Photography courtesy of Trishates
If you’re in town and wanted to experience something of a unique experience, you should visit the little pop-up known as the Wonderarium, a cocktail pairing with Babe – Japas Fun Dining, one of the most well known molecular gastronomy restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. The partnering with Martell showcases some of the most interesting japas you will come across with its pairing of Martell VSOP aged in red barrels, with one thing in mind… umami and smoke.
The Wonderarium Martell Trunk
This collaboration sees the creation of the Wonderarium, a bespoke Martell Trunk. This sizable box fits a number of different trinkets used to deliver an experience that plays tricks on your senses. Chef Jeff Ramsey will then lead a small group of guests in experiencing the wonders of the chest in the form of bites that play with your traditional understanding of dishes such as his vails which plays on familiar flavours, from a drinkable takoyaki.
“When you step up to the Martell Trunk, it should immediately inspire you to question the obvious and embrace your curious spirit. You may inhale a flavour or taste something that isn’t quite like it seems. I want guests to leave with a wealth of gastronomical eureka moments, and more questions than answers.” — Jeff Ramsey, Executive Chef of Babe Japas Fun Dining.
The Wonderarium also includes unique experiences like the hot and cold teh tarik, which really confuses your senses, but in a good way.
The Wonderarium at Babe – Japas Fun Dining Cocktail Pairing Menu
The cocktail pairing menu consists of 3 bespoke cocktails made with Martell VSOP aged in red barrels, and are served with 9 specially created japas, all within the theme of umami meeting smoke.
Cocktail #1: Rakkasei Highball
The Rakkasei Highball is made with Martell VSOP aged in red barrels, peanut orgeat, sour plum shochu and brown rice vinegar. This take on the traditional highball puts the cocktail in a spin, with a pronounced plum shochu flavour giving it a nice sweet and sour kick, while the smokiness comes through. The highball is a perfect starter drink for Japanese food pairings, such as the ones below.
Sashimi Spring Rolls
The sashimi spring roll is made from freshly chopped sashimi and umami soy jelly in spring roll shell. This was a bite full of flavour with its fresh sashimi with the soy jelly bursting with umami. The dish was perfect with its balance of sweet and umami, as well with its contrasting textures and tempreratures with its cool soy jelly and crunchy spring roll exterior.
Dashi Infused Hiyashi Tomato
The dashi infused hiyashi tomato consists of tosazu jelly and tamanegi dashi. The dish is eaten in one bite, and has an intense sweetness from the tomato, enveloped in the tosazu jelly, a dressing used made from a fishy dashi stock. This imparts a lot of flavour to the cold tomato dish making it a burst of flavour. A flavourful punch. One of the best japas on the menu.
The unagi terrine is made from unagi jelly, wasabi and spring onions. This interpretation of a jellied eel has a mild flavour, much milder than you would expect.
Cocktail #2: Smokey Daisey
The Smokey Daisey consists of Martell VSOP aged in red barrels, mezcal marca negra, roselle, gula melaka and cranberry. Thi second cocktail has a deep flavour coming from the mezcal and Martell VSOP, with the cranberry giving it a fresh underlying tangy sweetness, and went well to the seafood pairings that follow.
The ikura tartlet is made from smoked salmon roe on fromage blanc with a crispy tart shell. The dish takes the not so traditional pairing of salmon roe and cream cheese, giving a burst of flavour from the ikura, cutting the sharpness with the creamy cheese, giving a mix of different umami flavour.
Tenshi No Ebi Nigiri
The tenshi no ebi nigiri consists of blue angel prawn, grilled ebi miso on sushi rice. This painstaking dish is very technically difficult, with the miso of the prawns grilled and reconstituted and stuffed under the prawn before making it into a nigiri. For prawn sashimi lovers, this is a definite must try.
Nasu with Smoky Bonito
The nasu with smoky bonito is made from grilled Japanese eggplant and roasted miso. The dish packs quite a strong flavour, with the eggplant giving a nice texture with a mild flavour, only to be balanced by the roasted miso.
Cocktail #3: Otonano Haru Cha
the third cocktail, otano haru cha is made from martell VSOP aged in red barrels, monkey 47 gin, hojicha, rosemary honey and lavender tea syrup. This cocktail was the third served and has a flavour that is pronounced with its hojicha and rosemary flavours. Deep, smoky and packs quite a punch. The perfect pairing to the 3 dishes that follow.
Kurozato Braised Short Ribs
the kurozato braised short ribs is made form Okinawan brown sugar, purple sweet potato and pickled mustard seeds. The short ribs were tender and paired well with the sweet potato, and balanced with the dollops of pungent mustard seeds. A decent bite.
The Babe-n-dazs is made from Martell VSOP aged in red barrels and foie gras ice cream sandwich, and is considered one of Babe’s signatures. This foie gras ice cream has a nice umami flavour from the Martell, and is perfect served within its monaka shell.
The nitro puffs are drops in a shell that explode in your mouth creating a smoky disposition from the nitro frozen contents that ends the pairing with a smoky dragon breath.
The Wonderarium at Babe – Japas Fun Dining Experience
For those looking for something a little different, this is a pretty good cocktail pairing. The japas and cocktails match really well, all speaking to its theme, giving you smoke and umami. The japas all pack quite a lot of flavour in their bites, and match the cocktails quite well. A Japanese theme runs through all the dishes and cocktails with the Highball being a Japanese staple. Definite must try. Catch it while it’s on for a 2 night exclusive experience.
The Wonderarium Cocktail Pairing will run from 14th June 2019 to 15th June 2019.
For more reviews of Babe – Japas Fun Dining, see Babe – Japas Fun Dining.
11th Floor, Work@Clearwater,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
+603 2095 8599
Tuesdays to Sundays, 6.00 pm till 11.30 pm
Closed on Mondays.