Wine and Japanese food might sound like an odd pairing, but apparently they go surprisingly well together – or so the chefs and sommelier at Eyuzu Japanese Restaurant in Eastin Hotel, PJ – tell me.
It’s a rare treat for me to enjoy fine dining, so I was really happy that my editor decided to send me for a Japanese Wine and Dine pairing night. It was a shame that my taste buds weren’t 100% that night because I was down with a fever and cold.
Located on the hotel’s first floor, we were greeted by smart looking servers in Japanese costumes. The place is cosy and intimate, with low white lights hanging in paper bulbs from the ceiling and lots of wooden accents.
To start off the night, we had Otoro, Chutoro and Akami Sashimi Trio Blue Fin Tuna Sashimi with Fresh Wasabi and Shoyu.
Beautifully served on a plate of coloured dry ice and decorated with seashells, the premium cuts of otoro (pink fatty tuna from the belly), chutoro (medium-fatty meat found near the skin on the back and belly) and akami (red meat) are perfect for those wanting to experience the different textures the whole fish has to offer.The akami was firmer and had a slightly bitter tang, which gradually progressed to a melt-in-the-mouth softness with the chutoro and otoro.
The fish’s freshness was brought out thanks to the pairing with Selbach Mosel Riesling Classic white wine, which helped to reduce the fattiness and the fishy odour of the raw sashimi.
Next up was Kaki Motoyaki – Baked Canadian Oyster with Yuzu-Miso Crust and Crispy Lotus Root.
The sauce, while rich and creamy, was not too overpowering and managed to bring out the freshness of the large and juicy Canadian oyster.
It was a myriad of interesting textures with the gooey sauce, the smooth and slippery oyster and the crunchy fried lotus root slices on top. The yuzu (Japanese citrus) gave the dish a slightly sour hint which was perfect for whetting the appetite.
This dish was paired with E.Guigal Corte Du Rhone Blanc, made from marsanne and rousanne grapes from France which give a medium to full-body concentration for
Moving on to the mains, there was Gindara Kimiyaki, or Gratin Cod Fillet with Black Truffle Egg Sauce, paired with Matua Valley Single Peak Pinot Noir.
The firm, sweet white flesh of the fish was grilled with egg yolk and truffle sauce, miso sauce and truffle oil for a strong, savoury flavour similar to Chinese ‘dao jiong’ or fermented bean paste. The dish is paired with a softer red wine which is low in tannin and goes well with white meat.
This was by far the best dish of the night, maybe because it was my first time having Wagyu beef (under normal conditions I wouldn’t be able to afford it :P).
The Wagyu Niku to Shitake Dare (Grilled Wagyu Beef Loin with Shiitake Mushroom Sauce) was a very high quality M9 (Marbling 9), and came served with a side of soft and fluffy momotaro gohan (semi-glutinous sun-dried Japanese tomato rice), chips and asparagus.The generous slab of beef was done medium-rare; seared on the outside and beautifully juicy and pink on the inside, while no corners were cut with the sauce as it was brimming with chopped shiitake mushrooms.
To go with this rich style of meat, a Chateau Les Hauts-Onseillants Lalande de Pomerol red wine was chosen for its full-flavoured body and structure with a little tannin, which matches red meat well.
From the way I described, you’d think I was good with wines, right? Wrong. xD Most of the stuff was suggested by the sommelier, who also gave me wine notes so I could write the stuff. I can’t drink (sad but true) and I prefer sweet-tasting stuff over alcohol anyday. ‘Nights out’ are wasted on me.
Ending the meal on a sweet note was dessert – Green Tea Tiramisu, Amarena Cherry and Black Sesame Ice-Cream, paired with a sweet Luise Felipe Edwards Reserva Late Harvest white wine.
Served with a cutely crafted white chocolate ball, the soft and fluffy non-alcoholic green tea tiramisu was a real treat for dessert lovers, while the wine really brought out the sweetness and flavour of the black sesame ice-cream without being overpowering.
Eyuzu’s Wine and Dine pairing dinner is priced at RM238++ per person and is a not-to-be-missed for both food lovers and wine connoisseurs for its value and taste.
For reservations, call 03-7665 1111 ext 203.
EYUZU JAPANESE CUISINE,
Level 2, Eastin Hotel Petaling Jaya, 13, Jalan 16/11, Pusat Dagang Seksyen 16, Petaling Jaya.
Business hours: Daily, noon to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10pm.