Secret of Louisiana Wine & Dine crawfish dinner

louisiana wine dinner

I just gotta say this:

connie hb blog

Look ma! My blog is on display! smirk

live crawfish

I was at the Secret of Louisiana Wine & Dine event on Monday. It’s a four-course dinner paired with wine and there are various exhibits of Americana (or should I say Louisiana) on display during cocktails. There’s a tank of live crawfish for one. I’m not sure if I ate one of them later but at this point they’re all alive. ;)

bayou

I like how the canopy is set along the lake so all dining is al fresco. There are videos and cooking demonstrations (had some pretty good Cajun shrimp made with just 4 spices) and I love how they printed the menu on re-labelled wine glasses together with the table number.

New Orleans Chowder
A wonderful rich soup, loaded with clams, shrimp & calamari, slow simmered with diced potato, onion and celery in a creamy thick soup.

dessert wine

This was paired with a Kim Crawford Pinot Savignon Blanc that I thought was very appropriate – it’s very refreshing, bubbly and easy-to-drink, a perfect starter wine. The chowder each had a whole crawfish inside too!

new orleans chowder

I loved the creamy soup – I had two in fact. There’s loads of seafood treasures inside and you can crack the crawfish and eat it if you want, although it’s meagre pickings. Crawfish like this doesn’t have a lot of meat inside but the soup more than makes up for it! Lovely!

Louisiana Bayous
Best ingredients from the bayou. Creole crawfish, creamy seafood gumbo & crabmeat mashed potato on corn fritter.

This is a dish of three different small appetizers. I like the crab meat mashed potato on corn fritter but I felt that this dish came out too late – it was already slightly cold (room temperature). The timing was a bit off for this one, some things are no doubt meant to be served cold and vice versa, but not at ambient temperature.

louisiana bayous

I can understand that cooking for so many people presents a unique challenge, but this was the only dish that was served slightly late. All the other dishes were nice and warm (even the dessert!). However, I can see the awesome potential – I loved the crab meat on corn fritter! :)

Trinity Jambalaya
Famous blackened red fish and jerk chicken with a rice dish consisting of onion, pepper and celery which makes up the “holy trinity” of Cajun cooking.

trinity jambalaya

I absolutely adore this dish! It’s full of seafood – huge shrimps, mussels, scallops! The red fish was wonderfully spiced – I love the hearty dose of pepper coating the fish. It’s a very heavy dish, broken up with several asparagus stalks.

wine hb

This is paired with a Wente Bayer Ranch Zinfandel, a nice red that goes against the guidelines of white meat with white wine and red meat with red wine, yet pulls it off with panache (it’s just a general rule of thumb many wine dinners I’ve been to has espoused). Absolutely the best dish of the night – perfect representation of Cajun style cooking and everything was still smoking hot!

(except the wine, as far as I know mulled wine does not originate from Louisiana)

Mud Pie & Praline
A rich New Orleans treat – roasted pecan on buttery praline and rich warm chocolate cake.

mud pie praline

A wonderful end to the dinner. It’s paired with a McGuigan Black Label Moscato, a sweet dessert wine. I liked the mud pie but what really got me was the buttery praline!

It’s awesomeness distilled into a messy chunk on your plate. I loved it so much I ate the entire caramel-like praline that left me wanting for more!

eiling hb

A great finish to a wonderful dinner! Eiling and Ziling was there too – good to see you again!

blog post signing

Oh, and here’s one of me signing the printed out Secret of Louisiana review of the first dinner. Heh.

kings and queens

Thanks again to Connie for a wonderful dinner! I learned a great deal about how to properly pronounce the etymology of the word “jambalaya” from the US Embassy representative.

us embassy

It’s sham-pal-ha-ya. :)

Secret of Louisiana, Plaza Kelana Jaya

secret of louisiana food

Secret of Louisiana is a Cajun-style seafood and steak restaurant opened up by a chef who used to live there. Word is, he wanted some authentic Louisiana food in KL (or rather Petaling Jaya) and a star is born. Or so it goes.

secret of louisiana

I’ve never been to this place before – it’s really nice, situated beside a lake (didn’t even know there was a lake in Plaza Kelana Jaya and I lived there a couple of years back) with covered al-fresco dining by the pier. I was invited by Connie and Ayu to come sample a couple of their signature dishes.

Seafood Gumbo (RM 22.90)
Sauteed assorted with thick creamy sauce, rich in herbs and cheese, served with garlic toast. Gumbo has been called the greatest contribution of Louisiana kitchens to Americans cuisine!

seafood gumbo

This is the appetizer and I must say, a great start to the dinner! I love the rich, gummy seafood gumbo. It’s a hearty combination of seafood and you can taste the chunks of deep sea lovin’ right inside. You’re supposed to eat it on top of garlic bread but I found myself just spooning the seafood gumbo by itself. Highly recommended.

Louisiana Famous Shrimp Scampi (RM 30.90)
Buttery and lush with fresh garlic, fresh herbs, tomatoes, and lemons, topped with 5 pieces grilled large prawns, the most popular pasta dish among all our pasta dishes.

louisiana famous shrimp scampi

I was entranced with the pasta dish too. The prawns are HUGE and fresh and everything tastes garlicky, which is something I dearly love. I would come back for this and the seafood gumbo again.

Seafood Jambalaya (RM 33.90)
An authentic Cajun dish, it’s perhaps the most versatile main dish that Louisiana has to offer, our version is rice cooked with fresh assorted seafood, sausages, tomatoes, corn, celery, mushrooms and fresh herbs.

seafood jambalaya

This came off as sorta like a wet paella. I love seafood and I like the chunks of fish, shrimp and squid. It’s mixed nicely with rice too, which reminds you of the soupy rice that you get fed as kid when you’re sick. Heartwarming food for the soul.

Red Fish (Red Snapper) (RM 38.90)
Dredged Snapper fillet on Cajun spice mix and seared on hot cask iron with butter. Blackened style with Cajun vegetables.

red fish red snapper

I found a lot of people who enjoyed this dish but for some reason it didn’t quite agree with me. I found the style of cooking to be too dry, maybe it’s just a personal thing.

Nut & Seed Layered Chicken (RM 32.90)
Grilled chicken breast with Cajun spice, sliced with and layered with organic nut & seed, served on lightly mashed potato and carrot. Drizzled with Fig chutney sauce.

nut seed layered chicken

I also found this selection from the Poultry menu to be a tad too dry for my tastes but it’s named the favorite dish of Suanie’s friend (who’s unfortunately allergic to crayfish). I really love the sweet fig chutney that goes with it though – it’s absolutely mouthwatering.

…and the various nuts scattered around! Lovin’ it.

Louisiana’s Mud Pie (RM 16.90)
We begin with a large slice of our rich Hot Chocolate Cake and top it with our hot fudge and big scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is covered with whipped cream and topped with sprinkle of crusted walnut and cherry.

louisiana mud pie

This is really good mud pie. I’ve had some great mud pies and this ranks up there with them. Hot chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, it’s hard to argue with that. I ended up eating most of this. Heh.

louisiana group photo
L-R (from back): Suanie, Eiling, Shah, Huai Bin (me)

I’ll love to go back to Secret of Louisiana again. It’s relatively close to where I live and I didn’t know such a chill place existed. It’ll be nice to just lounge by the pier and eat some of the seafood dishes. I loved the first two and dessert.

secret of louisiana restaurant

There will be a wine pairing dinner on the 14th of January which features a Cajun culinary feast, a tour of the State of Louisiana (not literally – there’s going to be features and videos on that day), a folk dance performance, a special cooking demonstration plus a speech from the US Embassy to Malaysia.

louisiana sauces

The event kicks off at 6:30 pm and there will also be wine appreciation tips and mystery gift giveaways. If you’re interested, the tickets are RM 250 per pax, you can get them by calling Sharine Chua (019 983 0230) or Ayu (012 234 7066). You can also surf over to their website.

ayu connie chef

I’ll be going to check it out. Last I heard, 1/3 of the tickets are already sold and that was a week ago so give them a buzz if you wanna join us in this wine pairing dinner. The food will not be the same as the one that we ate, it’ll be a specially prepared menu for the occasion, just passing along the info. :)

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