Martell Pairing Dinner at Four Seas Restaurant – Jalan Bangkung, Bangsar

Would you have thought that a Martell /Cognac pairing dinner is possible?
I for one, wouldn’t have. Blame it on tradition, but cognac has always came across to me as an “old man’s” drink. Prestigious, elegant and snooty. A drink over cigars and poker yes, but not eggplants & spare ribs.

Below: From left to rightMartell VSOP, Martell Cordon Bleu and Martell XO.

martell cognac pairing dinner

But time has changed. Recently a number of liquer houses is going through a rebranding phase.  Hennessy VSOP for one, is now hippy and cool, thanks to the neverending H-Artistry/Hennessy Artistry campaign.
Johnny Walker and the Jet Black plus Black Circuit parties are no strangers to anyone by now. Tie-ins with massive events & luxury brands (via high profile affairs such as F1) has given these “traditionally old hard liquer” a more “accessible” reach and appeal to the younger generation.

I’m not sure how cognac would be marketed in the near future, but with pairing it with food seems to be a good start!

The House Of Martell Cognac.

A man at the origins of a prestigious house.

Jean_Martell

Jean Martell settled in 1715 in the town of Cognac (FRANCE) and founded the oldest of the major cognac houses which today still bears his name all over the world.
Being both a noble and an entrepreneur, a creator and a trader, a man of his time and a visionary, he used his eclectic personality to build the foundations of a great house. This precious heritage has guided Martell from one generation to the next, in the creation of fine and elegant cognacs.

Centuries of Tradition and Creativity.

Over the centuries, always in pursuit of creativity, perseverance for excellence and independent state of mind, Martell continues to develop a unique know-how, marking its inimitable style.
Martell is a unique cognac with a light floral, round and incomparable elegant character, as a result of its blending using the finest eaux-de-vie with the predominance of eaux-de-vie from Borderies, the specific Martell method of double-distillation and the ageing in fine-grained Troncais-type oak casks.

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 The spirit of independence of mind, a way of life.

In 1912, Martell launched Cordon Bleu, a cognac which expressed all the tradition but also the vision of Jean Martell.

martell cordon bleu

Savour The Variety.

Martell compliments the achievement and statues of the connoisseur with more range of cognacs including Martell Cordon Bleu, Martell Creation Grand Extra and L’Or de Jean Martell.

Left to right: Martell Creation Grand Extra, Martell Cordon Bleu (behind) & Martell XO.

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Our “prestigious” dinner commenced with the Martell VSOP.

Martell VSOP

MARTELL VSOP.

Since Martell VSOP was first introduce in 1831, the prestige of this Very Special Old Pale has been underlined by the fine attention to detail and lavish styling. Created in 1840, Martell VSOP is a distinctive cognac bearing a highly detailed crest engraved with the image of Louise XIV to celebrate 1715 – the last year of the Sun King, the first for Martell.

COLOUR:
A golden amber shade.

NOSE:
Smoothness and acidity, with lime and liquorice notes. In their wake come candied fruit: quince, raisin and plum. Lastly, aromas of undergrowth in the spring, with the fresh notes of wood and hazelnuts.

TASTE:
The candied fruit notes linger, developing complexity. A pleasant supple, mellow feel, with a full, round body. A long finish.

This was paired with our 1st course – Chef Superior Appetizer Trio : Sesame Jellyfish, Salt & Pepper Enoki Mushrooms, Eggplant with Chicken Meat Floss.

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MARTELL CORDON BLEU, Honour gained for excellence.

martell cordon bleu

COLOUR:
Deep golden copper.

NOSE:
Round and complex. Floral and spicy fragrance. Very elegant and refined.

TASTE:
Exceptionally smooth and round. Rich in fruit.

We sipped this for the next 3 dishes; the Slow Boiled Seafood Soup, Slow Braised “Wu Xi” Spare Rib and the Smoked Duck with Fruit Salad.

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Shape your world, MARTELL XO.

The subtle balance between the power of the Grande Champagne and mellow elegance of the Borderies.

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COLOUR:
A deep gold, coppery tint, enriched with mahogany sheens.

NOSE:
First marked by dried fruit, then more complex, with sweet fruits and dried flower notes and finally spicy and oriental hints of mace and sandalwood.

TASTE:
Round and fruity on the tongue initially, with a long and silky final note, which leaves a feeling of sophistication and elegance in the mouth.

This was paired with the Braised Sea Cucumber coupled with Abalone served with Chef’s Special Superior Sauce.

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Dessert was a Four Seas Restaurant special – the Lemongrass Jelly flute.

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Conclusion:
A luxurious dinner with grand Martell cognacs. One can’t complain when there’s free flow of cognac whole night long and having each paired with specially prepared Chinese dishes by a chef who is a Gold Medal Winner FHA2004 at the Imperial Challenge, Sg.
I’m no cognac connoisseur (yet!); but based on the overall flavour and notes of cognac; of which I personally find it to be very strong, sharp and “spicy” in taste, it seemed wise that it was paired with Asian food.
The appetizer platter went smoothly with the easy and mellow to drink Martell VSOP. I preferred the Cordon Bleu more though, for its posh and rounded finish on the palate.
I lacked the vocabulary to describe it in detail, but the complexity of each dish; from the robust, tummy warming seafood soup to the briny smoked duck showcased the agility of the Cordon Bleu to seamlessly compliment the flavours of each dish. They saved the XO for the last, and had it paired with the “fishy” duo of sea cucumber and abalone. I’m guessing that it’s spicy and strong notes is supposed to cut through the lingering seafood taste?

Just as dinner was dwindling down and everyone relaxed in a cloud of Martell indulgence, the good people at MHD threw us a nice surprise and started pouring the MARTELL CREATION GRAND ECTRA.

More on the MARTELL CREATION GRAND ECTRA:

Creation Grand Extra is presented in a beautiful and very distinctive decanter that echoes the stunning “arch” design.
The crafted details from the bottle neck to the seal are the ultimate in sophistication with its silver bottle neck decoration with a sculptured golden ‘M’ and a sliver ribbon that embraces the neck. It is sealed by the exclusive Martell seal as a symbol of the super premium and luxury universe in which it belongs.

Martell grand extra

COLOUR:
Topaz, amber, radiant with bright shining reflections.

NOSE:
Primary notes evoke ginger bread and dried fruits. Typical of the Martell style, nice freshness with orange marmalade aromas, lemon zest and orange blossom. Subtle finish with nice matured ‘rancio’ notes, with a mix of walnuts, oriental spices and cedar wood.

TASTE:
Soft and silky feeling initially releasing a warm mellowness reinforcing the smoothness of the sophisticated blend. This initial mellowness s then intensified by an incredible elegance in the mouth and an explosion of flavours.

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And that wraps up my “snooty” Martell night! Thanks to Peter from Four Seas Chinese Restaurant for the invite and for introducing Four Seas’s foie gras fried rice to moi. That shall be highlighted in another blogpost! :P

Four Seas Chinese Restaurant

65, Jalan Bangkung,, Bukit Bandaraya, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory 59100
03-2092 1222
Opening Hours
Tue -Sun:
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
6:00 pm -11:00 pm
Mon: Closed
 
Pics credited to google and the last one to RuouOi.com. The watermarked ones are mine of course.