Four Seasons Wine Hosts Dinner with Top Chefs at The LaLit, Mumbai

Karan Wadhera , 28 Oct 2012
Four Seasons Wine Event
Four Seasons Wine Event

Four Seasons Wine organized an interesting event recently where some of Mumbai’s Top Chefs gathered at The LaLiT Hotel in Andheri to discuss the burgeoning food scene in India, enjoy a delicious meal, and sample a variety of Four Seasons Wines. The night started with a quick speech from Abhay Kwadkar, Director Four Seasons Wine and Chief Wine Maker, noting that the night was a celebration of chefs, whom in India are usually relegated to the background.

Bouvet Rose
Bouvet Rose

As we sat down to dinner, the long table seemed to be split with the chefs at one end and all other guests at the other, which made it difficult for chef/guest interaction.  Pre-dinner guests were served a refreshing Bouvet Rose, which is a winery Four Seasons Wine has acquired in France, but which has yet to be widely distributed in India.

Green Pea Soup
Green Pea Soup

Our meal opened with a fresh Green Pea Soup, served in a cappuccino cup, with a sweet biscotti on the side.  The biscotti was an odd combination with the soup, but it was passable.  While the soup was tasty, unfortunately it reached our table lukewarm.  This of course is the challenge of doing a set menu for some 50 guests.

Scallop Tartar, Fried Palm Heart, and a Poached Pear
Scallop Tartar, Fried Palm Heart, and a Poached Pear

The first course was Scallop Tartar, Fried Palm Heart, and a Poached Pear.  The palm heart was delicious and held its shape well.  The scallop tartar was actually not raw and tasted a little bit fishy.  However, the different textures went quite well together and it was an enjoyable starter.  The wine was a Four Seasons Viognier – aromatic and fruity and more complex than your average Indian wine.  This wine won a bronze medal the Hong Kong International Wine Fair recently.

Slow Poached Duck Foie Gras
Slow Poached Duck Foie Gras

The second course was Slow Poached Duck Foie Gras.  This was not your typical foie gras, prepared as more of a duck pâté. It was served with raspberry sauce, butter foam, jelly, biscotti, and sautéed onions. It was a little too sweet for our taste and we were disappointed to see the biscotti make a second appearance in our meal.  The wine was a Four Seasons Chenin Blanc, which was dry and helped cut some of the sweetness of the dish.

Sunkist Orange Sorbet with Balsamic Caviar
Sunkist Orange Sorbet with Balsamic Caviar

We were next served a palette cleanser of Sunkist Orange Sorbet with Balsamic Caviar.  This was delicious and very refreshing.  We had never seen Balsamic Caviar before, which complemented the sorbet nicely and added a nice tart addition to the sorbet.

Butter Poached Lobster served with a Beet Risotto
Butter Poached Lobster served with a Beet Risotto

The fourth course was Butter Poached Lobster served with a Beet Risotto.  The lobster was decent, thought a tad overcooked.  The risotto on the other hand was undercooked and sprinkled with candied beets, which again was a bit too sweet and awkward with the lobster.  We had a Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc to accompany our course, which was quite standard – nothing to write home about, but well paired with the seafood.

Herb Roasted New Zealand Lamb
Herb Roasted New Zealand Lamb

Our fifth course (this was long meal!) was Herb Roasted New Zealand Lamb, definitely the highlight of the night! Though we prefer our lamb medium-rare, the well-done preparation was fantastic: lean and incredibly flavorful.  The lamb was served with radish, carrots, and a crisp onion which went well with the meal.  The wine pairing was a Four Season Barrique Shiraz Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – the cab was quite bold and rich, but a little overpowering.

Poached Chocolate Egg in Summer Salad with a Sun Rise setting
Poached Chocolate Egg in Summer Salad with a Sun Rise setting

For desert, we had a Poached Chocolate Egg in Summer Salad with a Sun Rise Setting.  The chocolate egg was tasty  and was filled with a thick cream custard… very similar to a Cadbury Egg you find during Easter.  However, the egg was set on top of an odd gelatin & basil mixture.

Four Seasons Wine Event @ Trendz, The LaLit
Four Seasons Wine Event @ Trendz, The LaLit

Overall it was quite an enjoyable dinner, but maybe an hour too long.  Our waiters at The LaLiT were very well trained and the service was impeccable.  We were hoping to have more interaction with the chefs, but we were able to overhear some interesting tidbits, including that foie gras in India does not come from force-fed ducks or geese – just those with a naturally fatty liver. We aso overheard that Gordon Ramsey is looking to come to India. True or not, looks like there will be a lot more to discuss at the next such event.

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