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IMPERIAL GARDEN RESTAURANT,
7th floor, Intan Square,
Lorong Utara C,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-7956 6868
Business hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm,
6pm to 10.30pm (Mondays to Saturdays),
9am to 2.30pm, 6pm to 10.30pm ( Sundays and public holidays).
Non-halal.

European and South American wine paired with Chinese dishes.

IN A unique blend of east-meets-west, the Tai Thong Group recently organised its own special wine-pairing event ‘West Wine, East Eat’ at Imperial Garden Restaurant in Petaling Jaya, recently.

Unlike most wine-pairing dinners where the sommelier is tasked with selecting the right wine to go with each dish, Tai Thong group executive chef Lee Wee Hong did the reverse — craft the dishes in each course to match the chosen wines.

Dozens turned up for the six-course dinner to see how they would fare, as there is a common conception that pairing wine with the complex flavours of Chinese cuisine can be a little tricky.

The evening began with the lightest wine on the list — Trapiche Sauvignon Blanc 2013, which was paired with a three-part appetiser consisting of Avocado Salad with Pine Nuts, Rose Apple and Alfalfa Sprouts, Smoked Bacon Roll with Fish Paste Stuffing, and Pan-Seared Fresh Scallop with Grilled Apple Slice and Caviar.

The lack of sweetness in this Argentinean white did well to offset the much stronger tasting bacon roll and fish paste, as well as the scallop and caviar.

Another Argentinean white wine accompanied the next course, which was the Double-Boiled Dumplings with Assorted Fresh Mushrooms in Supreme Stock.

This earthy dish was paired with Trapiche Oak Cask Chardonnay, an elegant round white known for its pleasant oak fragrance and flavour.

The dessert, Chocolate Mousse Cream Puff (left) and Chilled Mango Sago Cream with pomelo bits and ice cream (top),served with Dow’s Fine Ruby Port.

The dessert, Chocolate Mousse Cream Puff (left) and Chilled Mango Sago Cream with pomelo bits and ice cream (top),served with Dow’s Fine Ruby Port.

Moving on to the main courses called for the introduction of stronger wines and in the third course, Steamed King Prawn in Egg White with Glass Vermicelli and Chilli Flakes (top pic), was paired with the Banfi Fumaio Toscana IGT 2012.

This Italian white wine is a mix of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay grapes, giving it a round and intense fruity taste that contrasts well with the creamy dish.

The fourth course, Braised Premium Abalone and Sea Cucumber with Pak Choy, was paired with the first of the reds for the night, the Banfi Collepino Toscana IGT 2012.

An Italian red wine made from a mix of Sangiovese and Merlot grapes, its intense redcurrant, raspberry and plum notes with a nice finish helped highlight the simplicity of the flavours in the dish.

The last main dish of the night, Roast Iberico Pork Rib with Grilled Bell Peppers was paired with a Chilean red, Cono Sur Tocornal Merlot.

With this dish being as close as possible to Western cuisine, the minimal seasoning complemented the rather ripe and intense flavour of the full-bodied Merlot.

The dessert, Chilled Mango Sago Cream with Pomelo Bits and Ice Cream, and a Chocolate Mousse Cream Puff Layered with Dark Chocolate, was served with a glass of Dow’s Fine Ruby Port.

Port wine, which is a type of Portuguese red wine, seemed like an obvious choice for dessert due to its sweet, red fruit flavours and long, intense finish.

The six wines featured make up the restaurant’s latest wine menu and are currently being sold through advance booking only.

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

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