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China Dinner

Beijing, June 8, 2013

Another great event for the Bailliage of Beijing!

This time the venue was the Grace Hotel in the 798 ‘art district’ midway between the airport and the city centre.

The Grace Hotel Group is an exclusive boutique hotel group with nine hotels worldwide and growing. At their hotel in Beijing the Chef’s philosophy is to emphasis the use of natural and organic products. With this in mind, Chef Christian Hofmann prepared a mouth-watering menu for us starting with a gratinated cheese terrine on toasted French bread, crispy puffs with foie gras and beef tartare as cocktail snacks complemented with Prosecco, Mojitos or Bloody Marys.

The menu itself commenced with a cold oyster vichyssoise served in a Martini glass accompanied by a Champagne Duval Leroy. Warm organic white asparagus followed (it had been harvested just that morning and flown in around lunch time!) with grilled gravadlax, truffle vinaigrette and lemon confit. The accompanying wine was a Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

The Asian-influenced salad course was a Vietnamese-style spring roll with Nova Scotia lobster and miso dressing. It was perfectly partnered with an Alsace wine: Josmeyer, Fleur de Lotus. Blended exclusively in stainless steel, this wine is typically made from 60-65% Auxerrois for body, 30-35% Gewürztraminer for spice and richness and 5% Riesling for acidity and length. The mango was perfectly ripened as was the avocado. The lobster was cooked to perfection – juicy and flavourful.

Sorbet skewers were served as palate cleanser before the main course of luscious beer-roasted, milk-fed suckling pig with crisp skin, grain mustard sauce, Napa cabbage and rosemary potatoes. This dish was particularly well balanced, the carrots sweet, the Kohlrabi soft, moist and salted and the Napa cabbage was skilfully infused with bacon. The wine chosen for this course was a Rosso Serralunga, Nebiolo Barolo.

The cheese was a Stilton Napoleon made with fruit bread and served with apricot mustard. The selected wine was Brown Brothers Orange Muscat & Flora from Australia.

Dessert was called ‘aromas of whiskey’ and was served as a mousse, a cake and straight. Chef Hofmann used a 12-year Talisker, a 14-year Clynelish and an 18-year Macallan.

This event falls definitely in the ‘something to write home about’ category and was executed by a very talented group of people.

Bernie Sperk, Maître Rôtisseur