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The Expat Wine Dinner at Bijan Bar and Restaurant-July 2012

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Touted as one of the finest Malay restaurants in the city, it was clear that a wine dinner at Bijan restaurant was going to be a hit. While the central location and the afternoon jam may have put a damper on guests’ journeys to the restaurant, upon arrival, things improved dramatically.

Canapés were on hand to tantalise the tastebuds, and Malay specialities such as keropok bayam (deep-fried spinach leaves) and tiram mekar (oysters marinated in tomato sauce and calamansi juice) were enjoyed with glasses of fruity De Bortoli Sparkling Brut.

Once places were taken at the carefully decorated dining tables, starters came speeding out of the kitchen. The Malaysian classic of Oxtail Soup and accompanying entrée of Pan-Fried Golden Snapper delighted and disappeared with the perfumed and subtly spiced Kahurangi Estate Gewurtztraminer.

Main courses offered a difficult choice: lamb, prawns, or quail, and while they all proved delectable, the lamb – marinated in a variety of spices and served with peanut sauce, daging rice, and tangy pickles – received the most “ooo”s of appreciation. All choices were superbly matched with the dense, velvet-tinted Balbi Soprani Dolcetto Di Diano D’Alba DOC.

The Coconut Crème Caramel – a creative spin on a local classic coconut pudding – was the ideal sweet and creamy completion to a meal replete with powerful, enchanting flavours. The accompanying glass of Balbi Soprani Moscato D’Asti DOCG brought a hint of fruit and a pleasing aroma to a delicious final course.

While the jam outside may have been typically Malaysian, the hospitality and quality food inside was equally “local,” and showcased the best of what the country has to offer.

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Source: The Expat August 2012
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