June 3, 2011

Senja Italian Restaurant, The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur: Xanadu Wine Makers Dinner

I am no wine expert but I know a good wine when I taste one!

* Picture taken from Xanadu Wines

Xanadu Wines is one of the pioneering vineyards in Margaret River, Australia. The winery, located in the ‘Golden triangle’ of the Boodjidup Valley, is renowned for its Cabernet and Chardonnay. Xanadu was already winning awards in the early Eighties with a reputation as one of the finest wineries in the region, a reputation that is being consolidated since the purchased of Xanadu Wines by the Rathbone family.

We were honored to have Ms Annie Lundin, RWG and Glenn Gloodall, Xanadu winemaker to start off our lovely dinner with a speech and also a brief introductory on Xanadu Wines.

Ms Annie L. is the Asia Manager for RWG. The Rathbone Wine Group represents an extensive portfolio with four wineries in the most significant vineyard regions of Australia from Yering Station (Yarra Valley, Victoria), Mount Langi Ghiran (Grampians, Victoria), Parker Coonawarra Estate (Coonawarra, South Australia) to Xanadu Wines (Margaret River, Western Australia).

Mr Glenn G., the charming winemaker, exuded such passion for wine as he shares the effort and details about Xanadu. He believes true quality begins in the vineyard and that winemaking is all about respecting the fruit and the region. Glenn shared an amazing presentation on the Xanadu vineyard with the quality of the varieties of grapes for various wines and the process of producing quality wines.

Senja Italian Restaurant exuded a classy ambience with dim lights, pristine white table cloths, elegant table settings and discreet but attentive service.

We were served hors d’oeuvre and a very lovely Italian Canella Peach Bellini. It was so addictive that I had three glasses!

Amuse Bouche consisted of Seared Scallop with Squid Ink Pasta. Scallop was nicely sear and really sweet.

Xanadu Sauvignon Blanc Semillon 2009 was served with the amuse bouche. The sweetness of the fresh scallop went well with the fruity and crisp wine. A lovely way to start off…

Salmon Carpaccio, Vinaigrette, Mixed Water Cress was a gorgeous sight to view! The myriad colors were so attractive and the taste was quite light.

Xanadu Chardonnay 2008 was very smooth and easy on the palate with a hint of fruity citrus aroma that enhanced the Salmon Carpaccio quite easily. Usually, I prefer reds but I have to say I really like this Chardonnay.

Mushroom Soup was paired with a very special Xanadu Reserve Chardonnay 2008. Thick and creamy, the soup was full of mushrooms flavors. Swirled with cream to finish off, the soup was a nice balance of flavors after the previous seafood dishes.

This is my favorite white wine, Xanadu Reserve Chardonnay 2008. Ultra smooth and really fruity, the bouquet of this white was stronger than the regular Chardonnay. Too bad this is not available for sale in Malaysia… I would have loved to be able to enjoy this on a regular basis.

Cod Fish, Fava Bean Puree and Tomato Livornese Sauce were a huge favorite among the diners that night. The cod was velvety and perfectly cooked while the tomato sauce really gave this fish a boost in flavors and colors. Fava bean puree added another dimension to the sauce.

Cod was paired with a surprising red wine, Xanadu Shiraz 2007. Full bodied with a great depth from berries, this red has a great structure and length. Bold move on the pairing!

Rack of Lamb, Pink Potato, and Vegetables Caponata was ingeniously harmonized with such skill! The sides compliment the pink lamb really well and I just can’t help liking the pink mashed potatoes! I would love to have this dish again but this time in a bigger portion.

Paired with Xanadu Cabernet Sauvignon 2008, the lamb obviously flattered the red wine to heighten the ripe fruits of the forest. I detected a hint of spices in the wine and thought that this was perfect with a strong meat like lamb.

Chef Giovanni’s Tiramisu ended out meal with a luscious sensation. Creamy mascarpone was silky and glide down my throat with such passion.

I always thought dessert wine was too cloyingly sweet. Xanadu Cane Cut Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2009 changed my impression on dessert wines. The wine had a lovely deep bouquet of ripe fruits and had a lovely balance of sweetness to end our dinner on a high note!

Faces that night!

The wine pairing was indeed a very successful and delightful affair. Everything was carried out smoothly and I had such a lovely time with the other guests that night. Choice of food was precise, elegant, quality and paid tribute to Xanadu wines with great effort.

It has been a while since I was spoilt but I did that night! J

Do check out more information about Xanadu Wines at their website: www.xanaduwines.com for more varieties of their gorgeous wines.

Xanadu Wines are available by Luen Heng F&B Sdn Bhd. Check out their website: http://www.luenheng.com/ for more information.

For more information about the prestigious Saujana Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, check out their website: http://www.thesaujanahotel.com/ or email: info@thesaujana.com

** Thanks to Saujana Hotel, Rathbone Wine Group, Xanadu Wines, and Luen Heng for the wine pairing affair!


  1. Ya Choi Yen, pastel pink mashed potatoes that was really creamy and smooth...

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