Fine dining and merrymaking at The View
Renowned as one of the most established fine dining restaurants in Penang, the View offered an ideal setting for the Le Altanza Wine Dinner held on Saturday, 20 July 2019. Its panoramic views from the restaurant, impeccable service and cozy ambience set the perfect stage for a memorable evening.
Cocktails began at 6.30 p.m. with wine and haute hors d'oeuvres. Guests were introduced to an offer of various wines by Bodegas Altanza.
Elena Sánchez Tendero, who arrived from Fuenmayor (Rioja Alta, Spain) where the wines were produced, was at hand to provide an insight about their exports. Before dinner commenced, Elena gave a brief introduction on Rioja Alta as well as the wines we would sample. The Bodegas estate spans 300 ha. (740 acres), 220 ha. of which are vineyards, producing a variety of wines including limited-edition series.
The finely curated 6-course delectable wine dinner began with baked scallops served with a capsicum salsa and spicy harissa crust. The amount of harissa was just right to spice up the dish and draw out the sweetness from the succulent scallops. Served on a beautiful shell-shaped plate, it was elegant and visually appealing. The blade work for the fine brunoise in the colourful salsa was impressive, illustrating the attention to detail put into crafting this dish. Pairing it with chilled Lealtanza Blanco 2017 was brilliant. Its citrus notes and fruity character complemented well the flavours of the spices as well as that of the ocean, drawing out the overall taste sensations.
The baked scallop dish was followed by a tantalising appetiser. Peppered tuna was served with a red onion relish, creamy honey avocado mousse and topped with some fresh garden greens. The fiery crushed black peppercorns, sweet mousse and savoury relish somehow found perfect harmony in this delectable offering. A glass of Lealtanza Reserva 2012 accompanied this dish. The wine was complex and showed great age ability with mature fruit notes, aged oak and a pleasantly spice-influenced finale. According to Elena, the wine is made of 100 per cent Tempranillo (black grapes native to Spain) with fermentation using natural yeasts. The wine is allowed a 18-month aging process in French oak barrels. Delightful pairing indeed.
Next was a classic clam chowder taken to a new level of sophistication with pink peppercorn foam and sage chiffon. I love the magic of this soup – its flavours were exciting and little specks of fresh carrots added crunch to the delicious umami soup. It was topped with a brittle, paper-thin cheese strip that melted in your mouth. The Lealtanza Reserva de Familia Selección 2012 that was paired with the chowder had a well-balanced bouquet packed with smoky and spicy notes.
For the entrée, we had two tempting options – tender beef tenderloin or cilantro lime butterfish fillet. I opted for a medium-done steak. The grilled beef tenderloin was a showstopper! This melt-in-your-mouth tender and flavourful cut was served with an infused ragout of mushrooms and a potato grilled pepper torte.
Lealtanza Artist Sorolla Reserva 2010 is a fifth edition of the Spanish Artists' Collection under the Le Altanza brand paying homage to the great Impressionist artist Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida. Three emblematic paintings adorn the labels – Paseo a orillas del mar (1909), Nadadores (1919) and Jardín de la casa Sorolla (1919), offering an inside glimpse into the character of the wine. It has a very pleasant aroma of fruity notes and classic French oak with a long after-taste. Like Sorolla's bright and sunny canvases, this wine celebrates life, awash with its well-balanced tannins rendering it an elegant experience in the mouth. Perfect pairing with the sublime steak!
For the other entrée, the butterfish was cooked to perfection with smooth flakes offering a very buttery and scrumptious bite in every mouthful. Served on a bed of multi-coloured beans stew and a saffron-infused paella, this dish was simply luscious. I felt it would also have paired smartly with a glass of white wine like Le Altanza Blanco 2017.
For dessert, a decadent ricotta cheesecake was served with fruits, a blueberry compote and a scoop of tequila ice cream. I love it when you ware given an option to decide on how “boozie” you would like your dessert to be as the tequila was placed in a mini poly dropper. A cup of freshly brewed coffee capped off a marvellous culinary journey.
I was very thankful for the wonderful experience and attention to detail that went into executing this true culinary adventure that was a delight for the senses. But what made this such a fabulous evening was the hospitality displayed by the management and staff of The View. They were very attentive and service was top notch.
You know everyone is having a ball when there is singing and dancing. Food, wine and merry making are key ingredients to a memorable evening. What a stupendous evening we had indulging in such simple pleasures of life.
Organised by The View, the wine dinner was made possible with the collaboration of The Wine Shop, Evian and Badiot. Many thanks to all especially Hotel Equatorial Penang for extending the invitation.
Lealtanza wines are available at The Wine Shop, 15 Lintang Burma, Penang.
T: + 604 226 1824
Hotel Equatorial Penang
1 Jalan Bukit Jambul, Bayan Lepas, 11900 Penang, Malaysia
T: +604 632 7000
Written and photographed by Adrian Cheah
© All rights reserved
20 July 2019