It was an intimate and spirited evening for the select group of fine whisky enthusiasts who recently gathered at contemporary Malaysian fine dining restaurant enfin to indulge in the new Discover Rarity degustation menu that shines a spotlight on the remarkable Johnnie Walker Blue Label and the latest culinary creations from the restaurant’s founder, Chef James Won.
For Chef James, the driving force behind this new menu was to focus “on the preservation of Malaysian indigenous ingredients. This menu paired with Johnnie Walker Blue Label gives our guests a glimpse into the multitude of flavours readily available on our own land, produced and harvested by the indigenous community — those who know their flavours. This partnership is able to showcase the not-commonly-known flavours available locally, thus guests are able to embark on a journey less discovered where unique flavours are uncovered.”
Described by some as an unrivalled masterpiece, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label stays true to its 200-year-old blending heritage by ensuring that every drop is crafted from a combination of the rarest and most exceptional whiskies in Scotland. So rare in fact that only one in every ten thousand casks is capable of delivering the elusive quality, character and flavours of its remarkable signature taste.
The revelry began with a tasting session led by Brand Ambassador of Diageo Malaysia Jeremy Lee who invited the guests to discover the subtle notes of the Blue Label by honing their senses. All this took place within the confines of a pop-up designed after a bothy. For those unfamiliar with the remote sections of the Scottish Highlands, these rustic structures provide a safe haven for friends to gather over drinks while enjoying each other’s company.
Emboldened by our encounter with the golden liquid, it was finally time to delve into the delicious 4-course meal featuring the finest and most sustainable ingredients found in Malaysia. As explained by the chef, this intense labour of love was an endeavour that took three months to complete.
“We’re taking a very different perspective for the pairing, to show the more feminine side of the Blue Label. Instead of stating the obvious, I want our guests to discover the softer side of the Blue Label which is hidden, and is something that you won’t normally get to savour.”
To invigorate the palate, guests were served a tray with three delicate hors d’oeuvres. A treat for both the eyes and palate, this included a slice of aloe vera resembling Nigiri paired with nutty Borneo Heirloom rice and puff grain, topped with fermented chilli and tropical sturgeon caviar; the creatively-named Like The Egg made from white of parmesan tofu, yolk of sea urchin and a mandarin-infused curry; and a crispy Cress Pot made from Scallop chip filled with hazelnut cress, fresh creme fraiche and piquant Szechuan pepper.
Next up was the entrees which included luxurious Malaysian Tropical Amur sturgeon caviar decorated with daikon, a kombu dashi puree, brioche, lemon butter and wild celery oil; and tender slivers of roasted Hokkaido scallop with pickled turnip, yam bean puree, wasabi and yuzu dressing, finished with a jalapeno granita and drops of black garlic, chive and dill oil. A quick sip of Blue Label prior to each bite immediately unveiled the fresh, explosive and savoury taste of both the scallop and caviar, transforming every single morsel of these tantalising delicacies into sheer delight.
With dinner going swimmingly, it was finally time for the main course: a serving of sturgeon fish with a house fermented Bario wine sauce with rice kouji, charred leeks, mushroom, seasonal truffle and rocket oil. Demonstrating its versatily, the full-bodied Blue Label proved to be a great match for this hearty dish.
Ending the night on a sweet note was the decadent dessert. A delicate balance of textures, taste and talent, this gravity-defying creation comprised savoiardi soaked in Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Job’s Tear coated in Batang Kali single origin cocoa, crisp coconut creme tuile and meringue chards, a mousse made of single origin cocoa harvested by the indigenous tribes of Semai, finished off with a light sprinkling of pea flower dust. The only thing left to do was to raise a glass to the great Bard and call it a night.
The Discover Rarity degustation menu by Johnnie Walker Blue Label will be available at enfin by James Won from 1 January to 31 March 2020. The menu is priced at MYR688++, with an additional MYR268++ for pairing with Johnnie Walker Blue Label.