Martell Pure Gourmet Experience with Benoit Fil

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    “Can you name me any brands, that is selling single product and has been around for 300 years?”. That was the opening remark made by Jeremy Oakes, the Brand Development Manager of Martell Cognac.

    Chanel? Louis Vuitton? No, they do not even come close to Martell when you talk about histories as long as 300 years. Martell is just 1 year shy of being 300 years in existence this year.
    Together with KY and Haze,  I was honoured to be a guest of Martell for a Pure Gourmet Experience with Benoit Fil, the cellar master of Martell Cognac. Benoît Fil works with intimate knowledge of patiently aged eaux-de-vie on a daily basis to compose rare cognacs.
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    From top to bottom: with Emmanuel from Martell Malaysia, KY Speaks, Jeremy Oakes
    Martell transcends time and reflects the legacy passed on over 300 years. Martell Pure Gourmet feast features an exquisite fusion of ingredients, passion and skillful yet unpretentious presentation coupled with select Martell spirits. So we knew that we were in for a real treat.
    This year, our Pure Gourmet experience is slightly different from last year. Martell has chosen our favorite Chinese restaurant, Grand Imperial as the venue where Chinese cuisine is ingeniously paired with Martell spirits. The
    Throughout the dinner, not only do I learn that cognac can be paired successfully with a variety of food but it goes particularly well with Chinese cuisine. This shows that Martell is a rather versatile cognac.
    We started out with chilled Sze Chuan jelly fish with thousand layer pig ear accompanied deep fried scallop wrapped with German vermicelli rice noodle.

    The cold, thinly sliced pig ears marinated in various seasonings were delicious! After long hours of braising, the cartilage became gelatinous and chewy. The jelly fish was refreshing, in contrast to the rich and juicy deep fried scallop. This was paired with Martell V.S.O.P. What a good start to our evening!
    Next up we had the baked water king prawn with cheese.  The king prawn was sweet and succulent with chunky meat. It went really well with the cheese sauce on top.  The melting cheese and cream sauce was not too heavy but so delicious when eaten on its own. We paired it together with Martell Cordon Bleu, with so much complexity and elegance that distinguish it from conventional XO cognacs.
    Next up was the deep fried air flown Japanese Ayor fish with lemon (also known as Ayu fish).

    Found in the Gifu region, the ayu fish is famous for its sweet flesh. The chef pairs it with a Martell Cordon Bleu which is mellow, has a rich spicy aroma and a long finish.
    We also enjoyed having the pan fried lamb cutlet with Chef’s special sauce to go with Martell XO.

    The lamb cutlet was overcooked but the delicious sauce made up for it. When paired with the Martell XO which has a fruity flavour, it was perfect!
    Things just got better and better with the Martell Chanteloup Perspective…

    Our final dish before dessert was the braised spaghetti with sliced abalone, black truffle and mushroom. This east meets west dish is perfectly executed. The hint of black truffles was the highlight of the dish, of course one should not forget about whole abalone. It was beautifully braised; resulting in a fork tender texture.

    Martell Chanteloup Perspective Extra is a new cognac from Martell, a reference to the Chateau de Chanteloup in Cognac. It carries a generous notes of honey and fresh fruit, and I like the lingering mouthfeel after.
    To finish off our dinner, we had a trio dessert platter prepared by Grand Imperial. We paired them with Martell Creation Grand Extra, it carries an exceptional cognac, powerfull and fruity with a spiced character.
    Martell Creation Grand Extra
    During the toasting session, we also learn that singing “happy birthday to you” is another form of toast or yum seng. Throughout the night, we kept asking whose birthday it is tonight..until we were being embarassed by Emmanuel, the French guy who said that it is a drinking culture in Malaysia. This shows that we are not part of the elite businessman group who socialise a lot 😀
    Thanks Siew Kheng and Jeremy for having us. We hope to be a part of Martell Cognac’s 300th birthday celebration next year too!
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    Happy Birthday to You…

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