Friday, August 21, 2009

Hakka Republic. Menara Hap Seng, KL. An Evening With The Pinot Noirs.

(no pork served)

My previous visit to Hakka Republic gave me such a good impression of the place that I have planned a re-visit many weeks ago, but never got around doing it until last Sunday.

This time around, I was there at about 10pm, just 30 minutes before the kitchen closes. The place looks really different than when I was there in the late evening. The sun was shining directly into the main dining area, making it very bright and excellent for photography. At night, the dining area was so dimly lit and was very, very romantic. Unfortunately it made photography a nightmare and I had to use long shutter speeds and many shots were killed due to shaky hands.

Dining there at night, means I would have the opportunity to try out their brilliant wine pairings again! For starters, I had the smoked duck salad that came in a dressing that was specially prepared by the chef.

The Salad was paired with Stonier Reserve Pinot Noir 2004. Firstly, the wine. Ruby Red, as opposed to the normal Garnet/Orange hue of Pinot Noirs, this delightfully balanced wine gives has a bouquet that is slightly reminiscent of a Cabernet. Rich blackcurrant/ cassis with strawberries. Very interesting. Dry, slightly sweetish at the end, medium bodied, it paired excellently with the smokey duck breasts that were slightly rare.

Look at the colour o the wine in the picture above! Lovely pairing.

For mains I had Angel Hair Pasta Alia Oglio, served with Pan Fried Salmon with Seafood.

This was paired with the Duval Leroy Rose De Saignee which is a Rose Champagne. This is also pressed from Pinot Noir grapes using the saignee method. This involves separating the grape juice from the skin after a short period of time and just gives a blush of red to the extracted juice. This method is thought to be superior from the blending of whites and reds to produce the pinkish hue.

This little beauty was magnificent. The colour was not really pink, but a pale yellowish pink. Bouquet was strawberries and the taste slightly jammy reds and creamy, again slightly sweetish yet acidic. Marvelous. The pasta was al dente, salmon perfectly pan fried and the seafood composed of mussels, prawns and scallops was bathed in oglio and some dried chillies. Lovely. On it's own, the pasta would have been quite rich and boring. But paired with the wine, it was wonderful.

I skipped dessert. Hakka should really look into their rather limited and boring dessert menu which is mainly pastries and warm pastries with ice cream.

Invariably, I will be asked about the difference between Sage and Hakka Republic. I have yet to dine at Sage for dinner, due to their early closing times. And this blog is probably not the right place to compare them. Anyway, my previous posts should be able to guide you to draw your own conclusions.

My previous post on Hakka Republic is here, together with their contact information.


thule a.k.a leo said...

so how much on average for those wines??? I'm a huge fan of red, white, ports, rose, etc...

Paranoid Android said...

OK. Here's where you will get blown away. Because the wines are dispensed from enomatic machines (read my previous post), they are charged by the glass. The Champagne was still bright and bubbly!

Wine ranges from 19 to 200 per glass/tasting portion.

The wines I tried were 37 to 44. Beats purchasing the whole bottle which will be about 300, I think. And you get to try many varieties.

Paranoid Android said...

Food here would be rather unimpressive if your palate is jaded. What impresses here is the artful combination of wine and food which elevates the taste of the food to a different plane.

Lovely place, if you are into wines. If you are aching to try the Bodegas Rejadorada, or Krug Champagnes this is the place where they offer tasting portions. No need to fork out 2000 bucks to try it!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

u really splashing ur money everywhere haha..sage, hakka rep etc etc..

love the idea of wine by the glass..but asking me to pay rm40 for a glass just seems so unheard of eventhough im assured quality WAY BETTER than house wines..

Paranoid Android said...

@Joe: Not splurging la, i get to dine out very rarely. And I have to pay for my share only. The bills are always split. But I love wine, and it is difficult to get good ones here by the glass. So far, this is the only place.

CUMI & CIKI said...

harlo! for some strange reason my bloglines was not picking up ur RSS feeds.. now it's like 28posts from PA!

anywayz, btr late than never!
Hakka is really cool.. can u say enomatic machine?! haha

Paranoid Android said...

He he... Gremlins in your computer. Saved you a bottle of single malt in your absence. Enomatic is easy. Try saying Mouton Rothschild...I always fumble. Ka ka ka...

Hakka said...

Thank you for your very considerate article. We are now only 8 months old and we feel we have a lot to learn. Our objective is to be a very good Wine bar with an excellent bistro offering good quality food at reasonable prices. We are NOT a fine dining or gourmet outlet although we feel that some of our specials are quite good. Next time you are here try one of our Burgers or our Steaks.
The wines on the Enomatic change quite often and the next time you are here,try our tasting portions. As for our desserts, we will improve the choice. Once again, many thanks for your balance. We love genuine well considered criticism as that is the only way we will know what the market wants. Vive la paranoia!!!

Paranoid Android said...

@Hakka: Thanks for responding in the comments section. You have just broken the record by being the first person affiliated to the restaurant featured in my post to comment here. I believe, one must be fairly confident in order to clarify any posts on the blog and you certainly are confident and have your objectives very clear.

Yes. I have reiterated many times that Wines are the biggest attraction at Hakka and they are at affordable, down to earth prices. I can tolerate only about two glasses, and the enomatic machines are heaven sent. It was actually through wines that I became interested in food.

Perhaps one day Hakka might organize some wine tasting, probably staring with the varietals first. Describing wines and the ways it interact with food would be like describing the thrill of a first passionate kiss. You'll never know until you experience it, otherwise it's just a load of descriptive, bombastic words.:D

Hakka said...

Aaaah John Maynard Keynes said "My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne."
Agreed 100%.
Wine is something that must be experienced and there is good wine at every level and to really know wine you must have it with food and once in a while have some bad wine so that you really know what constitutes a good wine.

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Unless stated otherwise, all the posts and food here is paid for by the Paranoid Android. He dose not receive any financial compensation for posting in this blog. The views expressed here are an opinion and as usual, taste is subjective and varies among people, time and mood as well! Please feel free to contact me at humanist dot philo at gmail dot com. Unless otherwise stated, the photos here belong to the owner of this blog. You are free to use it for any non commercial purpose. As courtesy, just drop me an email and credit the photo to the blog. Thanks for dropping by!

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