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Review: A dining experience with winemaker, Neil McGuigan

While some vintners say the key to winemaking success is owning and farming one’s own vineyards, McGuigan winemaker and CEO Neil McGuigan has been proving it takes continuous ingenuity and commitment to quality in driving the continued success.

Last week, we had the pleasure to dine with the three-time International Winemaker of the Year, Neil McGuigan; an exclusive four-course McGuigan wine pairing dinner featuring the multi-award winning BIN 9000 Hunter Valley Semillon and The Shortlist Grenache Shiraz Mouvedre, paired with beautifully prepared dishes from Grand Hyatt KL’s renowned executive sous chef, Michel Eschmann.

We started off the evening with some delicious canapés before heading inside for dinner. The selection of canapés included fresh Irish oyster, poached lamb loin, and focaccia. We accompanied these light bites with McGuigan Sauvignon Blanc and McGuigan Merlot, matched elegantly with the complex flavours of the canapés.

AMBIENCE

Grand Hyatt’s Thirty8 is no stranger to the list of Kuala Lumpur’s best recommendation for fine dining. Located strategically on the 38th floor of the hotel, the restaurant comes with a wine bar and lounge built with floor to ceiling windows, offering a dining experience with a picturesque view of the majestic Petronas Twin Towers.

FOOD

Blue swimmer crab and yellow tail tuna
Blue swimmer crab and yellow tail tuna

The four-course menu began with a Blue swimmer crab and fresh yellow tail tuna, served with a side of marinated avocado, citrus vinegarette, romaine lettuce chargrilled to perfection, paired delicately with the McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon. This zesty yet flavourful pairing was a refreshing start to the meal.

Braised duck v2
Braised duck accompanied with sweet pumpkin puree

We then moved on to the most anticipated dish of the dinner – the braised duck accompanied with sweet pumpkin puree, five spice and roasted sweet potato. The tenderness of the braised duck blends perfectly with the McGuigan Shortlist Grenache Shiraz Mouvedre, bringing out the succulence of the braised duck. The softness and sweetness of the pumpkin puree enhanced the fruity flavour of the wine.

Roasted Black Angus beef sirloin v2
Roasted Black Angus beef sirloin with chimichurri

Our anticipation was heightened as we moved on to our main course, Roasted Black Angus beef sirloin with chimichurri, a side of elegantly swirled pommes duchesse and crisp celeriac slaw. Juicy, tender and deliciously crusty, this is one steak that complements the rich McGuigan Farm Barossa Shiraz perfectly, even the most discerning meat lovers will approve.

For a sweet ending to our meal, Chef Michel surprised us with his rendition of gelatin shots made with McGuigan Signature Moscato. Simple, refreshing, yet delightful with a classy twist, this dessert — in a single mouthful — makes you reminisce your childhood with a wide smile.

VERDICT

All in all, it was a truly interactive dining experience with the charismatic winemaker himself, Neil McGuigan. We were certainly blown away by the execution of effort and thoughtfulness in the conception of the dishes as well of the wines selected. For an evening of pure indulgence, we highly recommend you try the Grand Hyatt McGuigan Wine dinner if it comes around again. The four-course dinner menu was priced at RM300 nett per person and we enjoyed it at Grand Hyatt KL’s signature Thirty8.

THIRTY8, Level 38, Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur, 12 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3 2182 1234, www.kualalumpur.grand.hyatt.com