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Eastern Dining 1 - Da Pai Dong with a Difference

by Doug Rumsam (MD of BI Asia Pacific)

Tucked away in the middle of nowhere, being served local delicacies and drinking some of the world’s finest wine offerings… a recipe for success in my book.

Ducks blood and ‘89 Rayas, fish balls and ‘92 Lafon and sweet and sour fried wontons with Cuvee de l’Oree – don’t mind if I do! Never one to shy away from a challenge, I was being thrown culinary curveballs left, right, and centre…and by and large coming out smiling. I confess to being bested only by my age-old adversary, “Thousand Year Egg”, a rather mean and offensive character that still strikes fear into my tastebuds and olfactory senses… this is one ‘speciality’ best left to the pros.

Great fun and superb food, all hand-crafted, super fresh and paired with our wines surprisingly well. Just goes to show how adventurous you can be when it comes to food and wine.


Wines were as follows:

1999 Cuvee de l'Oree, Chapoutier

Thick mineral driven fruit, bit shy right now. Little hint of prune hidden in there. Plenty of body, but hidden behind its winter coat, so we parked it for a little while. After about 30 minutes, it suddenly came out to play. Little caramel lick to the edges and by the end of dinner was holding its own against the Lafon. Chewy, mineral-laden and finally rich and honeyed. Serious stuff this and I would advise decanting an hour before consumption next time.

1992 Montrachet, Lafon

Powerful, rich nose of butter, toffee and honey. Incredible richness on the palate, then catching you by surprise, the second wave hits, lemon-sherbet zest shooting upwards and sideways. It's the acidity that makes this - livelier than Dita Von Teese, this has it all: nutty, buttery and zesty, and it builds momentum through the finish. After 3 minutes I can still taste it, ridiculous length. Glorious wine and one of the finest examples of Montrachet to pass my lips.


1989 CNPD Rayas

Fairly one dimensional nose, inky black fruit and a little scent of violet, so you need to push on to find out what this is all about. Very adroite and tightly knit, this has real poise and purity. Laser-precision, guided by the perfect acidity. Touch of sweetness, touch of smoke, touch of iron and real concentration. Little tickle of menthol and pepper to finish the job...a real treat and a classy bottle of wine. Plenty of life left in this yet.

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