, but little did he know that it aptly reflected my mood this month. I will not pretend that I have been struggling through the month; “struggling” implies fighting, but in my case, my time has been filled with activities, from planning surprise parties to lavish dinners and mostly, plain hard work. The thing about work is that it occupies my mind all the time and while I am okay about spending a couple of hours eating and socialising with friends, I wrestle with but am inundated with the idea that I am “disloyal” to my work when I sit at my computer and attempt to put a few words down on my blog. My many attempts to write a blog post these couple of weeks have left me staring at a sentence or two in draft mode because I then stray to some unfinished work-related document instead. It’s Sunday today, I’ve just finished 6 hours of productive work, so I figured I’d reward myself with a couple of hours of blogging and reading blogs.
Sage has always been one of my favourite restaurants for its consistent delivery and excellent service. So when I received an invitation from my friends, J & H, to attend their wedding reception at Sage, I was thrilled. The gorgeous cake you see above was made by Just Heavenly; not only was it a sight to behold, it also tasted amazing. My constant gripe (something that H also mentioned in one of his many speeches that night) is that most wedding cakes are just pretty on the outside but the cake is generally dry and inedible. Not this one. The cake was a moist and delicious butter cake which I had no qualms gobbling down. Great job, Just Heavenly. Dinner consisted of a tasting menu of Tranche of Yellowtail with Avruga Caviar and Akame Herb, Cream of Porcini Soup with White Truffle Oil, Roasted Atlantic Seabass with Prawn and Alaskan King Crab Sauce (alternatively, Grain Fed Black Angus Beef with Mashed Potato, Meaux Mustard) and Mango Melba with Vanilla Ice Cream. To sum it all in three words, O-M-G! (excuse my lack of verbosity) To the few of us who opted for the Seabass, we were rewarded with a mindblowing experience. The sauce in which it was served was bursting with the flavour of shellfish. I am still orgasmic at the recollection of that meal.
WINE MAKERS DINNER – WYNDHAM ESTATE
Another meal at Sage saw the pairing of Wyndham Estate wines with an exquisite selection of foods prepared by Chef Daniel. Award-winning Chief Winemaker Nigel Dolan of Wyndham Estate, Australia, was in KL on May 26 to showcase Wyndham wines, and I received an invitation (thanks to the kindness of Marian Eu of Scribe Media Link) to partake of this experience. Dolan is described by Winestate publisher Peter Simic as being “a master at producing reds with a beguiling mix of elegance, complexity and intensity”, so it was also an honour to meet the man in person. The Shiraz seems to be specialty of Wyndham Estate, although we were equally impressed with the crisp George Wyndham Semillon Sauvignon Blanc with its citrusy character that was served together with the hors d’œuvre. The wine served with the Tranche of Hamachi with Avruga Caviar was a 2006 Wyndham Bin 222 Chardonnay which was described as having greater complexity with its ripe peach and melon aromas, but we felt that the hamachi would have been better served with the earlier Sauvignon Blanc.
A short note on wines with Bin Numbers: The BIN range is Wyndham Estate’s most famous range of wines and it is the entry level into the Wyndham Estate brand. This range is all about soft generous flavoursome wines designed to excite the senses with its intense, fruit-driven style. Wyndham Estate BIN 555 Shiraz is the flagship wine and has won more than 200 awards since the 1986 vintage and it is the most popular Shiraz sold in Australia. Fatboybakes, who was in our party, quipped (in the presence of Mr Dolan) that Bin 222 was named when the owner saw three swans in a pond by his vineyard, hence 222. He added that the Chinese also believed that our feathered friends would bring luck. We were gullible enough to believe him that night. Bleh.
Two reds were served that night, a 2003 George Wyndham Cabernet Merlot and a 2005 George Wyndham Shiraz to accompany the Smoked Venison with Foie Gras and the Wagyu Beef respectively. The Cab Merlot was more full-bodied than the Shiraz, the former displaying a gorgeous deep purplish/crimson hue that reflected seductively off the white tablecloth at Sage. Both wines are excellent for pairing with beef, lamb, game meat and cheeses.
Thanks, Marian and Wyndham Estate, for your very kind invitation.
Food, for me, is a means to an end and not an end in itself.
Food, for me, represents the love of family, the fellowship of friends, and the community and communality it brings.