OMGD Vietnam Cocktail-pairing Dinner
Ho Chi Minh City, January 23, 2019
Launching the Ordre Mondial in the National Bailliage
" The OMGD in Vietnam plans to take a younger, trendier approach to events "

The National Bailliage celebrated the momentous occasion of the launch of the Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs (OMGD) with a cocktail-pairing dinner at Racha Room in Ho Chi Minh City.

The chosen venue is a pan-Asian restaurant serving Indian, Malay, Thai and Japanese recipes that Bailli Délégué Rajesh Taneja said are in some cases better executed than in the originating home countries of the respective dishes.

For the occasion of the launch Bailli Délégué Taneja and Conseiller Gastronomique Brian Lindfield worked closely with the restaurant’s Executive Chef Chris Donnellan and Master Mixologist Gregory Jacob to produce as near perfect pairings as possible between beverages and menu.

To welcome guests, a “Concubine” cocktail was a delightfully refreshing combination of premium vodka, lychee, lime, with delicate touches of elderflower. It paired beautifully with the canapés. The acidity from the lime and lychee truly enhanced and complemented the beautiful bites of salmon sashimi on betel leaf with coconut, lime and chilli, as well as fresh oysters with a spicy tamarind dressing.

The first sit-down course was a classic Yum Talay Thai seafood salad, paired with the original “Tran Hung Dao” cocktail, a savoury and slightly sweet combination of José Cuervo Tequila, lemongrass, pineapple infusion, ginger and chilli. The combination paid homage to Dao, the 13th century grand prince, statesman and military commander, as well as to the globally famous salad.

The second course was a spectacular hot and sour salad with Iberico pork cheek, crab, pomelo, and XO sauce paired with the complex and aromatic “Cardamom Rose” cocktail. The cocktail, specially made with cardamom-infused gin, was balanced. Deepened with bourbon it was then sprinkled with rosewater and fragrant amaretto.

Next we were treated to pan-seared salmon with Thai red nahm jim sauce and an accompanying lychee and mango salad. This course was paired with “The Racha”, another original cocktail being a symphony of freshness and bright fragrance featuring Bénédictine DOM, Crème de mûre, vodka, Aperol, Triple Sec, raspberry and mint.

For the final savoury course, guests were served local 21-day dry-aged duck breast prepared in a red curry with potatoes and Thai basil.

The duck had such an impact that guests were demanded to know where one could find such succulent breast meat in Vietnam.

This decadent course was accompanied by the classic “Boulevardier” cocktail, the depth, complexity, and sweetness of which beautifully complemented the duck while also standing up well to the curry which could have overwhelmed a less assertive beverage.

As a special surprise, a second cocktail pairing was offered for this course. A “Bangkok Boulevardier”, an original spin on the impeccable original, featured a custom-prepared lychee infusion and Aperol instead of the traditional Campari for a lighter, more aromatic presentation but nevertheless still represented what we considered to be a perfect pairing.

A dessert of delicately airy white chocolate tofu cheesecake with mango jelly and caramelized mango was accompanied by the new and original “White Elephant” cocktail made with premium vodka, caramel, Bailey’s Irish Cream, and Licor 43 imported from Spain.

To round off the evening, guests had the choice to enjoy an uplifting Espresso Martin but were reminded that at Chaîne and OMGD events, guests should always remember to consume responsibly.

The OMGD in Vietnam plans to take a younger, trendier approach to events that both educate the attendees and highlight excellence in beverages, be they wines, spirits, coffee or anything else that can be imbibed while maintaining the tradition of respecting camaraderie and the art of the table.

Rajesh Taneja
Bailli Délégué