Fine dining in China: Capital M in Beijing

June 20, 2013

Capital M Beijing

Captital M

Many of you know that Capital M is one of my favourite restaurants in Beijing, China. I try to dine there at least once every visit. On my last visit, I went with my friend Brian Wallace, the owner-director of Red Gate Gallery. We had ordered a table for dinner on a mild spring evening. We both needed a treat, and a treat it turned out to be.

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The wine list

I love the wine selection of Capital M, and decided on a wine from Sancerre. The ‘2008 Domaine Fouassier’ by Domaine Fouassier was a lovely Sauvignan Blanc. This was my first time that I tasted wine from this producer, and I should not regret it.

The Fouassier family is one of the oldest wine producing families in Sancerre. Today the estate covers about 56 ha, 80% planted to Sauvignon Blanc, 20% to Pint Noir.

This wine is aged in oak barrels where it remained on lees for about ten months. It displays the fine acidity, the aromas and complexity one expects from a wine from Sancerre. I loved the sound structure and the long finish.

The grapes come from old vines. The winery prides itself with its organic agricultural and bio-dynamic methods. It was a good choice and I have to look out for more wines from this producer.

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2008 Domaine Fouassier, Sancerre

I urgently needed some green stuff and started with a salad with some beetroots pieces. The wine was perfect for this food pairing.

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Beetroot salad

I am not someone who likes the fancy recipes. I like solid-rural, more agrarian and artisan food not the highly refined output from modern kitchens.  So my choice was red meat which did not exactly match my choice in wine. Since Brian did not feel like another bottle, I stayed with the Sancerre. But I am sure some of the reds from the wine list of Capital M would have been a lovely match.

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My beef fillet on potato mash

The beef was just awesome, what a great dish, what a great evening. If you want to spoil yourself, get going, book a table and enjoy a meal at Capital M. It’s worth it, trust me.

When we left and had said our good-byes, I went on a stroll on Tiananmen square which was completely deserted and void of people. I was rewarded with this view of the entrance of the forbidden city. A visit to Beijing can be quite delightful.

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Fine dining in Bangkok: Patara Restaurant revisited

March 15, 2012

My favourite Thai restaurant in Bangkok is Patara in Thonglor which offers exceptional fine Thai cuisine of greatest quality.

I have written about the place a few times, but it is always a very special occasion when the four of us, I mean my family, are heading to Patara for a family experience.

In 2009 Patara was awarded the title: the Best Restaurant in Thailand. We have taken some of our closest friends there to share this experience.

The interior of Patara restaurant

The other day, a Sunday, it was time again to patronize the place, and indulge in fine Thai cuisine. And look what we ordered. The starter platter is just a wonderful assortment of various delicious Thai dishes.

The starter platter

Another starter

Pork wrapped in bamboo leaves

Also the main dishes are fabulous. I love the steamed fish with herbs, but also the omelet Thai style, the greens and the steamed rice in four colours.

The steamed fish

Omelet Thai style

Morning glory greens

Steamed rice in four colours

I was pleasantly surprised to find a few Thai wines on the wine list. New latitude wines from Thailand are some of my favourite wines since I live here in Bangkok.

I choose the ‘2010 Colombard’ from Monsoon Valley Wines in Hua Hin. The winery has a German wine-maker, Kathrin Puff, who graduated from Geisenheim. I met her at the 3rd International Symposium of Tropical Wine in Chiangmai in November last year.

2010 Colombard from Monsoon Valley Wine

I usually do not like the grape variety. But here in Thailand Colombard makes incredible delicious single varietal wines. It is Monsoon Valley premium range brand.

The 2010 vintage won silver and bronze awards. It has a crisp acidity with complex aromas, and a nice finish. Needless to say the wine goes very well with Asian food. I was glad that I had selected it, and was reminded that I need to stock up on the wine myself.

The back label of the Colombard from Monsoon Valley

Dessert

And another sweet

Of course we had a coffee after the delicious meal and the desserts. Another highlight is that Patara offers to take you home in their Tuktuk, an open air three-wheeler, which is great fun for old and young.

Check it out. It is definitively worth it.

Address:
Patara Bangkok
375 Soi Thonglor 19 Sukhumvit 55,
Klongtonnua Vadhana, Bangkok 10110
Tel.: +66-0-2185 2960-1
Fax.: +66-0-2185 2962
www.patarathailand.com


Restaurant review: Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920 in Jakarta

November 15, 2009

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When discussing with my friends in Jakarta where to meet for dinner, Jasmin suggested “Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920” right in the center of Jakarta.

The restaurant belongs to the Tugu Hotel group, owned by the family of Anhar Setjadibrata, a famous art collector from Malang, East Java. The family has two more restaurants in Jakarta, “Dapur Baba” and “Lara Djonggrang”, both exotic places with wonderful decorations of Indonesian and other antiques where we had spent memorable evenings with family and friends while living in Jakarta.

“Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920” is no exception. The interior is just stunning. Apart from dining one can also listen to Jazz music which is performed on a large stage. It was my first visit, and I was in a nostalgic and elated mood: back in Jakarta and out with old friends.

We ordered a round of starters, in fact we ordered the whole menu of starters, followed by main courses. To say it from the outset: the starters were stunning, the main courses could not keep up with it and were mediocre at best. This did not prevent us from having a great time. We had a bottle of white wine from Western Australia. When selecting it together with my friend Flo, I thought that I would not forget the brand. Writing this blog entry a couple of days later, I must submit to the vagaries of life once again. Never assume the obvious. Memory will have its little victories. usually I take a photo of the wine bottles I consume, not this time. Maybe the reunion was just so much more important. Anyway, the started (see some in the pctures below) were wonderful and the wine was just right.

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For us the evening ended in the Buddha Bar, a trendy hangout in Menteng. We were not deterred by a function for Cartier which occupied the interior of the bar but instead sat on the wide back-terrace with the garden view (also nice in the night).

I highly recommend to the casual traveler to visit the restaurants of Anhar Setjadibrata in Jakarta. The atmosphere in the three places – Waroeng Shanghai Blue 1920, Dapur Baba and Lara Djonggrang – is wonderful but unique, the exhibits are breathtaking, they bear witness to Java’s glorious past.

PS: I never stayed at one of the Tugu Hotels but friends of mine rave about the one in Malang. From the website www.tuguhotels.com you might get a glimpse what it might be all about. Breathtaking, spectacular come to mind. I promised myself that one day I will visit one of them and enjoy a night delving in Javas past and in a “Tugu bed”.

Address:
Warong Shanghai Blue 1920 Restaurant
Kebon Sirih Raya 79
Jakarta Pusat
DKI Jakarta – Indonesia
PH 1: +62-21-391-8690
PH 2: +62-21-7088-3366
www.tuguhotels.com