Vietnam Dinner
Ho Chi Minh City, March 15, 2018
Outstanding caviar event at L'Escale by Thierry Drapeau

This was a unique, exclusive event at L’Escale, a luxuriously converted former villa now home to Michelin 2-star Chef Thierry Drapeau. Seating was strictly limited to 20 members and guests. We featured a menu by Chef Thierry and his team that had been presented only once before, at his famous restaurant in Le Verdon, France.

For that dinner guests drove up to a thousand kilometres from all over Europe to participate. Our Bailliage’s dinner was Asia’s chance to taste the same marvels of classical French cuisine, interpreted with the addition of some of our most exquisite local ingredients and a very special wine pairing for the ultimate sensory experience.

The focus of the unforgettable evening was caviar from the esteemed House of Kaviari in Paris.

For the intimate and elevated event, we dressed in both black tie and traditional Vietnamese formal dress. At a dinner bridging Vietnam and France, it was only fitting that the attire of the guests be as refined and cosmopolitan as the dishes themselves.

And now, the menu!

With Chef Thierry’s classical French training and experience, the dishes reflected the luxurious richness of French sauces and techniques but with his reverence for the best of the fresh and local. We definitely had a sense that a uniquely Asian accent appeared in the dishes. The presence of different caviar in each course guaranteed a level of extravagance and sophistication that undoubtedly made this dinner the envy of Asia.

Hors d’oeuvres all containing caviar and Thierry Drapeau tailor-made champagne (from the house of Duval Leroy) were served at the reception.

Our first course featured a generous portion of Alaskan king crab and the extravagant Ossetra “Crème de tourteau au caviar” with traditional blinis and condiments. As the caviar is no longer offered for sale to the general public it was a great honour to be able to include it in the menu.

Pairing: Champagne Thierry Drapeau ‘Cuvée sur mésure’ (from Duval Leroy)

The second course featured lightly-smoked pink trout with smoked sweet potato, essence of caviar, and Baeri Farmed Siberian caviar, which had a naturally occurring smoky flavour that we certainly enjoyed.

Pairing: Pouilly Fuissé 2015 - Louis Jadot

Emperor snapper came next. Cooked on the bone with champagne sauce it was accented with rare white sturgeon Transmontanus caviar from the west coast of North America which is uniquely buttery and smooth, a perfect pairing with the richness of the dish.

Pairing: Chablis Premier Cru ‘Fourchaume’ 2014 - Laroche

A palate cleanser of Champagne Duval Leroy sorbet with Kristal caviar preceded the main course of roasted Australian Wagyu beef with crumbled potatoes on the side and Kristal caviar. The favourite of famous chefs, this caviar has a spectacular amber colour, boasts rich and complex flavours also a lingering aftertaste of almonds.

Pairing: Champagne Thierry Drapeau ‘Cuvée sur mésure’ and Madiran ‘Chateau Montus’ 2012 by Alain Brumont. We decided to pair two wines for educational effect as we wanted people to understand what a pairing does so we included both.

Ending this magnificent meal was a unique chocolate and yuzu ganache infused with a Chef’s special selection of caviar. Chef’s delightful mignardises concluded the delectations.

Pairing: Quarts de Chaume ‘Ampelidae’ 2014 - Brochet

Following such an outstanding event, it is not surprising that members and guests returned home in pure delight with memories shared and enjoyment to remember for many years to come.

Rajesh (Raj) Taneja
Bailli Délégué