A Basque Dinner at the Tasting Room

For the final dinner of the year, the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs (OMGD) had a modern Basque dinner at the Tasting Room in City of Dreams. Although a Rhone dinner was originally scheduled, a modern Basque dinner was decided upon after learning that Chef William Mahi who runs the kitchen there is himself Basque – although from the French side. He also has impeccable credentials as his previous posting was as chef of a 2 Michelin star restaurant in Athens. To pair with Chef Mahi’s creations, Edna Diaz of Bestworld Beverage Brands generously provided all the wines. The reds would be from the Rioja winery of Ramon Bilbao together with cava, champagne and an albariño.

Guests were treated to flutes of champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge NV as a welcome drink after which we were seated to start the dinner proper. The first course was a playful arrangement of various appetizers. My favorite was the curry apple crisp followed by the goat cheese cube.

Amuse-Bouche. Curry Apple crisp, Salmon Candy, Foie Gras Chocolate Ball, and Goat Cheese Cube.

Amuse-Bouche. Curry Apple crisp, Salmon Candy, Foie Gras Chocolate Ball, and Goat Cheese Cube.

The first course was a duck liver terrine in red wine jelly with various sauces dotted on the plate. I’ve had this dish several times before and really enjoy it although I wish a larger portion was served. Good with the cava.

Duck Liver Terrine - Cinnamon - Port Wine Sauce - Apple - Strawberries - Pear - Honey - Spicy Red Wine Jelly

Duck Liver Terrine – Cinnamon – Port Wine Sauce – Apple – Strawberries – Pear – Honey – Spicy Red Wine Jelly

This was followed by an excellent dish of two oysters. I could have finished a whole platter of these. Not bad with the albariño but I preferred it with the cava.

Oysters No. 2 - Marenne d'Olerons x 2 - Poached - Tartar - Sabayon Ice Cream - Caviar

Oysters No. 2 – Marenne d’Olerons x 2 – Poached – Tartar – Sabayon Ice Cream – Caviar

A fish course followed featuring a rather humble red mullet fillet but dressed up with a rather complex sauce. This was paired with the Ramon Bilbao Reserva and you would be forgiven for thinking it an odd pair. However, the weight and complexity of the sauce worked well with the red wine. There was a also a bit of squid ink risotto served on the side.

Atlantic Red Mullet - 72 Hours Bouillabaisse - Mussels - Affila - Fry Scales - Fennel - Confit - Vacuum Pack - Smoked Haddock - Squid Ink Risotto

Atlantic Red Mullet – 72 Hours Bouillabaisse – Mussels – Affila – Fry Scales – Fennel – Confit – Vacuum Pack – Smoked Haddock – Squid Ink Risotto

Perhaps the most interesting dish was the main course of pork trotter galette. It tasted very much like sisig and like sisig left on a sizzling plate, it had a range of textures from crisp to chewy. I personally thought it was very good although I think some people didn’t take to it at all. Not bad with the Ramon Bilbao Gran Reserva.

Kintoa - Pork Galette - Trotter - Crispy - Pimientos del Piquillo - Iberico Ham - Tomato Confit - Micro Vegetables - Garlic

Kintoa – Pork Galette – Trotter – Crispy – Pimientos del Piquillo – Iberico Ham – Tomato Confit – Micro Vegetables – Garlic

The chocolate dessert was outstanding, with different layers of chocolate and fruit for contrast. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel the Ramon Bilbao Mirto went too well with it.

Saffron Ice Cream - Kalingo Chocolate - Chocolate Mousse - Hot Chocolate - Passion Fruit/Orange Marmalade - Pecan Nuts

Saffron Ice Cream – Kalingo Chocolate – Chocolate Mousse – Hot Chocolate – Passion Fruit/Orange Marmalade – Pecan Nuts

Sparkling and whites. Cava Pere Ventura Tresor NV, Mumm Cordon Rouge NV, and Mar de Frades Albariño 2013.

Sparkling and whites. Cava Pere Ventura Tresor NV, Mumm Cordon Rouge NV, and Mar de Frades Albariño 2013.

Ramon Bilbao Reds. Gran Reserva 2008, Reserva 2009 and Mirto 2008.

Ramon Bilbao Reds. Gran Reserva 2008, Reserva 2009 and Mirto 2008.

Overall, a good dinner showing off modern Basque cuisine. Looking forward to next year’s events by the Chaine des Rotisseurs/Ordre Mondial.

 

The Tasting Room is located at the Ground Floor of the Crown Towers, City of Dreams. Tel 6917789