The Rolland Collection Wine Dinner at Senses, Hilton KL
3 Michelin Star Chef Mathieu Pacaud
Mr. Michel Roland
21st May 2010
6 course menu with wine pairing RM 680 nett
How does one do justice to a 3 Michelin Star Chef and his food? I fear that I will in no way be able to replicate in words the utter bliss and sheer perfection of his food. The detail, the delicateness, the absolute art of it. No, there is no way I will be able to do it justice, but I will try…
Hilton Kuala Lumpur had organized a French Fair, titled “Douce France” that ran from the 21st -27th May 2010. The week long extravaganza celebrated French cuisine, lifestyle and culture.
That meant that some of the most iconic French Chefs would be in town, to give us a taste of their exquisite fare. One chef was of particular interest to me, and that was 3 Michelin Star Chef Chef Mathieu Pacaud, of the fames L’Ambroisie in Paris. Ah… I love saying that. 3 Michelin Star Chef Mathieu Pacaud. I can’t call him just Mathieu, or Monsieur Paucaud, or even just Chef Mathieu. Nope, it’s got to be the full title. I mean, really, it’s not often you come across one of these, is it?
The restaurant itself acquired its first Michelin Star in 1982. The second was bestowed in 1983. Finally, the highly coveted third Michelin Star followed in 1988. Bling! Chatting with Chef Mathieu a couple of days later over lunch (watch out for that post coming soon) he gave us an insight into the genius behind L’Ambroisie; his father, Bernard Pacaud.
Starting off with a very small space on rue de Bièvre, Bernard Pacaud’s food became so highly acclaimed that the third Michelin Star was to be awarded, on the condition that the restaurant moved to a bigger space. And so was born L’Ambroisie on Place des Vosges in Paris. Legendary for only using the absolute best ingredients available in the world, I was told that that night would be no different. There were rumours of potatoes that grew once a year on a remote island. There were rumours of a spoonful of caviar that cost almost as much as the entire meal itself. And there were rumours that the lobsters were incredulously expensive, females, with heads that exploded with roe.
It was with joyful glee that I skipped my way over to Senses at Hilton KL that Friday evening, ecstatic that I had found 3 others to join me for dinner.
The lovely Lyrical Lemongrass, her boisterous other half Bald Eagle, and the gentle gem Kok Hoe. Really, if I hadn’t been lucky enough to have them as my dates, I still would have gone, sat quietly in the corner and savoured every bite of each course.
The evening began with a welcome note from Bordeaux based wine making consultant, Michel Rolland.
Legendary in the wine making world for turning the ordinary into the extraordinary, he has now teamed up with his son-in-law David Lesage, managing director of the new company, bringing us The Rolland Collection.
“If you have any questions, please ask. If you like it, if you don’t like it, I want to know. Of course, I prefer it if you like it!!” he added.
A ripple of laughter ran through the room, a round of applause, and we rubbed our hands together in anticipation, waiting for the first course.
Foie Gras Royale with Romaine veloute, Echirie cream and wholegrain mustard
The first layer was made from Foie gras, cream and eggs blended together then steamed in the martini glass. The layer above that – Romaine lettuce, French spinach and chicken stock. Sitting on top was a dollop cream mixed with wholegrain mustard. All the flavours worked so well together, without overpowering one another. What a way to start the meal.
Chaud froid d’ouef mollet au cresson, asperges vertes au caviar golden
Hot cold boiled eggs, watercress, asparagus and golden caviar
2006 Chateau Le Grande Clotte Blanc, Bordeaux
Oh, I’m scratching my head right now, trying to figure out how to describe the complicated marriage of ingredients in this dish.
Look at the way the egg white is cooked perfectly, yet the egg yolk runs freely onto the plate, as if singing in complete joy at being freed from its cocoon.
A wonderful watercress sabayon and lemon cream added so much flavour. The juicy stalks of asparagus were from Monsieur Robert Blanch, who is apparently the king of asparagus. The famous Caviar is Schrencki Caviar, and we were later shown the entire tin by Chef Michael Elfwing, Chef d’ Cuisine of Senses.
Very elusive, very expensive, and oh so heavenly.
Look at the beautiful pearls of caviar. Glistening, gleaming, precious baubles of pleasure. And we got a whole spoonful.
Navarin de homard, pomme de terrenouvelles au romarin
Lobster stew and potatoes with rosemary “Noirmoutier”
2007 Chateau Rolland Maillet, St. Emillion
One would think that nothing could beat the first course, after that decadent spoonful of caviar. Trust me, the next course, was oh, so divine there was a 5 minute silence at the table as we felt like spoilt children tasting lobster for the first time. The heady, musky gravy is made from sautéing lobster heads olive oil, garlic, tomato and leek. Water is added, and the stock is boiled until it becomes a reduced sauce.
This lobster was special – a Britanny Blue, with a chewy texture. The potatoes were from the “Noimoutier” (island) shaped then cooked in lobster stock. Sheer poetry.
Fillet de boueuf de Kobe en croute de poivre et miel, confit d’echalote
Tajima fillet of Beef, honey and pepper crust served with confit of shallot
2006 Chateau Le Bon Pasteur, Pomeral
Beautiful. Magnificent. Glorious. The smooth, velvety texture of the Kobe Beef was perfectly complemented by the fine texture of the sweet honey and pepper coating. Tajima Beef comes from the Tajima area in Japan. The meat is lightly seared first then covered with honey & black pepper crust.
The simple yet velvety confit of shallot was a French shallot slowly cooked with Echirie butter to bring out sweetness. Underneath it was a flavourful shallot puree made from salt baked shallots, pureed and passed through sieve until smooth.
Selection de fromages de Herve Mons affineur
Cheese Selection from affineur Herve Mons
2006 Chateau Fontenil, Fronsac
Meringue perlee a la chantily, fruits de saison
Pearled Meringue with Chantily cream and seasonal fruits
This meringue was unlike any other I’ve tasted, light and dense at the same time. A gentle tap broke it in half.
The delicate cup was was drizzled with sweetened vanilla cream, vanilla beans and cuddled super sweet Gariguette strawberries. Lustrous.
Tarte fine sable au chocolat, glace a la vanilla de Bourbon
Chocolate pastry tart with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
Another delightful dessert, deceptively heavy looking but in fact, lighter than air! A dark chocolate sabayon, dusted with coco powder sandwiched between a crumbly pastry. The ice cold Bourbon vanilla ice cream was topped off with a dried piece of vanilla pod. It was so light and fluffy, almost evaporating on my tongue.
Senses fine selection of coffee or Ronnefeldt tea
And with that our extravagant and fulfilling meal from 3 Michelin Star Chef Mathieu Pacaud came to an end. The best ingredients, with the magic touch of his hands, transformed and crafted into edible works of art. We got a chance to meet the man himself, and thank him for what I call the best meal I’ve had this year.
We couldn’t leave without his autograph…
His shy, reserved, trustee assistant Keenan Ballois did not speak much English, but I think I managed to convey my gratitude with some dramatic hand gestures.
What a meal. I would do it all over again. Anyone up for a trip to France? I know a great little place called L’Ambroisie…
Senses, Hilton Kuala Lumpur
3 Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 50470
Tel: 603-2264 2264 Fax: 603 2264 2266