Posts Tagged ‘champagne dinner’

CHAMPAGNE DINNER BY TAITTINGER

Dark skies and an almost-empty gas tank weren’t enough to stop us. Even the snail-pace traffic to Jakarta from Bekasi wasn’t a deterrent. With a little bit of prayer and switching off the car’s AC, we made it to Fairmont Jakarta with time to spare to freshen up. On the 22nd floor of the hotel was the Taittinger Champagne Dinner. The last time I had flutes of the delectable champagne was two years ago when Taittinger was introduced in Indonesia at Orient 8 at Hotel Mulia.

Champagne Dinner with a view at The View

Table setting at the Taittinger Champagne Dinner


champagne at the bar

the bar at The View

It was a thrilling reunion that April night at The View, one of Fairmont’s restaurants, with its magnificent view of Jakarta’s skyline. A prelude to the eight-course dinner was a tipple at the bar where I introduced Taittinger to my gal-pal Theresia as a way to let the stresses of the mid-week hang. Dropping by the bar to say hola was Alvaro Acebal, Fairmont’s Food & Beverage manager, whom Theresia and I met at Sapori Deli last March at another one-night dinner event of guest Chef Antonio Facchinetti.

with Alvaro Acebal

Photo op with Alvaro Acebal, Food & Beverage Manager of Fairmont Jakarta

Dinner commenced with an amuse bouche of Tuna Tartare with ponzu, yuzu, and avocado that strongly whetted the appetite. You just have to get pass the eyebrow-raising hand cast it is served on.  Juxtaposed to the tuna’s savory flavor is the next course of Apple Pie (View’s interpretation) which was ingenious both in taste and presentation. There was this sweet tugging sensation on the palate between the savory and sweet flavors, and that the apple pie was shaped as a mini ball reposing on a bed of pebbles in a wooden box was simply artistic.

Tuna Tartare

Ready for your Tuna Tartare?


Apple Pie

Apple Pie – The View’s Interpretation

The champagne kept coming and Satria, our gracious attendant for the night, made sure nothing was lacking from our table including enjoyable tête-à- tête. He regaled us with stories about his one-month training stint in Makati and the incidents of being mistaken as a Filipino while Theresia and I coaxed him to put Ambon – especially Ora Island – on his travel list.

Dining with a view

Champagne and dining with a view – this is the life!

Then it was time for the Foie Gras Torchon with cherry gel and macerated mix berries which was paired splendidly with the Taittinger Nocturne, Sec NV. There was this sweet and fruity chase at the end of each bite of the foie gras after nips of the champagne; Satria, following the chef’s suggestion, advised us to quickly follow up a bite of the foie gras with champagne. This dish was immediately followed by Scallop Tartare enveloped in white chocolate foam and lime jelly that did an electrifying cha-cha on the palate together with sips of the Taittinger Reims Reserve Brut NV.

Foie gras torchon

Foie gras torchon


Scallop Tartare

Scallop Tartare


Taittinger Reims

Taittinger Reims goes well with the scallop tartare

Too much champagne is a misnomer. In fact, the abundance in champagne led to a pleasant discovery that Lobster “cappuccino” – fortified lobster bisque and foam – squirted into our cups by The View’s Chef Hans actually blended well with both the Nocturne and Reims.  Discovery 2: the lobster cappuccino was a teaser to the first main dish of Canadian Lobster with Sturia caviar, shimeji, and champignon nage that grooved smoothly on the palate as the flavors mingled with the Taittinger Prestige Rose Brut, NV. Lobster and champagne – what can go wrong?

Lobster Cappuccino

Lobster Cappuccino


Canadian Lobster

Canadian Lobster


Taittinger Prestige Rose

Taittinger Prestige Rose Brut NV

Gazing out the floor-to-ceiling window of The View, the landscape had turned a shade darker as the night danced on. The ant-like lights on the streets below had lessened, but the brightness hadn’t diminished, and there I was happily ensconced in my chair sipping from flute to flute. Life is rosier with champagne in my hand.

Norwegian salmon_The View

Norwegian salmon with glazed oyster mushroom


Satria pours Taittinger Comtes

Satria pours the famed Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc 2004

Then it was time for the main course of Norwegian salmon with glazed king oyster mushroom, champagne, and seaweed broth.  Without skipping a beat, affable Satria was at our table ready to impress us with, paraphrasing his words, the champagne set to dislodge Dom Pérignon from its pedestal. He poured the Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blanc, 2004 generously into our flutes and bade us a hearty meal. The salmon was flavorful and generous in serving (read: it was more than a matchbox size) while the strip of mushroom melted in the mouth.  And the night drew to a close when the Stone Rose was laid on our table. Breaking the pinkish Christmas “ball” revealed a smooth cheesecake-like texture of lychee, raspberry, and chocolate that rolled effortlessly on the tongue. Which champagne went with it? Take your pick.

Stone Rose

Stone Rose

A champagne dinner is exciting. However, a well-orchestrated Taittinger champagne dinner is more than simple excitement. It’s a bubbly and electrifying dining experience that leaves wearied souls keyed up and ready to tackle the world again.

world of Taittinger

world of Taittinger

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A BUBBLY NAMED TAITTINGER

All is ready for the Friday night Taittinger Champagne Dinner at Orient 8.

All is ready for the Friday night Taittinger Champagne Dinner at Orient 8.

Orient 8 interiorNina is a very good friend of mine who is based in Ireland, and we touch base every so often through e-mail, Hangout, or Facebook, exchanging stories about the world, quirky happenings, latest films, politics, books we’ve read, Grimm and how dark Juliette has become, etc. The latest was she sent me a link to a survey by destination dating website MissTravel.com titled 2015 Sexiest Nationalities. Results, based on the dating preferences of 66,309 American women, catapulted the Irish men to the top spot. The Irish pipped the Americans, Italian and Spanish! The French didn’t make it to the list much to my chagrin. How could ze wonderful French men be eclipsed? Sacre bleu! They’re sexy when they speak English with that French accent! Combine that with Michelin-star culinary expertise and an affability that puts most men to shame, Chef Florian should have made it to the survey. Chef Florian is the chef de cuisine at Orient 8, a French and Pan-Asian Restaurant at Hotel Mulia Senayan, Jakarta.

Chef Florian and an executive from Taittinger meet the diners

Chef Florian and an executive from Taittinger meet the diners

“I have been with the restaurant for five years. I also look after the one in Mulia Resort,” he said when I engaged him in a brief tête-à-tête during a prelude to the dessert of the Taittinger Champagne Dinner.

Then he excused himself. He had to mingle briefly with the other guests then quickly head back to the kitchen to prepare the sweet coup de grace to the champagne dinner.

Seizing a photo op with ze chef before he headed back to the kitchen

seizing a photo op with ze chef before he headed back to the kitchen

Chef Florian’s opening salvo was an amuse bouche of foie gras and quiche paired with Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV. The savory flavor of the amuse bouche duo melded beautifully with the sweetness of the champagne that was smooth on the palate and light on the tummy. The champagne stoked the appetite making it a smooth transition to the first course of the night, Salade De Homard or lobster salad with pickled vegetables, green apple, avocado, and lemon coulis. The flavors this time were a breathtaking melange of freshness, sweet, and sour on the tongue.

*Champagne glasses raised and chink, chink, chink*

Chef Florian's amuse bouche surprise - foie gras and quiche

Chef Florian’s amuse bouche surprise – foie gras and quiche

my choice of bread bun fresh from the oven - black olive bun

my choice of bread bun fresh from the oven – black olive bun

The long table of 20 seats was a hubbub of talk in between bites of lobster salad. Traffic was the perennial topic – the drive took longer than usual which is why local actress Putri Patricia arrived shortly before the second course was due to be served. Conversations were interspersed with talk about the property market on Asia – rent in Shanghai can roughly reached US$2,600 a month – and other sundry matters, such as the local actress missing New York.

The Taittinger Champagne Dinner table

the Taittinger Champagne Dinner table

Then an assemblage of servers, decked in smart dark suits, lined up behind us and placed the second course before us – Carpaccio de Saint – Jacques Et Truffe Noir or carpaccio of Hokkaido sea scallops with shavings of winter black truffle, “petite salade” and aged balsamic chicken jus. Afterwards, bottles of Taittinger Reims Reserve Brut NV were poured into the champagne flutes. Truffles, baby, truffles with champagne! Enough said.

*Champagne glasses raised and chink, chink, chink*

the appetizer - Salade de Homard

the appetizer – Salade de Homard

the first champagne - Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV

the first champagne – Taittinger Nocturne Sec NV

Conversations were hushed when everyone whipped out their iPhones and Samsungs for the de rigueur Instagram shots.

Fish is part of the menu - Atlantic wild turbot paired with Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus Brut NV

Fish is part of the menu – Atlantic wild turbot paired with Taittinger Prelude Grands Crus Brut NV

Like clockwork, the crew in assumed their position behind us and we were soon tucking into La Darne De Turbot Et Sa Sauce Champagne Au Caviar, a saporous dish of Atlantic wild turbot bathed in mushroom ragout, champagne and caviar beurre blanc sauce, and garnished with baby spinach. On cue, the Taittinger Prelude “Grande Crus” Brut NV was uncorked.

*Champagne glasses raised and chink, chink, chink*

Tuck into Carpaccio De Saint - Jacques Et Truffe Noir with Taittinger Reims Reserve Brut NV

Tuck into Carpaccio De Saint – Jacques Et Truffe Noir with Taittinger Reims Reserve Brut NV

The air was again thick with the din of raillery which more than hinted that the flutes of champagne were cranking up the level of revelry. Traffic still wove its way into the dinner table – one is, after all, in Indonesia where macet (pronounced ma-chet; Indonesian for traffic jam) is a common occurrence.

For the fourth course, beef lovers cut into the Boeuf Kobe “facon Teriyaki”, an electrifying dish of hot iron sirloin Kobe beef layered with pan-seared foie gras, ratte potato mousseline cube, Orient 8 braised salsify, crunchy sucrine and foie gras cromesqui, and drizzled with teriyaki jus. Taittinger took a back seat to a bottle of La Mordoree Cote Rotie Rouge, 2008, M. Chapoutier. An alternative to le boeuf is Le Poulet rotie or organic roasted chicken breast with pan-seared foie gras, mashed ratte potatoes and rosemary juice.

*Wine glasses raised and chink, chink, chink*

Le Boeuf is served - Boeuf Kobe "facon teriyaki" with La Mordoree Cote Rotie Rouge

Le Boeuf is served – Boeuf Kobe “facon teriyaki” with La Mordoree Cote Rotie Rouge

the alternative to le boeuf - le poulet

the alternative to le boeuf – le poulet

Shortly before the dessert, talk centered on the state of affairs in Indonesia. Being in a table of wine merchants and restaurateurs, the disgruntlement with the exchange rate of the rupiah to the dollar was so palpable; expenditure was higher but the demand remained the same. Before the blanket of discontent could permanently wrap everyone, the crew was back with the colorful afters of Framboisier Sur Assiette Bleu Turquoise, an exhilarating serving of raspberry variation with green tea lemon chiffon cake, and raspberry ice cream. And the final bottle of Taittinger champagne was poured – Taittinger Prestige Rose NV – which sealed the dinner on an excitingly sweet tone. Completely rounding up the dinner was the traditional the ou cafe served with madeleines, macarons, and chocolates.

*Champagne glasses raised and chink, chink, chink*

The sweet finale - Framboisier Sur Assiette Bleu Turquoise

The sweet finale – Framboisier Sur Assiette Bleu Turquoise

the champagne to go with the dessert - Taittinger Prestige Rose NV

the champagne to go with the dessert – Taittinger Prestige Rose NV

Peppermint tea is perfect to completely end the meal.

Peppermint tea is perfect to completely end the meal.

“How was dinner?” he inquired in that accent that makes you tingle all over.

“Fantastic! It is always a great dining experience,” I replied, almost gushing like a little school girl.

(Inside scoop: The next Taittinger Champagne Dinner might be in October.)

Say cheese gentlemen - Chef Florian and the Taittinger people pose for posterity

Say cheese gentlemen – Chef Florian and the Taittinger people pose for posterity

It's our turn for a post dinner photo op.

It’s our turn for a post dinner photo op.

ORIENT 8

Address: Jalan Asia Afrika Senayan, Jakarta 10270, Indonesia

Opening hours: 11:00 am to 2:30 pm (Sunday Brunch), 1200 pm to 2:30 pm (Monday to Saturday, lunch), 6:00 pm to 1030 pm (dinner)

Reservations: +62 21 5753278 | 574 7777 ext. 4888, 4788, 4688

Photography by Ni Kadek Eta