Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Chinese Food and Wine Pairing Dinner at New World Makati Hotel

I don't think I'd ever get to be an expert on wines so I appreciate it very much when professionals provide suggested pairings with food. Last night, I had the pleasure of dining at New World Makati Hotel's fine Cantonese restaurant, Jasmine, with a few of my friends.

It was a special dinner of Cantonese dishes that were specially prepared by Chef Wong Kam On and his talented crew. The food items were paired with an exquisite selection of Cullen Wines from Australia. Our unique gastronomic experience was composed of six courses that definitely satisfied our palates and our tummies.

First, we were served with Seared Scallops and Wagyu Beef Roll that were so sinfully delicious! If I weren't saving for more space in my stomach for the other courses, I would have been tempted to ask for seconds. This dish was paired with the Cullen Margaret River, White, 2011.

Next was the Steamed King Prawn with Garlic and Vermicelli Noodle. The smell alone was already heavenly! We ate this tasty offering along with sips of Cullen Mangan, Sauvignon Blanc Semillon, 2010.

It was hard to finish off the quite hearty serving of Deep Fried Fish Fillet coated with Salted Egg Yolk Batter on top of Steamed Egg White along with the Fried Rice with Diced Chicken and Chinese Sausage. The fish was crisp on the outside and juicy-tender on the inside. I like this dish because the additional egg white provided a soft texture. It was a perfect fit for the rice and the buttery-smelling Cullen Mangan, Malbec Petit Verdot Merlot, 2011 that was served with it.

The flavorful Beef Short Ribs in Black Pepper Sauce and Steamed Fragrant Rice, for me, would already be a meal in itself. I am a fan of beef and the vegetables that go with this dish made it a hit with me. It was paired with the Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, 2010. I noticed that the taste was not as strong as compared to when I tried Cabernet Sauvignon in the past. Perhaps in was the addition of Merlot that toned it down a bit so it was not very overpowering.

For dessert, we had Calamansi Sorbet on top of Chilled Mango Pudding and Steamed Bun with Milk Cream inside. The wine (I didn't know you can drink wine with dessert!) was Cullen Late Harvest, Semillon, 2012 which, among all the wines I tried last night became my instant favorite because of it's sweet and light flavor. As opposed to the sips I did with the other four kinds of wine served earlier, I finished a whole glass of this because it was that delicious! I wouldn't mind getting a bottle or more of these as gifts. I think I've found the wine I would love for the rest of my life, seriously!

All in all, it was a great night of good food, wonderful wines, and lovely company. We just forgot to take a group photo because we were too busy savoring all the burst of flavors that came one after the other :p

Jasmine is a beautiful restaurant that you should bring your special someone to. You can also dine there to treat business partners and clients in. Although the Cantonese Cuisine and Cullen Wines Set Dinner was supposedly for one-night only, groups of four and more (if I heard it right from Mr. Paawan Engineer, Director of Food and Beverage) can be accommodated upon customers' request. Just call 811-6888 local 3338 for more information and to make a reservation.

This special dinner set is priced at PhP1,700 per person exclusive of service charge.    

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