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Mandarin Grill,
Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur,
Jalan Pinang, 50088 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2380 8888
Business hours: Lunch from noon to 2.30pm
and dinner from 7.00pm to 10.30pm
Pork-free.

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A ONE night only wine-pairing dinner at the Mandarin Oriental became a display of versatility for the two starring partners on the table, the wagyu beef that was featured in almost every dish and complemented by a range of d’Arenberg wines that has a solid 100-year-old history behind it.

The evening started off with a glass of 2010 The Olive Grove Chardonnay that refreshed the senses with its light aroma and clear straw colour to accompany the appetiser of Braised wagyu beef cheek “mosaic.”

Where the small chunks of beef, accompanied by porcini salad, langoustine and beef chorizo were a little on the heavy side for an appetiser, The Olive Grove provided an interesting dry palate of melted butter and popcorn that fades into a mix of spices, apples, figs and hint of oak.

The dinner continued with Butter glazed wagyu praline, where the beef was wrapped in savoy cabbage thus resembling the shell-like chocolate with a soft core.

Each bite, accompanied by the slightly salty lentil ragout, was complemented by The Stump Jump Red Grenache vintage from 2009 that provided whiffs of exotic spices and fruits and a fun palate of delicate fruit with hints of blackberry and a fine tannin.

Next, the D’Arenberg “d’Arry’s Original” Shiraz Grenache 2007 vintage, renamed in honour of principal d’Arry Osborn in the early 90s after more than 30 years of being known as the d’Arenberg Burgundy, was served.

This dark, slightly purplish wine adopts a rather fruity nose of raspberry and blueberry as it progresses with a light layer of rose water that adds a touch of elegance to the whole and makes a good accompaniment for the Halibut and wagyu oxtail ‘sous vide.’

6846DB9268524BF1ABDB9D29B87C9999Drink up: A glass of clear straw-coloured“The Olive Grove” Chardonnay enjoyed with the Braised wagyu beef cheek mosaic.

For the main course, we are greeted by the Josper grilled wagyu sirloin MS 8 – 10 with a side of potato layer cake, glazed kohlrabi and foie gras served with the d’Arenberg “The Dead Arm” Shiraz 2007 that has a powerful but pleasant note that ends with spices and plum.

Those familiar with vineyards would also be familiar with the ‘dead arm’ phenomenon whereby after half of the grape plant is reduced to dead wood, the other arm would begin having low yields of increased intensity.

“Thus, our ‘The Dead Arm’ vintage is made from grapes from such plants,” said d’Arenberg importer and distributor Muihua Sdn Bhd managing director Gwee Sze Kiat.

The meal ended on a sweet note with the chef’s creative blocky creation called A.F.T.E.R.E.I.G.H.T, that is a combination of nougat sponge and mille-feuille with cheery tastes of peppermint and cherry.

F1E16D204C074A8AB4E5EDF8304F3133What’s in a name: Wine names, odd as some may seem, mostly have an interesting story behind them such as “The Stump Jump” that pays tribute to a South Australian invention that is a plough that has the ability to ride over stumps and gnarled roots.

Diners at the wine dinner were also treated to the d’Arenberg “The Stump Jump” Sticky Chardonnay 2010 dessert wine, something that has yet to hit the local market.

True to its name, the wine has a cloying sense to it and packed with rich smells and sweet flavours with pear and marmalade coming to the fore while the finish has a touch of lemon.

According to Gwee, d’Arenberg wines have been rated the top 20 in Australia almost every year and it is one of those that represented what the continent’s wines were all about, bearing rich fruit notes.

“It is also a brand that offers good wine at affordable prices.

“For instance, a good Shiraz could easily cost RM1,000 and more but The Dead Arm is around RM200,” he said.

Gwee gave some insights into the wine industry, saying that locally entry-level wines were doing very well and the trend of having wines at meals was becoming increasingly popular.

This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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