Imagine having some cotton candy only to find that it tastes like both foie gras and also banana fritters. Or even crunching down on a solid shisho mojito cocktail shaped like a meringue. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the magic of The Wonderarium.
For the uninitiated, The Wonderarium is a series of gastronomic collaborations between Martell and Babe by Jeff Ramsey. Each event sees The Wonderarium exploring different flavours and textures, bringing guests on a palatable adventure that will challenge their perspective on food that they’re so familiar with. The first one of the series, held in June 2019, centred on umami and smoky flavours.
More recently back in December, we got to experience The Wonderarium 3.0 highlighting bitter and refreshing flavour profiles. This time around, Chef Jeff Ramsey roped in Karl Too of Omakase + Appreciate to create an interesting pairing of cocktails and ‘Japas’ – Japanese-styled tapas – focusing on the two flavours.
Held in the hidden underground of Omakase + Appreciate, guests got to experience a medley of three canapes and three cocktails. All three cocktails used the Martell VSOP Aged in Red Barrel cognacs as a base. The first drink, Dive, had a tangy yet slightly umami finish thanks to the rectified grape juice, endive, and miso. Meanwhile, the second cocktail, Rad, is one that coffee enthusiasts will enjoy as it utilises spiced Brazil cold brew, grilled radicchio, and also soy. Finally, the third cocktail – Ze – ends on a refreshingly sweet note with dandelion greens, watermelon, and pistachios.
The canapes didn’t lose out on the spotlight too. Ramsey fashioned the first dish from halibut sashimi with nuta miso, followed by a pomelo and prawn tartlette that featured the best of the two flavour profiles in question. The canapes end with truffled wagyu sukiyaki that left guests wanting more.
While the event was going on, guests were also invited to check out the iconic Martell Trunk. No different from a magician’s trunk of wonders, Ramsey whipped out one amazing japas after another. We first feasted on a candy floss stick, which befuddled us with flavours of foie gras and pisang goreng (banana fritters). Then, the chef presented to us the Caramel Corn, which was light as air yet with a creamy flavour of corn. Finally, we had our final cocktail of the night from the Martell Trunk itself – Nitro Shisho Mojito, a solid cocktail shaped like a meringue.
But enough of us talking – click through the gallery above to see for yourself what went down during The Wonderarium 3.0.
(All images: Pernod Ricard Malaysia)