Dining at Enfin by James Won this Mother’s Day is all the better when paired with Estates & Wines’s finest wines. Shedding light on three of the four continents where the Moët Hennessy Wine Division has its vineyards, Enfin by James Won’s sous chefs, E.H. Poh and Oscar Wo, have crafted a dégustation Mother’s Day menu, inspired by three of Estates & Wines’s most prestigious wines.
Keeping up with the innovative line-up of founder Chef James Won has always been a challenge I crave. The Krug Ambassade—it’s worth noting this visionary is the first Malaysian to be inducted into Krug’s invite-only network—and master of French culinary creations has always been highly sought-after for brand collaborations across all fronts.
German automobile manufacturer BMW once found Chef James’s approach to luxury so similar to its own, the restaurant owner was asked to encapsulate that into a full dinner experience. Then, this month, there is Moët Hennessy, a brand that entrusted Chef James’s two sous chefs to create these distinctive dishes in one comprehensive menu to honour our mothers.
Sous chefs E.H. Poh and Oscar ensembled a dining experience so expressive in both its menu offerings and the message it conveys of our love for our mothers … that it lives up to the Enfin name.
But first, we break bread. I always look forward to opening any of my Enfin by James Won experiences with its artisan Levain bread. So much thought goes into achieving the taste and texture of these Enfin-produced breads that it gives the diner a peek into the commitment behind the doors to the kitchen … but I digress.
The Mother’s Day menu officially begins with the Truffle à la Enfin, an amuse-bouche that is mostly anything but—what its name suggests—truffle, save for the generous slice of black truffle atop the quinoa, charcoaled breadcrumbs, and mushroom ketchup. No salt needed, as parmesan cheese provides the appropriate savouriness.
Next, les entrées ignites the senses. A rather whimsical dish that plays with both land and sea elements, calamares tagliatelle is united with escargot and molluscs, with the last two bringing forth dominant earthy flavours. Paired with this is the Cloudy Bay Te Wahi 2014, a limited pinot noir release from Central Otago, New Zealand, which bursts with red and black cherries, black plum, and Christmas cake spices, once again playing on the taste buds. The yellow herb oil in les entrées gives the dish its finishing touch, bringing to mind a seafood laksa, while ikura (we’re back to the waters again) infuse the dish with the savoury taste it needs.
After all that excitement, petit pois and wasabi ice cream cleanses the palate for the plate principaux—yam pillows on Bentong ginger duck ragout, free to swirl with Roquefort crème, dark chocolate, and wild chili circulating the sides of the plate.
Sous chefs E.H. Poh and Oscar clearly follow through with Enfin’s dedication to harnessing quality indigenous ingredients (see: Bentong ginger, which gives the duck a warm taste to it), while paying tribute to Chef James’s Hakka influences. The herbal-smokey Cape Mentelle Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 from Margaret River, Australia, goes with this rich fusion of a dish.
Then, diners have the option between the Australian beef striploin or the lamb French rack for the second dish of the plate principau. My pick, the Australian beef striploin with pommes purée, lack garlic, smoked chili, and lemon, is also paired with the complex yet elegant Cheval des Andes 2012 from Mendoza, Argentina—the perfect finishing wine and also a personal favourite in the line-up (gotta save the best for last, right?)
Finally, Chef E.H. Poh and Chef Oscar’s Mother’s Day menu ends with a dessert of chocolate and cheese (fried, no less!). It’s easy to recognise quality curations and pairings, and this indulgent, intricate experience is sure to have a place in spelling out your love for your mother.
Priced at RM288++, and RM506++ with wine pairing from Estates & Wines, until May 31, 2017, at Enfin by James Won, Level 2, Menara Hap Seng 1, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 010-288 7920