Chef Martin Yan Chinese food wine pairing banquet @ Mandarin Oriental

jacobs creek martin yan wine pairing dinner

I went to Chef Martin Yan‘s wine pairing banquet dinner at Mandarin Oriental a couple of weeks ago. It is actually quite intriguing for two reasons – I was a huge fan of his popular Yan Can Cook TV show as a kid and getting to meet the man and taste his cuisine in real life really appealed to me.

chef martin yan

He’s now doing a show called True Passion with Martin Yan on AFC where he pairs wine with Chinese food so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when the invite came along.

martin yan dinner mandarin oriental

The dinner started with a cocktail reception where Jacob’s Creek served wine with various hors d’oeuvre before the six-course banquet dinner:

Chilled Scallop with Jellyfish and Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

Chilled Scallop with Jellyfish and Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

This is the first dish that came out. It’s paired with Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling and resembles the traditional cold appetizers in Chinese banquet dinners. There are four delicious items in this starter which includes a surprisingly tasty salad arranged on a soup spoon but the one I loved the most is the namesake.

scallops martin yan

The scallop is huge and pan-seared to perfection. It’s topped with scallions (spring onions), shallots (red onion) and carrot shavings but it is the pomelo citrus bits at the bed of the oyster shell it’s served in that makes this an orgasmic combination.

Oven Baked Sea Treasure Broth Served in Coconut with Puff Pastry

Oven Baked Sea Treasure Broth Served in Coconut with Puff Pastry

This Cantonese style double boiled soup is paired with Jacob’s Creek Reeves Point Chardonnay has treasures galore – there’s dried scallop, fish maw, shitake mushrooms, crab meat and even even abalone.

abalone martin yan

It tastes sweet due to the coconut flesh that’s infused into the broth. It goes very well with the buttery puff pastry crust that tops the young coconut shell that it comes served in. I’m not usually a huge fan of soups but this one is deliciously decadent – I even ended up scooping the succulent coconut flesh to eat.

Cantonese Style Steamed Cod Fish with Superior Soya Sauce and Baby Cabbage

Cantonese Style Steamed Cod Fish with Superior Soya Sauce and Baby Cabbage

This is the obligatory fish dish and it’s no secret that I have a weakness for steamed fish. I love the subtle flavors and fresh and tender cod. The fish almost falls apart when you spear it, and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Mmm…my favorite dish of the night.

jacobs creek

All the dishes are paired with a Jacob’s Creek wine and I’ve written about the wine pairings in Lifestyle Asia – Celebrity Chef Martin Yan Heats Up KL – and included two recipes from the night by Chef Martin Yan from AFC kindly provided by Joey.

Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns

Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns

I totally loved this dish. The prawns are really fresh and the sweet and sour sauce is delicious. Chef Yan gets this one done to perfection – there is a thin crunchy crust from the batter which seals in the tender and juicy prawn flesh. It’s paired with Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling 2007.

Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 Chilli Sauce with Jasmine Fried Rice

Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 Chilli Sauce with Jasmine Fried Rice

This is the main dish for the night, paired with a robust Shiraz. The lamb is amazingly rich and almost falls of the bone and the gravy goes well with the small portion of fried rice on the side. It’s one of the two dishes Chef Martin Yan cooked on stage and the lamb cutlets has a really great sauce made with ketchup, balsamic vinegar, chilli sauce and sugar. I preferred the sweet and sour prawns though.

Sweet Temptations of Chocolate and Mango and Lychee Jelly and Raspberry Coulis

Sweet Temptations of Chocolate and Mango and Lychee Jelly and Raspberry Coulis

This is the dessert after a wonderful and satisfying meal. The rich chocolate and mango cake/mousse is topped with an edible slice of chocolate with Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur printed on it. The lychee jelly and raspberry coulis at the side goes very well with it as it cleanses your palate after each bite of the rich dessert.

martin yan dinner group photo

This is our table at the dinner – got this photo from Wilson. Wei Zhi, Evelyn and Suanie was there too. I didn’t get the name of the other but the one in the Mandarin Oriental outfit is Bel.

martin yan

I also got to meet Chef Martin Yan, one of my childhood heroes. I can still remember the refrain “Yan can cook, so can you!” that he does and he hasn’t lost as bit of his stage presence. The guy has a great sense of humor and is very friendly in real life too. You’ve got to see him in action, the thing he does on stage is exactly like his cooking show.

mandarin oriental chocolates

There was also a selection of chocolates and candy from Mandarin Oriental to end the night. I was totally stuffed when I got home. It’s one of the best dinners I’ve had recently.

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34 thoughts on “Chef Martin Yan Chinese food wine pairing banquet @ Mandarin Oriental”

    • Yeah, used to watch his show when I was a kid. Totally loved it. 🙂

      It was good to see him in real life and eat his cooking. Heh.

    • It was quite entertaining to see an icon from my childhood. I like his self deprecating humor and the jokes he makes.

      The man has still got it, even at his age, still as entertaining and energetic as ever. Good food too. 🙂

    • Hello Christine!

      OMG, I didn’t see you there. Hey it’s been ages, last time we met was…Singapore. Haha.

      Yeah, it was quite an experience eh? I watched his show as a kid so it was fun for me to meet him and sample his cooking. 🙂

  1. HB, Martin is soon opening an restaurant in the upscale downtown San Francisco Westfield mall. The restaurant name M.Y. China. It will serve dim sum and other Chinese food there. I watch his show as a child also but he never show much 101 cooking too fast for viewers to catch in learning. Not enough detail in many things but still interesting show to watch.

    • Nice! I didn’t know he owned a restaurant in SF. Have you tried it? How is it?

      Haha! Yeah, his show is more about entertainment. 😉

  2. ah…hes the most famous chef in my childhood. watched his cooking show in the 80s and i can tell you he is the most entertaining chef in the era. i remember watching yan can cook and the most interesting part is his accent and his out of this world chopping skills.

    • Same here. I think that’s true for most 80’s babies. We grew up watching that show.

      I remember his signature move that he always does – really fast chopping while looking at the camera. *cue laughter

      Amazing personality though. 🙂

  3. Martin Yan still has the whole showmanship and certainly makes cooking much easier than it really is:P

    Loved the steam fish too. I wouldn’t mind a few more portions of it though:D Oh! great meeting you that night!

    • Yeah, he makes it entertaining and accessible. I think his Yan Can Cook show was more about dream fulfillment.

      I started cooking after watching it.

      The steamed fish was awesome, I was half tempted to steal Suanie’s while she was off taking photos.

      Yeah, it was great meeting you too! 🙂

        • Same here. 🙂

          I like to experiment and come out with all sorts of weird combinations though. Heh.

          I do like cooking, it’s the cleaning up part that I’m not so fond of. 😉

    • Yeah, I’m a huge fan! I watched his shows as a kid too.

      Very entertaining, and I do believe the first Asian chef that received such widespread acclaim.

      Ya, it was good that he spent time talking to everyone. 🙂

    • Yup, I’ve always liked him. He’s really charismatic and fun to watch. Gotta admire his chopping skills too. Heh.

      Always good to meet you Wei Zhi! 😀

    • Hello Wilson! 🙂

      Yup, it was great meeting up with you again! Great food, awesome company. 😀

      I totally loved Chef Martin Yan too. Childhood hero. 🙂

    • Hello there! It was a pleasure meeting you! 🙂

      Sorry I didn’t get your name that day, my memory is really bad. 😡

      It was a great dinner though! 😀

    • Yeah have read about that but all the high end places like Mandarin Oriental uses real codfish. I haven’t seen oilfish before in Malaysia.

      it was great to meet with Chef Martin Yan. I totally enjoyed his show when I was a kid, used to watch it, Entertaining stuff. 😀


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