November 26, 2012

Urban, Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur: Rekindling the Affair with Thomas K. Hardy!

An Unforgettable Opulent Wine Pairing Affair!

Last year’s Wine Pairing Affair with Thomas K. Hardy is clearly still etched deep in my mind. A wine pairing so exquisite, Thomas K. Hardy together with Urban, Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur is back again this year to showcase their wine pairing dinner. No encouragement needed, the night was a lovely rekindling affair with the Thomas K. Hardy collection again!

Dining at Urban is always an amazing culinary experience. Chef Sharusmizal and his culinary team never fail to impress me with their creations. Expect nothing but the best in quality, flavors and artistic creations by the team who takes their inspiration from French cuisine and mingle it with a touch of local cuisine.

The menu that night comprised of six courses with five Thomas K. Hardy wines and a liqueur and an additional 3 piece Amuse Bouche. Going all out, lavish ingredients like foie gras, lobster, sea urchin, oysters, truffle, lamb and venison were carefully crafted by Chef Sharusmizal and his culinary team.

Amuse Bouche
Egg Custard with Lobster, Sea Urchin, Miso scented with spicy Togarashi Pepper Emulsion
Goose Liver Crème Brulee, Apple Chip & Spice Bread
Profiteroles with Wild Smokey Salmon Mousse

Starting off the gastronomic wine pairing dinner was a 3-piece Amuse Bouche. Generous indeed, the little one-bites are undeniably made with lots of effort! Please bear with me as I rant my ravings on the little three musketeers.

Taking me to a level of ecstasy is nestled in an egg shell, an egg custard studded with bits of lobster meat and luscious sea urchin with a foamy emulsion that seemed to be the craze for today’s modern cuisine. As I scooped up the glorious combination and tasted the extremely rich and silky custard, a burst of salty creamy flavors enveloped my senses. The end note had a very light hint of spiciness but the taste was simply out-of-this-world. I longed for another one… when something is so good, it’s just GOOD!

Goose liver crème brulee is the savory version with similar hints to baked custard except this one was amped up with opulent foie gras! Goose liver took main flavor with its silky buttery flavors with delicate hints nutty notes. Textures are provided by the crisp apple chip and cubed spiced bread.

Choux pastry shaped into a delicate bud sandwiched a creamy smoky salmon mousse. The mousse had good salty and smoky flavors to bring up the choux to live.

We enjoyed our white of the evening with 2010 Dizzy 201 Vintage Reserve Chardonnay. I like the smoothness of the floral white on my senses. Delicate and fruity, it was as good without the Amuse Bouche!

First Course
Kumamoto Oyster Panna Cotta, Black Grain – Pearl with Caper Berry, Pineapple Carpaccio, Aloe Vera Jelly, Lime Virgin Rape Seed Oil dressing, Petit Salad & Chinese Lychee infused Japanese Horseradish Sorbet

If you are an ardent fan of oysters, then this symphony of oysters will reel in points in your favor! A briny piece of fresh oyster is paired with oyster baked cream served with a trickle of pieces of accompaniments. One would never thought to pair oysters with sweet pineapple but it seemed to work beautifully balancing each other. This dish had a good round up of all the flavors with salty, sweet and sour flavors. Caper berry, tart and juicy gave the oysters a tang while a refreshing sorbet cleansed the palate of the strong oyster flavors for the next course. Simply melodic at sight and taste!

Served with 2009 Thomas K. Hardy ‘IMPRIMATUR’ Chardonnay, the oyster flavors are really nicely balanced up with fruity peach and apricot notes. A good color, the white Chardonnay also has a light citrus note. My favorite wine of the night is very delectable and smooth in each sip!

Second Course
Baked Labeyrie Foie Gras Feuillette with Truffle Duxelles, Mizuna leaves, Morel mushroom, Garlic Froth & rich Port Jus


This is one course that had me gasping with favoritism through the night! With a complicated name, the dish showcased a gorgeous dome of buttery puff pastry protecting a delectable piece of goose liver and mushroom truffle duxelle. The lavish course was mind boggling simply to describe the minimal. Oppulent creamy goose liver is so perfect with the earthy smoky mushroom mixture while the aroma of the buttery puff pastry was salty goodness. Of course the sidekicks or lavish morel mushrooms and jus enhanced the Labeyrie to further heights.

If I have my way, I want more of this dish in a bigger portion!

2008 Thomas K. Hardy ‘FAMILY TRADITION’ Cabernet Sauvignon, a red with notes of blackberry and cassis, matched the second rich course well in terms of the port jus sharing similar flavors, bringing forth a nice harmony to the pairing.

Palate Cleanser, Mojito Sorbet
Intense mojito flavors of lime and mint is much welcome as a palate cleanser.

Third Course
Mullawarra Lamb Parmentier with Spicy Merguez Sausage, Honey Pumpkin & Shallot Reduction

The French version of shepherd’s pie, the lamb Parmentier tasted simply like comfort food with its layer of creamy mashed and well braised lamb. Highlights on the dish fell on the innocent looking baby Merguez sausage, exploding with good spicy flavors in heat and spices. Caramelized baby shallots and jus rounded up the whole dish with a good rich savory note.

Our third course was paired with 2009 DIZZY 201 ‘VINTAGE RESERVE’ Shiraz Cabernet. Deep red in color, the full bodied wine is a good partner in sharing flavors with the spicy and rich flavors of the lamb dish. I overheard quite a few guests complimenting this fruity red velvet.

Fourth Course
Sous Vide Herb Crumb Mandagery Creek Venison Loin with braised 1824 Grain Fed Cheek Ravioli, Beetroot, Celeriac, Glazed Apricot, Carrot Dot, Cocoa Crumb, jumbo Asparagus Verte & Shiraz Bing Cherry Reduction


Either I was too full or the other courses were just too awesome for me when compared to this course. The sous vide venison has a beautiful tender texture but is a little too bland for me. Ravioli fared a little better compared to the venison in flavors. The saving grace of the night is the cocoa crumb, apricot and sweet Bing cherry sauce that gave this dish a boost in flavors.


Fifth Course
Cheese from Here & There! Australian and French with Pineapple Saffron Clove Jam & Muesli Granola

Robuchon, Cocoon and Camembert are paired with a sweet tangy pineapple jam with a smoky clove note. Muesli granola, house made, added some textures while the crispy wafer balanced out the salty rich finish of the cheeses. More wafers would make this dish easier to finish.

Our fourth and fifth wine was a 2008 Thomas K. Hardy ‘IMPRIMATUR’ Shiraz. Its velvety tannins brought the Shiraz to its unique characteristic while the bouquet of berries has a lovely finish. Definitely a nice pairing with meats and strong cheese flavors!

Sixth Course
Valrhona Bittersweet Chocolate Tart, infused with Grand Marnier, Caramelized Banana, Hazelnut Milk Ice Cream, Orange Tuille and Caramel

Dessert was a rich bittersweet chocolate tart topped with niutty hazelnut ice cream. The chocolate is countered with sweet caramel, aromatic caramelized banana and the tart black berry. It’s not to heavy or light but just enough to give us a satiation of chocolate flavors. I would have been happy alone with the lovely hazelnut ice cream alone!

Geoff Hardy ‘FULL FRONT’ Liqueur Frontignac was selected to end the night’s wine pairing affair. It is a strong liqueur with a hard finish. I find it a bit too tart and not as smooth but flavors are definitely intense and rich.

The Urban Team

As with the first wine pairing affair last year, this one is equally an exciting and delicious affair. Thomas K. Hardy, a fifth generation wine maker, in joint efforts with Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur has really produced an impressive unforgettable wine pairing dinner. It’s no wonder rekindling this affair was as easy as the menu was lavish and exciting in partnering with the wines. Chef Sharusmizal and team has outdone themselves again this round to give wine lovers an exquisite affair of gastronomic cuisine with the finest range of Thomas K. Hardy wines! Make sure to catch this joint effort in the next round…

For more information on Thomas K. Hardy, check out the website:

Thomas K. Hardy wines are available from JFS Boutique Spirits. Call +6 017 678 2038 or check out their website for more information.

Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur
Lobby Level, East Wing
73, Jalan Raja Chulan,
50200 Kuala Lumpur
For Reservations: +603 2141 9988 ext: 3691


  1. I love the creme brulee, matter sweet or savory :)

    1. me too... unless I see foie gras... then foie gras wins hands down... :P

  2. Your pictures are just so beautiful! Everything just pop as I scroll down the page. I can tell that it is indeed an unforgettable opulent wine pairing affair!

  3. Yummm...that pastry looks so seductive. Everything else looks good too!

  4. Oh my god! Please tell me at least part of this is featured in their normal menu!

    1. unfortunately no... but their regular menu has some awesome foie gras and seafood with steak dishes... if you are looking to celebrate some special moments, this is the place... :)

  5. i luv the trio...perfect combination...

    1. it is.. my favorite of the trio is the Egg custard... still drooling at my own pic and memory of it! ;)

  6. LOVELY! MUAH! MAMA-MIAAA~! Ohzem wine pairing!! I wish to have a glass (or more) shiraz with the ''Valrhona Bittersweet Chocolate Tart, infused with Grand Marnier, Caramelized Banana, Hazelnut Milk Ice Cream, Orange Tuille and Caramel~~~''
    Gosh, I am a BIGGGGGGGGGG fan of Fine Dine.. too bad... Pocket doesnt permits.. HAHAHHAAH

    1. Trust you to love the dessert! I can tell you are a dessert girl from all your gorgeous breakfast post... ;P